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C'est un vieil orgu' de barbarie En acajou tout vermoulu, Il a subi tant d'avaries La tant moulu, tant remoulu, Qu'a chaque tour de manivelle On a le trac qu'il se détraque Au milieu de sa ritournelle. "Il commence à perdre sa mémoire" Se plaint l'aveugle à barbe noire, Et sur le coffre un singe rit A chaque note qu'il oublie. C'est un vieil orgu' de barbarie Qu'à tant moulu, tant remoulu, Qu'à tant moulu qu'il n'en peut plus.
- by Michel Veber (1896 - 1965), as Nino [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Manuel Rosenthal (1904 - 2003), "L'orgue de barbarie", 1934, from Chansons du Monsieur Bleu, no. 12. [ sung text verified 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The barrel organ", 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: 14
Word count: 79
There’s an old barrel organ Made of mahogany, totally rotted, It has suffered so much damage, Has ground so much, ground down so much, That at each turn of the handle One fears it may go off its track In the middle of its refrain. “It’s beginning to loose its memory,” Complains the blind man with the black beard, And on top of the organ box, a monkey laughs At each note [the organ] forgets. It’s an old barrel organ Which has ground so much, ground down so much, Which has ground so much that it just can’t go on.
- 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.
This text was added to the website: 2016-04-14
Line count: 14
Word count: 100