Songs

Le clocher chante

by Samuel Barber From Mélodies passagères (1951) Op. 27

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Text & Translation

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Le clocher chante
French source: Rainer Maria Rilke

Mieux qu’une tour profane,
je me chauffe pour mûrir mon carillon.
Qu’il soit doux, qu’il soit bon
aux Valaisannes.

Chaque dimanche, ton par ton,
je leur jette ma manne;
qu’il soit bon, mon carillon,
aux Valaisannes.

Qu’il soit doux, qu’il soit bon;
samedi soir dans les channes
tombe en gouttes mon carillon
aux Valaisans des Valaisannes.

The bell tower sings
English translation © Richard Stokes

Better warmed than a secular tower
am I to ripen my carillon.
May it be sweet, may it be good
for the girls of the Valais.

Every Sunday, tone by tone,
I cast to them my manna;
may it be good, my carillon,
for the girls of the Valais.

May it be sweet, may it be good;
into their beers on Saturday nights
my carillon falls, drop by drop,
for the boys of the girls of the Valais.

Translation © Richard Stokes author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

Le clocher chante
French source: Rainer Maria Rilke

The bell tower sings
English source: Richard Stokes

Mieux qu’une tour profane,
Better warmed than a secular tower
je me chauffe pour mûrir mon carillon.
am I to ripen my carillon.
Qu’il soit doux, qu’il soit bon
May it be sweet, may it be good
aux Valaisannes.
for the girls of the Valais.

Chaque dimanche, ton par ton,
Every Sunday, tone by tone,
je leur jette ma manne;
I cast to them my manna;
qu’il soit bon, mon carillon,
may it be good, my carillon,
aux Valaisannes.
for the girls of the Valais.

Qu’il soit doux, qu’il soit bon;
May it be sweet, may it be good;
samedi soir dans les channes
into their beers on Saturday nights
tombe en gouttes mon carillon
my carillon falls, drop by drop,
aux Valaisans des Valaisannes.
for the boys of the girls of the Valais.

Composer

Poet

Rainer Maria Rilke

René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist. He is "widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets".He…

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