Sunday, April 10, 2016

Vive Le New French Version of the Outlander Theme Song

By now, most Outlander fans know the theme song for Outlander by heart. Bear McCreary's adaptation of the Scottish folksong, The Skye Boat Song, has become a classic.

With the opening of Season 2, however, the story moves to France - and McCreary has moved the theme song along with it. Here is Raya Yarbrough (Bear's wife, by the way) singing the new version.  McCreary is accompanying her on the accordion and Noah Hoffeld is on cello.

The French lyrics are below the video. Enjoy!



Chante-moi l'histoire D'une fille d'autrefois S'agirait-il de moi? L'ame légère Elle prit un jour la mer

14 comments:

  1. Thank you thank you thank you! I used to be almost fluent in French and was so thrilled to hear the French in the chorus of the new season, but not skilled enough to pick out the exact wording. Makes perfect sense now. And come on! Claire and Jamie! Speaking French! I'm a little excited about the new season. Thanks again!

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    1. I'm a french canadian and i have also dont understand what the song saying so...its not the fault of your skills

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  2. You're welcome, Emily. I love the French "twist," too!

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  3. My French is pretty bad. Are these French lyrics pretty much a direct translation of the English version?

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    1. I don't know. My French is probably not even as good as yours :) They are the lyrics Raya is singing in the new version, if that helps.

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    2. I'm French. The singer's pronunciation is awful, but yes, those are a direct translation of the English version.

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    3. Thank you for that clarification. :)

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  4. To clarify & defend ...it's not really a "direct" translation as I don't think that could be possible when trying to exchange song lyrics to between 2 languages whilst keeping the same rhythm and beat of the original melody. But the French lyrics are like an abridged version of: "Sing me a song of a lass that is gone, say could that lass be I? Merry of soul she sailed on a day, over the sea to Skye" that is closer to, "sing me a story of a girl from the past, could it be me? The light soul, one day took to the sea." (that's all they could fit into the same lyric-space). Also, Reya is not French and grew up in Los Angeles, not Paris. She never claimed to have perfect French pronunciation and alas, this recording above sounds much more choppy & the pronunciation harsher than the recorded version used in the new season's recorded credits. Anyhow just think it's worth mentioning/defending, for a non-native or non-fluent French speaker to get the pronunciations completely right WHILST SINGING (which requires an exaggeration of certain sounds, most of which are not familiar to an English speaker) is extremely difficult on the best of days. Give her a break... and understand there is no way they could make this "authentic" French unless they re-worked the entire original melody AND got a native/fluent French singer to do these new credits. I, for one, prefer that they kept Reya even if her French is somewhat average to a native speaker's ears (this recording being slightly lower than the final product). To have a whole new song/vocalist would be much worse, jmho, so maybe just enjoy it for how they were able to incorporate the 2 sounds of Outlander (Scottish & French) for season 2? :)

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    1. And if we're to be perfectly honest, Claire and Jamie do not speak French as their first languagemail so they have accents when they speak as well. Maybe it was done on purpose to reflect this? I was surprised at the changed, but it totally makes sense to me. Pretty good adaptation to me, too, but I know very very little French.

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    2. I'm french and I totally disagree when Unknow said "the pronounciation is awful". It's not true. We can hear that she is singing french and even if I didn't understand all the lyrics at the first listen, I just loved this version. Kristen is right, it must have been hard for the singer Reya to pronounce these words. But it's perfect this way because her accent is beautiful and bring some english-scottish influences from the first season. I'm really happy to hear some french in this new soundtrack but an entire French version would have disappointed me. This final version remind me the first season and keep the scottish influence for the best :)

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  5. Hi, I'm French and I totally agree with Lauren. The song if perfect as it is. I would have been sorry to hear it sung by a French voice. Sebastien.

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  6. I am a trained classical singer. I disagree that one cannot learn to sing accurately (or very close to it) in a tongue not one's own. There are diction coaches, international phonetic alphabet, and other tools. I love the quality of Raya's voice, but her French pronunciation is awful...especially the last French phrase. I had to look up the words. I wish she had tried a bit harder.

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  7. Thank you, Victoria, I was going to say much the same thing. Two perfect examples are ABBA and also Celine Dion recording in English before either could properly speak the language. I am bilingue and could not make out some of the words.

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  8. I very much enjoyed the dialogue between those of us Outlander fans- I do enjoy the French twist myself, and I am loving this season too! I can say I have not spoken or sang any French since high school, lol but I was extremely interested in what the words were and this was the first search result! Brava!

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