The Vieux Chalet is a Swiss song written in 1929 by Father Joseph Bovet .

According to the local historian Gaston Castella 1 , the last stanza of the song in which a certain “John” reconstructs the cottage “more beautiful than before” would refer to the Federal Councilor Jean-Marie Musy , also Gruyèreand contemporary of the author . This thesis is however denied by Patrice Borcard, historian and author of a biography of Father Bovet 2 . The school book Chanson Vole suggests that this stanza was inspired to the author by an old Gruyerian armailli : “Monsieur l’Abbé, at home, when a chalet is destroyed, it is rebuilt! ” 3 .

This song has been translated into sixteen languages ​​including Chinese and Japanese 3 .

Patrice Borcard also notes the symbolic value of the words of the song during the Second World War which sees the song adopted, in France, by both the Resistance and the Collaboration 2 .


1 / Up there on the mountain, was an old cottage.

White walls, shingle roof,

In front of the door an old birch.

Up there on the mountain was an old cottage.

2 / Up there on the mountain, the old cottage collapsed.

Snow and rocks

Had united to tear it

Up there on the mountain, the old chalet fell.

3 / Up there on the mountain, when Jean came to the cottage,

Cry with all his heart

On the debris of his happiness.

Up there on the mountain, when Jean came to the cottage.


4 / Up there on the mountain, is a new cottage,

For John of a valiant heart

Rebuilt it more beautiful than before.

Up there on the mountain, is a new cottage.


  • Jean-Pierre Moulin, A History of French Song: From Troubadours to Rap , Éditions Cabedita,, 164 p. ( ISBN  2882954093 )
  • Myriam Chimènes, Josette Alviset, The musical life under Vichy , Éditions Complexe,, 420 p. ( ISBN  2870278640 ).


  1. ↑ Gaston Castella , In memory of Jean-Marie Musy, former president of the Confederation, 1876-1952 , Freiburg, Bulle,p.  19-20.
  2. ↑ a and b Patrice Borcard , Joseph 1879-1951 Bovet. Route of a singing abbot , Friborg, La Sarine,p.  180.
  3. ↑ a and b Maurice and Pierre Fœtisch, song Fly, th year , published on the initiative of the Department of Education and Religious Affairs of the Canton of Vaud , Editions Payot, 1975 edition, 1993, 128 p. ( ISBN  2-601-01119-X ).