The Windmill Song

The Windmill Song (Maître Pierre) is a French popular song composed in 1948 by Henri Betti with the lyrics by Jacques Plante.[1] The English lyrics were written in 1951 by Mitchell Parish.

"The Windmill Song
(Maître Pierre)"
Single by The Andrews Sisters
A-side"The Three Bells"
ReleasedOctober 1951
RecordedNew York
LabelDecca Records 27858
Songwriter(s)Henri Betti (music), Jacques Plante (French lyrics), Mitchell Parish (English lyrics)


In 1948, Henri Betti met Jacques Plante at the SACEM who told him that he had the idea of writing a song referring to the strikes of the coal miners. Jacques Plante says to Henri Betti that the song must speak about a young employee who works in the countryside in a mill which is directed by a man whose name is Maître Pierre and who wants to stop working because he is tired. He stops his work and he goes to Paris to change job only once he arrives, he cannot find a job and he returns to the mill where he worked before. When he arrives at the mill and he sees the director again, he tells him : Il fait bon chez vous Maître Pierre.

The song was a great success and the Ministry of Culture asked that the song be learned in schools.

Cover versionsEdit

On November 16, 1948, Tohama recorded the song with Raymond Legrand and his Orchestra.

On December 10, 1948, Yves Montand recorded the song with an orchestra leads by Henri Betti who is the composer of the music. On the other side of the disk, he recorded another song composed by Henri Betti : Rien dans les mains, rien dans les poches (lyrics by André Hornez) but with an orchestra leads by Bob Castella.[2]

On January 5, 1949, Georges Guétary recorded the song with Marius Coste and his Orchestra. In 1974, he sang the song at the TV show Midi trente, in 1976 at the TV show Système deux with Jean Claudric and his Orchestra and in 1984 at the TV show Cadence trois with Jean-Claude Borelly and his Orchestra.

On January 21, 1949, Jacqueline François recorded the song with Guy Luypaerts and his Orchestra.

On January 28, 1949, Jean Patart recorded the song with Maurice Jeanjean and his Orchestra.

On February 14, 1949, Yvette Giraud recorded the song with Jacques-Henry Rys and his Orchestra.

On February 15, 1949, Louis Ferrari recorded the song with his Orchestra.

On March 28, 1949, Les Compagnons de la chanson recorded the song with Marc Herrand and his Orchestra.

On September 22, 1949, Jean Marco, Jo Charrier and Ginette Garcin recorded the song with Jacques Hélian and his Orchestra.

The same year, Lucille Dumont recorded the song with Allan McIver and his Orchestra.

In 1950, Henri Betti sang the song with Paul Durand and his Orchestra at the radio program Paris Montréal and on the piano at the radio program Gala de Bernay.

The same year, Linette Lemercier recorded the song with Marcel Cariven and his Orchestra. Les Quatre Barbus recorded the song with Daniel White and his Orchestra. Jula De Palma recorded the song with Bruno Quirinetta and his Orchestra. They recorded two other hits of Henri Betti : C'est si bon and Rien dans les mains, rien dans les poches (lyrics by André Hornez).

In 1957, Henri Betti, Andrex and Roger Lanzac sang the song with Georges Dervaux and his Orchestra at the TV show 36 Chansons hosted by Jean Nohain.

In 1961, Fernand Gignac recorded the song with Roger Pilon and his Orchestra. The same year, Paulette Rollin recorded the song for the album Paulette Rollin Chante pour les Enfants.

In 1963, Henri Leca recorded a medley of music with his Orchestra for the album Surprise-Partie Monstre where he also recorded a medley of three other musics composed by Henri Betti : La Polka des Barbus, C'est si bon and Mais qu'est-ce que j'ai ?.

In 1966, Les Trois Ménestrels sang the song with Raymond Lefèvre and his Orchestra at the TV show Le Palmarès des chansons hosted by Guy Lux.

In 1974, Marcel Amont sang the song at the TV show Toutankhamont.

In 1980, Jacqueline François and Jacques Martin sang the song with Robert Quibel and his Orchestra at the TV show Thé Dansant. In 1985, Charles Level sang the song in this TV show where he also sings the same year C'est si bon.

In 1995, Sophie Darel recorded the song in duet with Pierre Perret for the album C'était les Années Bleues where she recorded also C'est si bon in duet with Évelyne Leclercq.

In 2013, Jean-Jacques Debout recorded the song with the musical arrangements by Jacques Ferchit for the album Sous le Soleil des Guinguettes. The same year, he recorded another song composed by Henri Betti : La Chanson du Maçon (lyrics by Maurice Chevalier and Maurice Vandair) for the album Les Chansons des Guinguettes.


In 1951, Mitchell Parish wrote the English lyrics for the recording of the song by The Andrews Sisters with Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra on October 24, 1951. The title song became The Windmill Song.


In 1951, Jacques Pills sang the song with an orchestra leads by Henri Betti in Compositeurs et Chansons de Paris.

In 1953, the melody of the song is played by an orchestra in Soyez les bienvenus in which the melodies of C'est si bon, Mais qu'est-ce que j'ai ? and Rien dans les mains, rien dans les poches are also played. These four songs were composed by Henri Betti and sung by Yves Montand. The same year, the melody is also played in Le Portrait de son père.