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Patapan, Patapan

Christmas Carol

Patapan is a French Christmas carol originating in Burgundy, France. It was written around 1700 by the poet Bernard de la Monnoye. The song features two boys, Willie and Robin, who are taught to praise God and rejoice at the birth of Christ by playing upon the drum and flute.

Willie and Robin were common characters in old French carols, and the praise they give is symbolic of the village community as a whole giving praise to God. Patapan is a brisker predecessor to "The Little Drummer Boy".

The anonymous English translation of Patapan is here sung by
the Counterpoint Vocal Ensemble.



Listen to Patapan


Lyrics:


Willie, take your little drum,
Robin, take your flute and come
When we hear the music play,
Tu-re-lu-re-lu,
Pat-a-pat-a-pan,  pat-a-pan-pat-a-pan.
When we hear the music play,
Noel, Noel, we say.

Long ago was born a King,
To Him we now do sing,
Play your music sweet and clear,
Tu-re-lu-re-lu, tu-re-lu-re-lu,
Pat-a-pat-a-pan, pat-a-pat-a-pan.
Play your music sweet and clear,
Pat-a-pan-pat-a-pan,
Sounding Noels of good cheer - of good cheer.

He was born on Christmas Day,
Celebrate with us, come play,
Let the music sound again,
Let the music sound again,
Tu-re-lu-re-lu, tu-re-lu-re-lu,
Pat-a-pat-a-pan, pat-a-pat-a-pan.
Let the music sound again,
Merry Christmas to all men.

Willie, take your little drum,
Robin, take your flute and come
When we hear the music play,
Tu-re-lu-re-lu,
Pat-a-pat-a-pan, pat-a-pan-pat-a-pan.
When we hear the music play,
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, we say



Traditional sheet music to Patapan

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King David playing the harp


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