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Carmen est maigre, -- un trait de bistre Cerne son œil de gitana ; Ses cheveux sont d'un noir sinistre ; Sa peau, le diable la tanna. Les femmes disent qu'elle est laide, Mais tous les hommes en sont fous : Et l'archevêque de Tolède Chante la messe à ses genoux ; Car sur sa nuque d'ambre fauve Se tord un énorme chignon Qui, dénoué, fait dans l'alcôve Une mante à son corps mignon, Et, parmi sa pâleur, éclate Une bouche aux rires vainqueurs, Piment rouge, fleur écarlate, Qui prend sa pourpre au sang des cœurs. Ainsi faite, la moricaude Bat les plus altières beautés, Et de ses yeux la lueur chaude Rend la flamme aux satiétés ; Elle a, dans sa laideur piquante, Un grain de sel de cette mer D'où jaillit, nue et provocante, L'âcre Vénus du gouffre amer.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by Pierre-Jules-Théophile Gautier (1811 - 1872), "Carmen", appears in Émaux et Camées [author's text checked 1 time 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 Jean Clergue (1905 - 1971), "Carmen", 1928, published 1930 [ medium voice and piano ], Paris, Bruxelles: Lemoine [sung text not yet checked]
- by Auguste Charles Cœdès (1835 - 1884), "Carmen", published 1875 [ soprano and piano ], from Soirées d'automne, no. 4, Paris, A. Leduc [sung text not yet checked]
- by Marcelle Combes , "Carmen", published 1939 [ high voice and piano ], Paris, Eschig [sung text not yet checked]
- by Edgar Cosma (1925 - 2006), "Carmen", 1999 [ four-part mixed chorus, children's chorus, piano, percussion ], from cantata Belle la vie, no. 6 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Rolande Falcinelli (1920 - 2006), "Carmen", op. 5 no. 3 (1939) [ soprano and piano or orchestra ], from Trois mélodies, no. 3 [sung text not yet checked]
- by E. Lespinasse , "Carmen - Bolero", published 1881 [ baritone and piano ], Paris, A. Vicini [sung text not yet checked]
- by Aimée Strohl (1865 - 1941), "Carmen", 1899 [ low voice and piano or orchestra ] [sung text not yet checked]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (Peter Low) , copyright © 2022, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2013-04-02
Line count: 24
Word count: 135
Carmen is thin; there's a swarthiness around her gypsy eyes; her hair is a sinister black; her skin was tanned by the devil. The women say she is ugly. But the men are all crazy about her; and the archbishop of Toledo sings the mass at her feet, for on her neck, of a wild amber colour, a huge bun of hair is knotted which, when unwound in the alcove, makes a cloak for her whole cute body; and in her pale face there shines a mouth of victorious laughter, a red pepper, a scarlet flower, taking its crimson from the blood of hearts. With such a figure, this dusky woman outdoes the haughtiest beauties, and the hot glow of her eyes gives a flame to excesses. She has, in her piquant ugliness, a grain of the salt from that ocean, that bitter deep out of which arose Venus, naked and provocative.
About the headline (FAQ)
- Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2022 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.
- a text in French (Français) by Pierre-Jules-Théophile Gautier (1811 - 1872), "Carmen", appears in Émaux et Camées
This text was added to the website: 2022-05-02
Line count: 24
Word count: 152