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Un Vert Bocage

by Flexagon and Lihou

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"Along beside the green hedgerows, beside a flowing stream, the small birds are singing."

It's the start of one of those songs about taking advice from birds...

Un Vert Bocage is a traditional song once sung in Flexagon’s home island of Guernsey - a warning to women about the misery of marriage. Sung in French, just one verse of this song was recorded in Guernsey, collected in the 1950s. The rest of the lyrics have been reconstructed by Roland Scales of Lihou, using other versions of the song from across France.

Formed to keep the songs of the Channel Islands alive, Lihou is a traditional music band with members from the UK, Guernsey and France.

Flexagon's contemporary arrangement of Un Vert Bocage came from working as Lihou's recording engineer on an album of traditional Channel Island songs in spring 2023. Lihou's album Réveillez-vous car il est jour will be available on all streaming services and Bandcamp in early 2024.



Le long d'un vert bocage
Près d’un courant ruisseau
J’entends le chant des p’tits oiseaux
Qui chantent leur langage
J’entends le chant desp’tits oiseaux
Qui chantent leur langage

Les p’tits oiseaux sauvages
Se mirent à chanter :–
Garde à vous filles à marier
De vous mettre en ménage
Garde à vous filles à marier
De vous mettre en ménage

Pour se mettre en ménage
Faut bien avoir de l’argent
Et si vous avez homme et enfant
Faut embrasser l’ouvrage
Et toujours en recommençant
L’embarras du ménage

Le jour de vos grandes noces
Quel habit prendrez-vous?
Vous prendrez bien un blanc habit
L’habit de réjouissance
Et les rubans de trois couleurs
Les couleurs de souffrance

Le jour de votre mariage
Quel mouchoir prendrez-vous?
Vous prendrez bien un blanc mouchoir
Pour essuyer vos larmes
Vous vous engagez pour la vie
Adieu le badinage

–Mon père, oh ma mère
Vous me faites grand tourment
Car vous m’avez mariée
Mariée avec un homme
Qu’est nuit et jour au cabaret
Ma foi je l’abandonne



released November 17, 2023
La musique/Music: Flexagon & Lihou
Chanteuse/Singer: Emmanuelle Bouthillier
Vielle à roue/Hurdy Gurdy/Chifournie: Aline Pilon
Paroles/Lyrics: Traditional arr. Roland Scales

Recorded, mixed and arranged by: Flexagon
Mastered by:Nick Cooke –Nick Cooke Mastering


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Flexagon Guernsey

Flexagon is a Guernsey-based sound mangler and musical instrument collector. He is also a DJ, music producer, sound engineer and composer.

As a DJ he is known for playing long eclectic and psychedelic sets spanning multiple genres, equally at home playing ambient and chillout as he is with dancefloor-friendly music.

Chillout (mostly!) mixes here:- www.mixcloud.com/flexagon/
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