Three Songs of 1916

Song Cycle by Alfred Erik Leslie Satie (1866 - 1925)

Word count: 198
Original language: Trois Mélodies de 1916
1. La statue de bronze [sung text checked 1 time]
La grenouille
Du jeu de tonneau
S'ennuie, le soir, sous la tonnelle...
Elle en a assez!
D'être la statue
Qui [hurle en silence]1 un grand mot: Le Mot!

Elle aimerait mieux être avec les autres
Qui font des bulles de musique
Avec le savon de la lune
Au bord du lavoir mordoré
Qu'on voit, là-bas, luire entre les branches...

On lui lance à coeur de journée
Une pâture de pistoles
Qui la traversent sans lui profiter

Et s'en vont sonner
Dans les cabinets
De son piédestal numéroté!

Et le soir, les insectes couchent
Dans sa bouche...

[ ... ]

Authorship

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

  • ENG English (Shawn Thuris) , "The bronze statue", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Satie: "va prononcer"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Dr Melissa Givens
by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876 - 1947)
1. The bronze statue
The frog
Of the barrel game
Grows weary at evening, beneath the arbor...
She has had enough!
Of being the statue
Who is about to [hurl into the silence]1 a great word: The Word!

She would love to be with the others
Who make music bubbles
With the soap of the moon
Beside the lustrous bronze tub
That one sees there, shining between the branches...

At midday one hurls at her
A feast of discs
That pass through without benefit to her

And will resound
In the chambers
Of her numbered pedestal!

And at night, the insects go to sleep
In her mouth...

[ ... ]

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Shawn Thuris, (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.
    Contact: 

Based on

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Satie: "pronounce"
2 A translation for the part of the poem not set by Satie has been provided by Melissa Givens:
But she is riveted to her column,
Open to love, open to the dentist's forceps,
Towards the moon that suffers, at the turn of the path,
An overdose of thermogenic cotton*...

In the distance a scatterbrain seeks something
  That he lost in the reeds
And awakens at the bottom of the pond
  The black beetle in its water tower ...

My sad childhood, on the lookout for diversions,
  At evening went to see you gaping,
  Ready to listen to you, at the edge of your tears,
Gobbler of cloudy skies, and of blame,
  Like me, poet, in my orchard ...
* Note (provided by Melissa Givens): A then new-fangled improvement on the mustard poultice, very much like the Salonpas and Tiger Balm heat patches we have now.


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 22
Word count: 106

Translation © by Shawn Thuris
2. Daphénéo [sung text checked 1 time]
Dis-moi, Daphénéo, quel est donc cet arbre
Dont les fruits sont des oiseaux qui pleurent?

Cet arbre, Chrysaline, est un oisetier.

Ah! Je croyais que les noisetiers
Donnaient des noisettes, Daphénéo.

Oui, Chrysaline, les noisetiers donnent des noisettes,
Mais les oisetiers donnent des oiseaux qui pleurent.

Ah!...

Authorship

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

  • ENG English (Shawn Thuris) , "Dapheneo", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Mimi Godebska (1899 - 1949), as M. God
2. Dapheneo
 Tell me, Dapheneo, what is that tree
 The fruit of which is weeping birds?
 
 That tree, Chrysaline, is a bird-tree.
 
 Ah!  I believe that trees
 Produce hazelnuts, Dapheneo.
 
 Yes, Chrysaline, trees give hazelnuts,
 But bird-trees give weeping birds.
 
 Ah!...

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Shawn Thuris, (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.
    Contact: 

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 40

Translation © by Shawn Thuris
3. Le chapelier [sung text checked 1 time]
Le chapelier s'étonne de constater
Que sa montre retarde de trois jours,
Bien qu'il ait eu soin de la graisser
Toujours avec du beurre de première qualité.
Mais il a laissé tomber des miettes
De pain dans les rouages,
Et il a beau plonger sa montre dans le thé,
Ça ne le fera pas avancer davantage.

Authorship

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

  • ENG English (Shawn Thuris) , "The hatmaker", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by René Chalupt (1885 - 1957)
3. The hatmaker
 The hatmaker is surprised to note
 That his watch is three days slow,
 Though he has taken care to grease it,
 Always with first-quality butter.
 But he allowed crumbs of bread
 To fall into its gears,
 And though he plunged his watch in tea,
 This will not advance it any further.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Shawn Thuris, (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.
    Contact: 

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 52

Translation © by Shawn Thuris