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Quatre chansons pour enfants, FP75

author of text
under the pseudonym Jaboune

Poulenc’s flamboyant uncle ‘Papoum’ (Marcel Royer) was a lover of the music hall and he instilled a similar affection in his nephew from an early age. Poulenc came from an extremely well-to-do Parisian home (unlike Debussy, from the suburbs, or those southerners Fauré, Chabrier, Ravel and Milhaud). From the very beginning the refinements that money could buy were enjoyed side-by-side with the earthier manifestations of Parisian popular culture. These four songs were written to the texts of a popular poet Jean Nohain, otherwise known as Jaboune—both pseudonyms for Jean-Marie Legrand (1900–1981). He later became known as the writer of texts for the popular chansonnière Mireille. The musical language is simple, and the texts irreproachably suitable for young people either to sing or listen to. In the real music hall of the time songs of this kind, with their zany melodies and verbal patter, would have been far more suggestive than these innocent little sketches. On the concert platform today the first song, with its extended Christmas lists, is the most often performed. It is a reminder of the Third Republic’s obsession with encouraging its citizens to have more children, a theme that Poulenc revisited in far more extended fashion in the Apollinaire opéra bouffe Les mamelles de Tirésias.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2013


Poulenc: The Complete Songs
CDA68021/44CDs for the price of 3
Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 2
Studio Master: SIGCD263Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 3
Studio Master: SIGCD272Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Poulenc: Voyage à Paris


No 1: Nous voulons une petite sœur  Madame Eustache a dix-sept filles
Track 4 on CDA68021/4 CD1 [4'45] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 29 on CDH55366 [4'37]
Track 33 on SIGCD272 [5'08] Download only
No 2: La tragique histoire du petit René  Avec mon face à main
Track 5 on CDA68021/4 CD1 [1'07] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 26 on SIGCD263 [1'29] Download only
No 3: Le petit garçon trop bien portant  Ah! Mon cher docteur, je vous écris
Track 6 on CDA68021/4 CD1 [1'33] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 27 on SIGCD263 [2'04] Download only
No 4: Monsieur Sans-Souci  Quand les gens
Track 7 on CDA68021/4 CD1 [2'48] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 32 on SIGCD272 [3'05] Download only

Track-specific metadata for CDA68021/4 disc 1 track 7

Monsieur Sans-Souci
Recording date
31 May 2010
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Poulenc: The Complete Songs (CDA68021/4)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: October 2013
    4CDs for the price of 3

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