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The LiederNet Archive

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Les cigales

Language: French (Français)

 Le soleil est droit sur la sente,
 L'ombre bleuit sous les figuiers;
 Ces cris au loin multipliés,
 C'est midi, c'est midi qui chante.
 Sous l'astre qui conduit le chœur,
 Les chanteuses dissimulées
 Jettent leurs rauques ululées
 De quel infatigable cœur.

  Les cigales, ces bestioles,
  Ont plus d'âme que les violes;
  Les cigales, les cigalons,
  Chantent mieux que les violons! 

 S'en donnent-elles, les cigales,
 Sur les tas de poussière gris,
 Sous les oliviers rabougris
 Étoilés de fleurettes pâles.
 Et grises de chanter ainsi,
 Elles font leur musique folle;
 Et toujours leur chanson s'envole
 Des touffes du gazon roussi!


 Aux rustres épars dans le chaume,
 Le grand astre torrentiel,
 À larges flots, du haut du ciel,
 Verse le sommeil et son baume.
 Tout est mort, rien ne bruit plus
 Qu'elles, toujours, les forcenées,
 Entre les notes égrenées
 De quelque lointain angélus!

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English [singable] (Peter Low) , title 1: "The cicadas", copyright © 2002, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2016-03-27 10:04:13

Line count: 31
Word count: 143

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The cicadas

Language: English after the French (Français)

 As the sun climbs higher and higher,
 patches of shade keep shrinking
 and noise multiplies on every side:
 it is noon, summer noon is singing!
 Directed by the blazing star
 is a chorus, who have rehearsed their parts,
 broadcasting a raucous cantata
 with resolute and tireless hearts
 The cicadas, those tiny fellows,
 out-vibrato the loudest cellos.
 The cicadas' concerted din
 outperforms any violin!
 They overdo it, the cicadas;
 they indulgently wallow
 in among the old olive-trees
 and the flowers of the dusty hollow.
 Enchanted with their power to sing,
 they press on with their crazy musicking.
 Through the branches and browning grasses
 their unremitting song takes wing.
 And since for the work-weary peasants
 the abundant sun of summer
 in ample waves from high above
 pours the magic potion of slumber,
 all is still, to mark this special hour...
 except for these fanatics
 filling in the spaces between
 the chimes of the distant church tower!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.


  • Singable translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2002 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Louise-Rose Gérard (1866 - 1953), as Rosemonde Gérard, "Les cigales", written 1889, appears in Les pipeaux, in 1. Rustica, no. 43, Paris, Éd. Alphonse Lemerre, first published 1889
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Emmanuel Chabrier. Go to the text.


Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:29

Line count: 28
Word count: 155