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chanson : Down in the Valley

mis à jour le 19/10/2015


Une chanson interprétée par Claude Vollaire, libre de droits pour utilisation en classe.

mots clés : chanson, vollaire, musique, Down in the Valley

Down in the Valley

 Recreation of Martin Luther King's cell in Birmingham Jail at the National Civil Rights Museum, Wikipedia Creative Commons

Here is what Theodore Raph wrote about this song in « The American Song Treasury 100 Favorites » , Dover Publications, Inc. New York, 1964:

This, one of our nation’s finest hillbilly songs may have originated centuries ago in the British Isles. But the version we know today was born in the Southern mountains and was developed by the Kentucky mountaineers – most of whom were English, Scotch and Irish – about the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

(…) So widely popular has this song become that Kurt Weill wrote an American folk opera bearing its title, with music based on this song.

During the 1950’s it broke out into great popularity when it appeared in the 1951 movie Along the Great Divide and again in the 1952 movies The Last Musketeer and Montana Territory.

There have been many different versions of this song, and in certain regions it is known as “Birmingham Jail”, “Barbourville Jail” and “Powder Mill Jail”.

Down in the valley, the valley so low,
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow
Hear the wind blow, dear, hear the wind blow
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow.
Bird in a cage, dear, bird in a cage,
Dying for freedom, ever a slave
Ever a slave, dear, ever a slave,
Dying for freedom, ever a slave.
If you don’t love me, love whom you please,
Throw your arms ‘round me, give my heart ease
Give my heart ease, dear, give my heart ease,
Throw your arms ‘round me, give my heart ease.
Write me a letter, send it by mail,
Send it in care of Birmingham Jail
Birmingham Jail, dear, Birmingham Jail,
Send it in care of Birmingham Jail.
Writing this letter containing three lines
Answer my question: “will you be mine?”
“Will you be mine, dear, will you be mine?”
Answer my question: “will you be mine?”
Roses love sunshine, violets love dew
Angels in heaven know I love you
Know I love you, dear, know I love you
Angels in heaven know I love you

information(s) pédagogique(s)

niveau : tous niveaux

type pédagogique : activité de découverte, démarche pédagogique, travaux pratiques

public visé : enseignant, élève

contexte d'usage : classe

référence aux programmes :

fichier joint

information(s) technique(s) : fichier son Ce fichier est disponible au téléchargement au format mp3.

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anglais - Rectorat de l'Académie de Nantes