Le déserteur (Boris Vian)

Music by Boris Vian (1920-1959) with Harold Berg (1923-2007)
Full details...
page one of Le déserteur (Boris Vian)

Which method of viewing music should I use?

Score Exchange has two methods to display previews of music: seView which uses regular html and javascipt and the Scorch plug-in from Avid which needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. Both have advantages and disadvantages:


seView, is the most compatible option. You should be able to view music on all modern web browsers including most mobile devices. Even if your device does not support javascript you should still be able to preview at least page one of the music.

You do not need to install any additional software to use seView.


Scorch is a free plug-in from Avid for displaying and printing music. It can also play the music that you're seeing. As modern web browsers are updated, Scorch is no longer compatible with many browsers. Scorch has never been compatible with mobile devices and some web browsers on Mac computers.

If your web browser does not install Scorch automatically, you can click here to download and install scorch manually.

Static preview

The static preview shows a basic image of the first page.

Interactive preview

The interactive preview also shows a preview of the first page, but it's a bit slower to load. The preview is displayed using the Sibelius Cloud Publishing technology from Avid. With most scores, this technology will provide a higher quality preview, as well as being able to switch to full screen mode and also play the displayed music to you.

Printing after purchase

After you have purchased this item the Cloud Publishing technology is utilised to provide the printing mechanism for the music. As such, we recommend checking that the Interactive Preview displays correctly on your device before committing to a purchase.

Full details

According to Jim Rothschild "Harold helped mainly by putting Vian’s ideas down on sheet music, most importantly arranging it, and he made a few minor changes to Vian’s ideas. Harold Berg did not want any credit for the song because Boris Vian had the words and most of the melody complete in his own mind. But Boris insisted that Harold be listed as a co-writer since he not only arranged it, but had added a few melodic ideas." Sung for the first time by Mouloudgi in May 1954. Boris Vian (1920-1959), a French engineer by education, gifted with amazing talents, was at any one time a poet, a novelist, a musician, a jazz trumpeter, a singer, an actor; he also was a pacifist, an anti-power genius with extreme sensitivity ("une sensibilité à fleur de peau"). Translation:

Mister President I’m writing you a letter that perhaps you will read If you have the time.

I’ve just received my call-up papers to leave for the war Before Wednesday night.

Mister President I do not want to go I am not on earth to kill other people.

It’s not to upset you I must tell you my decision is taken I am going to desert.

Since I was born I have seen my father die I have seen my brothers leave and my children cry.

My mother has so suffered that she is in her grave and laughs at the bombs and laughs at the worms.

When I was a prisoner I was stolen my wife I was stolen my soul and all my dear past.

Early tomorrow morning I will close my door on dead years’ face I will take to the road.

I will beg my way along on the roads of France from Brittany to Provence and I will cry out to the people:

Refuse to obey refuse to do it don’t go to war refuse to go.

If blood must be given go and give your own you are a good apostle Mister President.

If you go after me warn your police officers that I’ll be unarmed and that they can shoot.

Score ID
Music by Boris Vian (1920-1959) with Harold Berg (1923-2007)
Year of composition
Boris Vian
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
3 minutes
Voice + keyboard
Instrumental parts

For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Cover art for Le déserteur (Boris Vian)

Reviews of Le déserteur (Boris Vian)

Sorry, there's no reviews of this score yet. Please .

You might also like...