This title is taken from the compilation French Songs And Choruses For Mixed-Voice Choir (NOV165198)
These songs for unaccompanied chorus were written between December 1914 and February 1915, while Ravel was waiting to be enlisted in the army. The songs were published in 1916, but did not receive their first performance until October 1917 with a chorus assembled by Jane Bathori and her husband.
The songs mark a rare foray into choral writing for Ravel, the first since his ill-fated entries for the Prix de Rome (apart from the wordless choruses in Daphnis et Chloé). Part of the special interest of Trois chansons is that Ravel himself wrote the texts for them. The first and last of the poems have an ironic humour, and he clearly revelled in the use of language; the second makes repeated reference to going away to war, as its dedicatee Painlevé had already done, and as Ravel was then preoccupied with doing. The only other work in which Ravel set his own text to music was Noël des jouets (1905).