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Songs

Aimons-nous

by Camille Saint-Saëns

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Text & Translation

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Aimons-nous
French source: Théodore de Banville

Aimons-nous et dormons
Sans songer au reste du monde!
Ni le flot de la mer, ni l’ouragan des monts
Tant que nous nous aimons
Ne courbera ta tête blonde,
Car l’amour est plus fort
Que les dieux et la mort!

Le soleil s’éteindrait
Pour laisser ta blancheur plus pure,
Le vent qui jusqu’à terre incline la forêt,
En passant n’oserait
Jouer avec ta chevelure,
Tant que tu cacheras
Ta tête entre mes bras!

Et lorsque nos deux cœurs
S’en iront aux sphères heureuses
Où les célestes lys écloront sous nos pleurs,
Alors, comme deux fleurs,
Joignons nos lèvres amoureuses,
Et tâchons d’épuiser
La mort dans un baiser!

Let us love
English translation © Richard Stokes

Let us love and sleep
Without a care for the rest of the world!
Neither ocean waves not mountain storms,
While we still love each other,
Can bow your golden head,
For love is more powerful
Than gods and death!

The sun would extinguish its rays
To make your purity more pure,
The wind which inclines to earth the forest
Would not in passing dare
To frolic with your hair,
While you nestle
Your head in my arms.

And when our two hearts
Shall ascend to paradise,
Where celestial lilies shall open beneath our tears,
Then, like flowers,
Let us join our loving lips
And strive to exhaust
Death in a kiss!

Translations by Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

Aimons-nous
French source: Théodore de Banville

Let us love
English source: Richard Stokes

Aimons-nous et dormons
Let us love and sleep
Sans songer au reste du monde!
Without a care for the rest of the world!
Ni le flot de la mer, ni l’ouragan des monts
Neither ocean waves not mountain storms,
Tant que nous nous aimons
While we still love each other,
Ne courbera ta tête blonde,
Can bow your golden head,
Car l’amour est plus fort
For love is more powerful
Que les dieux et la mort!
Than gods and death!

Le soleil s’éteindrait
The sun would extinguish its rays
Pour laisser ta blancheur plus pure,
To make your purity more pure,
Le vent qui jusqu’à terre incline la forêt,
The wind which inclines to earth the forest
En passant n’oserait
Would not in passing dare
Jouer avec ta chevelure,
To frolic with your hair,
Tant que tu cacheras
While you nestle
Ta tête entre mes bras!
Your head in my arms.

Et lorsque nos deux cœurs
And when our two hearts
S’en iront aux sphères heureuses
Shall ascend to paradise,
Où les célestes lys écloront sous nos pleurs,
Where celestial lilies shall open beneath our tears,
Alors, comme deux fleurs,
Then, like flowers,
Joignons nos lèvres amoureuses,
Let us join our loving lips
Et tâchons d’épuiser
And strive to exhaust
La mort dans un baiser!
Death in a kiss!

Composer

Camille Saint-Saëns

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist of the Romantic era. A musical prodigy, he gave his first concert at only 10 years old, before studying at the Paris Conservatoire. Information from Wikipedia.…

Poet

Théodore de Banville

Théodore Faullain de Banville was a French poet and writer.

Performances

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