Tri martolod (Three sailorsinBreton) is atraditional Breton song, made famous by the interpretation, the arrangement and the recordings made byAlan Stivell.

This is a three-step round that we encounter on the whole coast of Brittany and more particularly in South Cornwall . You can also dance it in gavotte of Bas- Léon .

The lyrics begin with the story of three young sailors and drift quickly on a romantic dialogue.



Interpretation of the duet by Nolwenn Leroy and Alan Stivell at Colmar festival the.

This traditional song is created by a Breton fisherman (or more) to the xix th century .

In his collection of tunes for bagpipes, Polig Monjarret lists the melody he calls Tri-ugent martolod (60 sailors). This song appears in various collections of Breton songs: from 1968 in Sonioù Pobl ( “the songs of the people” ) of Skol Vreizh then, under the title “Tri Martolod”, in Kanomp Uhel ( “sing high” ) edited by Coop Breizh .

Alan Stivell discovers this song in courses of Breton culture at the age of 15 years. It is the first folk rock arrangement between 1966 and 1970, including an introduction to the Celticharness strung metal 1 . He creates an orchestration (harp, violin, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums), a harmonization and an arrangement (tempo, chords, harmonic sequence …). He performs this song at Olympia onduring a concert broadcast live on Europe 1 . However, he had added it to his set “to have a sufficient number of titles! ” No one today, he sings all his concerts in versions often differ with touring. In the same period, he released a single, with a slightly different interpretation, he will resume in 1993 on Again . With Pop Plinn and Suite Sudarmoricaine , it’s the title that has been the most programmed on radio. Alan Stivell performed it on many television sets.

The ” Gavotte de Lannilis ” is dancing on the air of song 2 . The Manau group is inspired by Alan Stivell’s recording to create his title The Tribe of Dana , but without asking for approval from Alan Stivell or specifying the origin of the arrangement. He also samples Alan Stivell’s harp intro, which he does not like because it is also the sound of the first Celtic harp built by his father No. 2 .

In turn, Nolwenn Leroy , who takes it back on his album Bretonne , interprets it on many TV shows. The song is named at the NRJ Music Awards 2012 on TF1 in the category “Francophone song of the year”. At Victoires de la musique on France 2 , she performed it in a softer version, similar to that of Yann-Fañch Kemener and Didier Squiban , with notably Virginie Le Furaut on the Celtic harp , Robert Le Gall on violin and Frédéric Renaudin on piano 3 .

Word from one of the versions

This is the version recorded in particular by Alan Stivell in the early 1970s. Other versions, including that of Tri Yann recorded at the same time, are longer. The original text reaches 15 couplets.

“Tri martolod yaouank … la la la …
Tri martolod yaouank o voned da veajiñ (bis)

O voned da veajiñ, oh!
O voned da veajiñ (bis)

Gant ‘n avel bet kaset … la la …
Gant’ n avel bet kaset betek y Douar Nevez (bis)

Betek an Douar Nevez, embarr!
Betek an Douar Nevez (bis)

E-kichen mein ar veilh … la la la …
E-kichen mein ar veilh o deus mouilhet o eorioù (bis)

O deus mouilhet o eorioù
O deus mouilhet o eorioù (bis)

Hag e-barzh ar veilh-se … la la la …
Hag e-barzh ar veilh-se e oa ur servi (go)

E oa ur serve, hello!
E oa ur serve (bis)

Hag e c’hulenn ganin … la la la …
Hag e c’houlenn ganin pelec’h ‘n eus graet konesañs (bis)

Pelec’h ‘n had graet konesañs, embarrass!
Pelec’h ‘n had graet konesañs (bis)

E Naoned er marc’had … the la …
E Naoned marc’had hor boa choazet ur walenn (bis)

Hor boa choazet ur walenn, gen
Hor boa choazet walenn ur (bis) »

French translation: Trois marins

Three young sailors tra la la … Three young sailors going to travel

Going to travel, Going to travel

Driven by the wind tra la la … Driven by the wind to Newfoundland

To Newfoundland, to Newfoundland

Near the stones of the mill, tra la la … Near the stones of the mill they anchored

They anchored, they anchored

And in this mill, there is a maid … And in this mill there was a maid

There was a maid, there was a maid

And she asks me, let’s go … And she asks me where we got to know each other

Where we met, where we got to know each other

In Nantes at the market, tra la la … In Nantes at the market we had chosen a ring

We chose a ring, we chose a ring

Interpretations [ change | change the code ]

  • An older version, named An tri-ugent martolod (The Sixty Seamen) is enumerated by Polig Monjarret in his collection of biniou bras tunes and sung by his wife Zaïg on a record released by Mouez Breiz , accompanied by Gérard Pondaven at accordion.
  • The first group to reinterpret the song is An Namnediz ( Tugdual Kalvez , Gwenola, Henry Landreau, Luc Thénaud) on the album Sevel E Vouezh , the first Breton folk-song group in the early 1960s (guitars, bass, banjo, violin, flutes, jew’s harps, harmonica), and the first to use an electrified instrument 4 .
  • The legendary interpretation is that of Alan Stivell during his concert at the Olympia in 1972, recorded on the live album At Olympia and on a single released a few months before (with The King of the Fairies ).
  • Following Alan Stivell but with a different arrangement, the Tri Yann will record it on their first record, Tri Yann an Naoned ( “The Three Jeans of Nantes” ), released in late 1972.
  • In September 1993, Alan Stivell released the album Again where he took Tri Martolod in a more rock interpretation, accompanied by the singer of the Pogues Shane MacGowan and Laurent Voulzy in the chorus. The interpretation he offers during his visit to the Vieilles Charrues in Carhaix , surrounded by the Guichen brothers , is recorded and visible in his DVD Parcours ( Fox-Pathé ). In his DVD 40th Anniversary Olympia 2012 , the song is present before the final Breton anthem .
  • In 1994, the band Deep Forest took up the song, put in the techno fashion in its creation Dao Dezi .
  • In 1995, Yann-Fañch Kemener interprets the tune in an acoustic version, accompanied by the pianist Didier Squiban .
  • In 1998, rappers Celtic group Manau incorporate it into their song The Tribe of Dana , which became a hit in France 5 . This version is inspired by the arrangement and orchestration of Alan Stivell. The single sells for 1,700,000 copies and gets three nominations for Victoires de la musique 6 .
  • In 1999, it is played by the famous musicians of Brittany, Alan Stivell , Tri Yann , Gilles Servat , Dan Ar Braz and the Legacy of the Celts , during the show Bretagnes in Bercy which gives place to an audio and video recording.
  • In 2000, the Polish group Shannon  (pl) recorded it on his eponymous album.
  • In 2003, the song is performed by Quebec singer Claire Pelletier in her album En concert au St-Denis
  • In 2003, Breton- Belgian singer Gérard Jaffrès performed it on his album Viens dans ma maison .
  • In 2005 Ryczące Shannon  (pl) recorded her Polish version on her first album Ryczące Shannon Project and added bagpipes around the electric guitar.
  • In 2007, Quebec singer Claire Pelletier performed on her album En concert au St Denis .
  • In 2008, she is recorded in Russian on the single Tebya Jdala (Тебя Ждала, I was waiting for you) from the singer Nachalo Veka accompanied by the harpist Hellawes (Хелависа), including an instrumental version with folk-rock arrangements 7 .
  • The Swiss melodic folk metal / death metal band Eluveitie also inspired them to make the song Inis Mona included in their album Slania , released in 2008.
  • In 2008, the song hummed François Morel and Christophe Alévêque at the beginning of the film Fool Moon is Tri Martolod (source: generic ).
  • In 2008 the Breton rock band Daonet also integrated this title with a version with more rock arrangements and lyrics also adapted on his CD Rok a Raok .
  • In 2009, it is reproduced in Hungarian folk version by the group Arany Zoltán and in Russian version by the group Кукара4а freedom 8
  • In 2010, Nolwenn Leroy performed on his album Bretonne and during his 2011-2012 tour (recorded in concert in Brest with Alan Stivell) 9 , then during his next tour, recorded in Saint-Brieuc for his DVD.
  • In 2011, it is taken over by Les Marins d’Iroise on their eponymous CD with the title Tri Martelod Yaouank and by the German group Santiano on their eponymous CD with the title Tri Martelod with an introduction in German ( Drei Matrosen ) 10 .
  • In 2011, André Rieu recorded it with the Orchestra Johann Strauss on his album Dansez maintenant! 11 .
  • In 2011, the German medieval folk-metal band Dunkelschön performed the song during his tours and on his album Zauberwort .
  • In 2012, the Choirs of the Red Army perform the song for their visit to France 12 .
  • In 2013, he performed for the first time in Tahitian for the Tahiti Guitar Festival, with Tahitian company Tamariki Poerani and Breton duo Jean-Charles Guichen & Claire Mocquard 8 .
  • In 2013, Olli and the Bollywood Orchestra recorded it on the album Olli goes to Bollywood , sung for the first time in Hindi on Indian sounds , named Teen Aazaad Naavik .
  • In 2014, the Spanish folk group Faitissa recorded it on the album Terra aviatica and the Swiss Eluveitie are inspired by it again in the song Celtos from the album Origins .
  • In 2017 the new singer of Swiss group, Fabienne Erni, offers an interpretation that is similar to that of Nolwenn Leroy in the album Evocation II ( Ogmios ).

Notes and references


  1. ↑ Britons , No. 80, October-November 2012, “The hymn bis”: “But it was not an iconic title. I was proposing songs or songs that show something, especially that Brittany can be modern. My Tri Martolod was not great rock, which was a bit more the case for Suite Sudarmoricaine . This is perhaps what pleased the wider audience. “
  2. ↑ Polemic around a “sample” of “Tri Martolod” Stivell by Manau  [ archive ] , L’Humanité , August 15, 1998: “One of the things that shocked me the most is that they have taken this sound (of the harp of his father, deceased – Ed) which for me is sacred. It is as if it were the sound of a Stradivarius, but as far as there was only one Stradivarius (…). There is something like a profanation. In my “Tri Martolod” to me, there is the traditional theme, and there is my musical arrangement, plus my sounds, plus my interpretation. ” Alan Stivell


  1. ↑ Britons , No. 80, October-November 2012, “The hymn bis”
  2. ↑ Gavotte Lannilis  [ archive ] , the blog “Learn the dances of Brittany”
  3. ↑ Video Nolwenn Leroy  [ archive ] , unpublished Martolod Tri at the 2012 Grammy Music
  4. ↑ Nozbreizh  [ archive ] , extract the first version by Namnediz
  5. ↑ “The tribe of Dana”  [ archive ] , Le Monde , 20.08.2005, Martine Valo
  6. ↑ Anny Maurussane and Gerard Simon , Alan Stivell or the route of a harper hero , Culture and Celtia,, 272 p. ( ISBN  2-9526891-0-5 )
  7. ↑ Video Тебя Ждала by НАЧАЛО ВЕКА feat. Хелависа  [ archive ] – ( official website  [ archive ] )
  8. ↑ a and b Tahiti. “Tri Martolod” necklace version of flowers, what do you think? [ archive ] on, March 10, 2013
  9. ↑ Recording France 3 Nolwenn Leroy concert in Brest to St Partick  [ archive ]
  10. ↑ ” Santiano – Tri Martolod ”  [ archive ] , on ,
  11. ↑ “Dance now!” With André Rieu, the “King of the Waltz”  [ archive ] ,
  12. Alex Alexander, The general who makes sing “Tri Martolod” by the choirs of the Red Army  [ archive ] , Ouest-France , March 16, 2012