Songs

Ballade de la Reine morte

by Maurice Ravel

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Text & Translation

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Ballade de la Reine morte
French source: Walter de la Mare

En Bohême était une Reine,
Douce sœur du Roi de Thulé,
Belle entre toutes les Reines,
Reine par sa toute Beauté.

Le grand Trouvère de Bohême
Un soir triste d'automne roux
Lui murmura le vieux: je t'aime !
Âmes folles et cœurs si fous !

Et la Très Belle toute blanche
Le doux Poète tant aima
Que sur l'heure son âme blanche
Vers les étoiles s'exhala...

Les grosses cloches de Bohême
Et les clochettes de Thulé
Chantèrent l'hosana suprême
Pour la Reine morte d'aimer...

Ballad of the queen who died of love
English translation © Richard Stokes

In Bohemia there lived a Queen,
The King of Thule’s gentle sister,
There was never a queen more beautiful,
She reigned through beauty alone.

The great Troubadour of Bohemia,
One sad russet autumn evening,
Murmured: ‘I love you’, that old refrain!
Crazed souls and such crazed hearts!...

And the white-skinned beauty
Was so loved by the gentle poet,
That of a sudden her white soul
Gave up the ghost and fled to the stars…

The great bells of Bohemia
And the little bells of Thule
Sang the last Honsanna
Of the Queen who died of love.

Ballade de la Reine morte
French source: Walter de la Mare

Ballad of the queen who died of love
English source: Richard Stokes

En Bohême était une Reine,
In Bohemia there lived a Queen,
Douce sœur du Roi de Thulé,
The King of Thule’s gentle sister,
Belle entre toutes les Reines,
There was never a queen more beautiful,
Reine par sa toute Beauté.
She reigned through beauty alone.

Le grand Trouvère de Bohême
The great Troubadour of Bohemia,
Un soir triste d'automne roux
One sad russet autumn evening,
Lui murmura le vieux: je t'aime !
Murmured: ‘I love you’, that old refrain!
Âmes folles et cœurs si fous !
Crazed souls and such crazed hearts!...

Et la Très Belle toute blanche
And the white-skinned beauty
Le doux Poète tant aima
Was so loved by the gentle poet,
Que sur l'heure son âme blanche
That of a sudden her white soul
Vers les étoiles s'exhala...
Gave up the ghost and fled to the stars…

Les grosses cloches de Bohême
The great bells of Bohemia
Et les clochettes de Thulé
And the little bells of Thule
Chantèrent l'hosana suprême
Sang the last Honsanna
Pour la Reine morte d'aimer...
Of the Queen who died of love.

Composer

Maurice Ravel

Joseph Maurice Ravel was a French composer, pianist and conductor.  In the 1920s and 1930s he was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer. He was one of the first composers to acknowledge the potential of recording in making…

Performances

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