by Michel Veber (1896 - 1965), as Nino
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Le vieux chameau du zoo
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Le vieux chameau du zoo, tout bossu, tout bancal, 
Promène tristement sa tête horizontale... 
Il cherche vainement quelque fleur tropicale, 
Et rêve aux sables d'or de son pays natal!... 
Qui lui rendra jamais le paradis d'Allah! 
L'ombre des oliviers et le chant du fellah?... 
On lui a tout ravi; mais il garde en tout cas 
L'air de la flûte arabe au son des derboukas... 
Et comme un diamant noir de quatre vingt carats 
Son oeil reflète encor son lointain Sahara.


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The old camel", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 10
Word count: 80

The old camel
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The old camel of the zoo, all hunchbacked, all wobbly, 
Walks sadly with his head horizontal... 
He searches vainly for some tropical flower, 
And dreams of the golden sands of his homeland!... 
Who will ever give him back the paradise of Allah! 
The shade of the olive trees and the song of the peasant?... 
They have taken everything from him; but he still remembers 
The tune of the arab flute accompanied by the sound of the darbukas... 
And like an eighty carat black diamond 
His eye still reflects the distant Sahara.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2016-04-14
Line count: 10
Word count: 91