“douce Nuit” – dalida

For the holiday season, we at Babylangues thought we would present ‘Douce Nuit’, a French version of the carol ‘Silent Night’. The original carol is actually Austrian and has the title “Stille Nacht”. The song was so popular that there are hundreds of different translations and versions now. Even in French, there are versions with varying lyrics.

We’ve chosen this rendition by Dalida because of her rich, soothing vocals. For those not familiar with the singer-actress Dalida, she was an incredibly famous star in France around the 60s and 70s. Born in Egypt to a family of Italian origin, she brought a certain exoticism to the music industry. She was also one of the first French artists to sing songs in the disco style and meld American or other influences into French music. 

Discover more French music HERE.


Douce nuit, sainte nuit
Tout est calme plus de bruit
C’est Noël et là haut dans le ciel
Une étoile d’un éclat irréel
Brille au loin sur le monde
Comme un beau rêve infini

Il est né à minuit
Dans l’étable au milieu des bergers
Et depuis l’univers a chanté
C’est Noël, c’est Noël
Que la paix soit éternelle.

Interestingly this version has fewer, more subtle religious references than other versions of ‘Douce Nuit’. The ‘étoile’ she makes reference to is the Star of Bethlehem that the wise men from the East follow in order to reach the place of Jesus’ birth. Similarly, Dalida only makes reference to Jesus as ‘Il’, rather than including any description of his holy nature or the Virgin Mary. This version is also shorter than many others, but puts across many essential aspects of Christmas such as light (‘étoile’ and ‘brille’) and peace (‘paix’).