DurAnorak (duranorak) wrote,

La dame est, dit-on, marquise ou baronne*

Spending the morning cleaning while thinking about other things to take my mind off the cleaning has the hilarious side effect of me thinking in French all the time. It's welcome, though. I used to be able to speak it more or less fluently, and I've missed that and indeed having the opportunity to speak it at all. Edit : also it makes my English sound all stilted! Heh. Sorry, I don't mean to sound ridiculous. 'Two languages? In one brain? No-one can LIVE at that speed!' and so forth.

What with it being Halloween soon and all, and all this French running through my head, I am reminded that I wanted to remind you that Saint-Saens's 'Danse Macabre' was in part a setting to music of a poem by Henri Cazalis (writing as Jean Lahor), even though far more often now we hear the version for violin Jonathan Creek. Together, the poem and song are one of my favourite things.

Zig et zig et zig, la Mort en cadence
frappant une tombe avec son talon,
la Mort à minuit joue un air de danse,
zig et zig et zag, sur son violon.

Le vent d'hiver souffle, et la nuit est sombre;
des gémissements sortent des tilleuls;
les squelettes blancs vont à travers l'ombre,
courant et sautant sous leurs grands linceuls.

Zig et zig et zig, chacun se trémousse.
On entend claquer les os des danseurs;
Un couple lascif s'asseoit sur la mousse,
comme pour goûter d'anciennes douceurs.

Zig et zig et zag, la Mort continue
de racler sans fin son aigre instrument.
Un voile est tombé! La danseuse est nue,
son danseur la serre amoureusement.

La dame est, dit-on, marquise ou baronne,
et le vert galant un pauvre charron;
Horreur! et voilà qu'elle s'abandonne
comme si le rustre était un baron.

Zig et zig et zig, quelle sarabande!
Quels cercles de morts se donnant la main!
Zig et zig et zag, on voit dans la bande
le roi gambader auprès du vilain.

Mais psit! tout à coup on quitte la ronde,
on se pousse, on fuit, le coq a chanté.
Oh! la belle nuit pour le pauvre monde,
et vivent la mort et l'égalité!

Que je l'adore. Anyway.


*Or the bastard son of Cardinal Richelieu.

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