by Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)
Translation © by Pierre Mathé

When thou commandest me to sing
Language: English  after the Bangla (Bengali) 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
When thou commandest me to sing 
it seems that my heart would break with pride; 
and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.

All that is harsh and dissonant in my life 
melts into one sweet harmony - 
and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird 
on its flight across the sea.

I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. 
I know that only as a singer 
I come before thy presence.

I touch by the edge of the far-spreading wing 
of my song thy feet 
which I could never aspire to reach.

Drunk with the joy of singing I forget myself 
and call thee friend who art my lord.

About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

Based on

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in Dutch (Nederlands), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG FRE GER ; composed by Aleidus Coenen, Albert De Klerk.
  • Also set in Dutch (Nederlands), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG FRE GER ; composed by Jan Pouwels.
  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG GER ; composed by Domingo Santa Cruz Wilson.
  • Also set in Italian (Italiano), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG FRE GER ; composed by Dino Menichetti.
  • Also set in Swedish (Svenska), a translation by Andrea Butenschön (1866 - 1948) , first published 1915 ENG FRE GER ; composed by Edvin Kallstenius.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist)
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Quand tu m'ordonnes de chanter", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-11-03
Line count: 15
Word count: 115

Quand tu m'ordonnes de chanter
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Quand tu m'ordonnes de chanter, 
il me semble que mon cœur va éclater de fierté,
et je regarde ta face et les larmes me montent aux yeux.

Tout ce qui dans ma vie est dur et dissonant 
se fond en une douce harmonie
et mon adoration étend ses ailes comme un oiseau heureux 
en vol au-dessus de la mer.

Je sais que tu prends plaisir à mon chant,
Je sais que c'est seulement comme chanteur 
que je suis apparu en ta présence.

C'est par l'extrémité de l'aile largement déployée 
de mon chant que je touche ton pied, 
que je n'aurais jamais aspiré à atteindre.

Enivré par la joie de chanter, 
je m'oublie et je t'appelle ami, toi qui es mon seigneur.

Authorship

  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2013 by Pierre Mathé, (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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This text was added to the website: 2013-12-01
Line count: 15
Word count: 121