Emmanuel Pariselle’s romantic song about an old boat: La Nonchalante

I can’t understand more than a few words of this beautiful-sounding little song, but I’m told its about an elderly man and his old boat on the Canal du Midi. The boat’s at the end of its useful life, but somehow her skipper finds it difficult to part with her. I guess many intheboatshed.net readers probably feel much the same way as the chap in the song, as they set off each morning to work on their projects.

I hope you like it as much as we did when we met Emmanuel Pariselle at Melodeons and More, at Mendlesham in Suffolk a couple of years ago – he was teaching a group to make melodeons (he’d call them diatos, btw) and playing in a concert, while we were some way down the bill (there’s a photo to prove it!).

There’s some more of Emmanuel’s lovely music at MySpace, and via Amazon.

For more songs at intheboatshed.net, click here.

PS – It’s taken a while, but a chap called Jack Humphreys has succeeded in creating a credible English language version of this song.

3 thoughts on “Emmanuel Pariselle’s romantic song about an old boat: La Nonchalante”

  1. some unperfect quick-made translation
    cheers from paris, close to Canal St-Martin

    La Nonchalante

    It’s not I am of early youth
    Life has passed under bridges
    But the boat is still good
    and it’s not time to be lazy
    If I disembark i’ll have nothing to do
    But getting drunk in the harbour café
    Missing, like one heart on board
    In the hold, the beating engine

    Chorus :
    La Nonchalante, la Nonchalante, we are not going to part that way
    I without your hull, you without my arms, la Nonchalante
    La Nonchalante, la Nonchalante, we can’t forget all this
    They might say what they want, we are leaving, la Nonchalante

    Since the late 30’s
    we saw many freights
    Locks and bad weather
    Would you be sailing upstream or downstream
    Sun dissolving the haze
    Canal du Midi under the moon
    End of the weeks in Conflans
    There were good moments too


    Some say we are out of age
    Both of us at the end of the rope
    That I should be sent to hospital
    and you should be brought to be cut out
    But as we pass the last lock
    We’ll leave on the great blue sea
    We”ll go as far as we can
    I’d like so much to see Syracuse


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