In the French television series "Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie", Season 1, episode 3 "La Plume Empoisonnée" based on Agatha Christie's novel The moving finger, the character Emilie Dubreuil played by Françoise Bertin is poisoned. When she lies on her deathbed, her employee Angélique (played by Corinne Masiero), though a rather cantankerous woman, is deeply moved, since she has a real fondness for her employer. She sings a very beautiful, nostalgic, song. Its lasts just a few seconds, around 40 to 45 minutes after the beginning. But it has been haunting me since I saw that episode.

Can anyone recognise this song ? Thanks !

Uploaded sample:



Many thanks to the user who uploaded this sample. I really did not know ho to do it myself.


I don't think it is a French song. For some reason, I think it evokes to me spanish lyrics. The first line, before it starts to repeat, I feel it ends with

... la noche.

i.e., the night, in Spanish. The group "ch" sounded just like in English, "tch" in French, "tsch" in German.

But of course, it is just a very fleeting memory. It might well be completely wrong.

  • None of the videos seem available, so that would be easier with a timeline (for the DVD) or a sound maybe?
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Jun 11 at 15:10
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    @Paulie_D I can’t find anything in the meta suggesting song ID is not off topic. Most recent conversation was about whether it should be explicitly spelled out in the help that it is off topic. The result of that q&a was not that it’s on topic. The result was since all ID is off topic there’s no need to make it more complicated by specifically mentioning music. What is on topic is “why was this song used?” But “what song was used?” Is off topic. Commented Jun 11 at 17:24
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    @ToddWilcox Can you link to that topic? Also, topics don't require a meta thread to explicate they're not off-topic. A comment on the question linked by Alfred links to a meta discussion where the only existing answer points out "only questions that ask to identify movies and TV shows (and episodes) are considered off-topic". Banning ID questions was already badly received by the community, so I don't get why this is still being pushed against so hard (that's a more general remark, not pointed at you :).
    – Joachim
    Commented Jun 11 at 18:54
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    @Joachim I just went down a rabbit hole and got pretty confused. There are links to what I was able to find in my new meta question about this situation: movies.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5030/… Commented Jun 11 at 20:55
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    Alfred : upload and share. And, on a computer, more help. Hope this helps
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Jun 12 at 5:18

1 Answer 1


The song being hummed in the question is an Italian children's song, Ninna nanna a sette e venti. (If the YouTube link doesn't work for you, just google the title.)

The lyrics (which vary a little depending on the source):

Ninna nanna a sette e venti,
il bambino s'addormenti.
s'addormenta e fa un bel sonno
e si sveglia domani a giorno.
Nanna ieri, nanna ieri
e le sporte non son panieri
e i panieri non son le sporte
e la vita non è la morte
e la morte non è la vita
La canzone l'è già finita.

Basically a lullaby, it mentions falling asleep, the final lines (bolded) translating to,

and life is not death
and death is not life.

That the melody is haunting is an understatement. I've only heard it once before, in the 1986 movie, The Name of the Rose, in which the character Salvatori sings it as he is being put to death by burning at the stake. Since I didn't know Italian or Latin at the time, I didn't understand the words, but have hummed it countless times since then. So, thanks for the mystery solved.

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    Good catch! I have watched the "name of the rose" countless times, but didn't recognise the songs and match them, will have to watch it again :) you positive about that?
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Jun 15 at 14:25
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    @OldPadawan - Yes, absolutely. youtube.com/watch?v=jLz9qzvjAB0 Commented Jun 15 at 14:26
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    Wow, good answer! I stopped looking! Never thought it might be Italian! Commented Jun 15 at 16:45
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    @blobbymcblobby - Romance languages are much more alike than they are different. If you guessed any romance language, you weren't far off. I'm just thrilled to know the lyrics after all these years! Commented Jun 15 at 19:41
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    The Name of the Rose Yes! This is where I heard it first, and why I got this vague memory of the lyrics. Italian, not Spanish. But as romance language go, these two are closer (in sound at least) to each other than they are to French.
    – Alfred
    Commented Jun 15 at 21:22

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