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 You are here: Home > MIDI music! > Work songs > lyrics Li Pescairis (The Fishmongers) (The Wives of the Fishermen). Saturday October 24th 2020, Saint Anthony Mary Claret. 

Li Pescairis listen the Midi file for this traditional music tune score of this traditional tune
(The Fishmongers) (The Wives of the Fishermen)
Nissart lyrics by Jean Régis, known as Gian Regis or Jan Regis, music by Heinrich Tellam. Traditional from County of Nice.

1st verse                          
Se vous levas de bouon matin,
Anas à la Marina !
Veirès Babé, Rosa, Catin,
Chouasa, Mioun e Fina,
Couma ’na nebla d’escrivèu,
Assautà lu premié batèu
Qu’arribon sus la plaia
E s’arrancà, en bataiant,
Li gouarba pleni de merlan,
De bouiabaiss’ o de palaia !
 If you wake up early in the morning,
Go to the Marina!
You will see Elisabeth, Rose, Catherine,
Françoise, Mary and Josephine,
Like a cloud of kestrel (1),
Assailing the first boats
That arrive on the beach (2)
And fighting over, battling,
The baskets full of whitings,
Bouillabaisse or sardines!

Li pescairis
Fiha de Catarina
Noun parlon pas coum’à Paris,
A la Marina !
Ma s’an la lenga pas tròu fina
E de vous couma d’Artagnan,
An lou couor bouon couma lou pan
A la Marina !
 The fishmongers (3)
Daughters of Catherine
Don’t speak as in Paris,
At the Marina!
But if their language is not very fine
And their voice looks like d’Artagnan,
They get a heart as good as bread,
At the Marina!

2nd verse                          
Oi, que bèu pei ! Oi, que bèu pei
Que sauta sus la banca !
Merlan per la taula d’un rei,
Capoun de Villafranca,
Estria d’or, loubas d’argèn,
Venès croumpa, o belli gèn,
Lu bei pei sensa ’spina.
Soun vièu ! Venon de lu pescà.
Li a de que v’esperlecà
Emb’un pòu d’oli e de farina.
 Oh! what a beautiful fish! Oh! what a beautiful fish
Jumping on the stall!
Whiting for the table of a king,
Scorpene (4) from Villefranche,
Golden gurnard (5), silvery bass (6),
Come and buy, oh! good people,
The beautiful fishes without spine.
They are alive! We just fish them.
There is enough to lick your lips
With a little [olive] oil and flour.

3rd verse                          
Coura si nouma lou Counsèu,
S’en van à la Meria
Embé la ’scoufia, lou cairéu,
L’anèu d’or à li auriha,
S’en van pourtà en proucessioun
Lu gros bouquet dai elecioun
A travès li carrièra
En cridant, touti, à plèn gousié :
« Viva lu nouostre counsié,
E viva lou nouostre bouon Mèra ! »
 When the council (7) is nominated,
They go to the town hall
With the headdress, the fanchon,
The golden hoop earring,
They go and bring in procession
The big bunch of the elections
Across the streets
Shouting, all of them, at the top of their voice:
“Long live our councillors,
And long live our good mayor!”

4th verse                          
Ai deputat e au prefet
Rendon lou mem’ oumage.
Ma doun fan lou pu mai d’effet
Es ai gran mariage.
Flouridi coum’ un mès de Mai
Baion lu ’spous tant e pi mai,
Baion garsoun e fiha,
Baion d’aqui, baion d’aià
E mesclon en lu sièu baià
Lou pei, lou musc e la vaniha !
 To the deputy and the prefect
They pay same homage.
But where they produce the most effect
It’s at society weddings.
Flowered like a month of May (8)
They kiss the married couple for all they were worth,
They kiss boys and girls,
They kiss here, they kiss there
And mix in their kisses
The fish, the musk and the vanilla!

5th verse                          
Dai viei Nissart, li pescairis
An gardat la valiansa,
An l’amour dòu siéu bèu pahis
Qu’ès la flou de la Fransa.
Lou siéu couor a toujour vint an,
Aimon Nissa couma l’enfan
Aima sa mairegrana.
Venguesse l’oura dòu dangié,
Mouostrerion à l’estrangié
Cenque moustret la Segurana.
 Of the old Nice inhabitants, the fishmongers
Have kept the bravery,
They have the love of their beautiful country
That is the flower of the France.
Their heart is always twenty years old,
They love Nice as the child
Loves his grandmother.
Let come the hour of danger,
They would show to the foreigner
What showed the Segurane (9).

The review Nice historique published (see below Bibliography) the following version of the 1st verse of Li Pescairis (The Fishmongers):

1st verse                          
Se vous levas de buon matin,
Anas a la Marina :
Aqui veïrès Ciouagia, Catin,
Rosa, Mioun et Fina,
Couma une nebla d’escrivèu,
Arrancà lo peï dai batèu
A pena su la riba,
Embé de crit de courpatà
S’escarpinà per agantà
Cada guorba plena qu’arriba !
 If you wake up early in the morning,
Go to the Marina:
There you will see Françoise, Catherine,
Rose, Mary and Josephine,
Like a cloud of kestrel,
Grabbing the fish from the boats
Only just got on the shore,
With screams of crow
Tearing each other’s hair out to catch
Each full basket that arrives!

1. Hawk, falcon.
2. The Ponchettes Beach, edging the Marina by South.
3. In his Dictionnaire niçois-français, Georges Castellana gives: “pescairis, fisherman wife or daughter”. The retaileress is the repetiera.
4. Or scorpion fish (rascassa).
5. Estria, or estrèia, garamoun, grana, beluga...
6. Or sea perch.
7. The town council.
8. Like a May tree.
9. Catherine Segurane, cf. Innou Seguran.

• Delrieu (Georges), Anthologie de la chanson niçoise (Anthology of the Song from Nice), Nice, publisher Delrieu & Co, 1960, p. 136-137.
• revue Armanac nissart, Nice, 1930, p. 32-34.
• revue Nice historique, Nice, n° 10, 1908, p. 172 ; n° 3, 1923, p. 72-73 and n° 3, 1938, p. 77.


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