A Hymn for Paris: “J’irai La Voir Un Jour”

Below, Patty Griffin sings the French hymn, “J’irai La Voir Un Jour,” a lullaby her grandmother sang to her when Griffin was a child. In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, a hymn of comfort seems appropriate as we send good wishes and hopes to the people of France.

“J’irai La Voir” was written by Father Pierre Janin, who was born on November 30, 1824 in Montluel, France. The opening line that provides the source of the title, “J’irai la voir un jour” translates into “I’ll see her one day.” It is a song about Mary and of going “away from earth/ To the heart of my mother / To rest with no return.”

“J’irai La Voir Un Jour” is a sad song but a song of hope, about joy and love. Regardless of one’s beliefs, in trying to process the inexplainable horrors of life, one could do worse than seeking a few moments of comfort in a hymn that also works as a children’s lullaby.

Patty Griffin’s version of “J’irai la voir” appears in a live version on the album Live from the Artists Den (2008). Also, a snippet of the song appears in her version of “Top of the World” that appears on the album Silver Bell (2013).

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