Chanson de Fortunio (A. Jacques / Musset)

Fortunio’s Song

For: Voice + guitar
page one of Chanson de Fortunio (A. Jacques / Musset)

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Year of composition
Alfred de Musset (1810-1857)
Easy (Grades 1-3)
3 minutes
License details
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Written in 1835 this poem has also been set to music by Camille Saint-Saëns and Francesco Paolo Tostii; the poem has also been the theme of a one-act operetta (Opéra Comique) by Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) with the title ’Chanson de Fortunio’ (first representation 1861)–the poem, set to music, is given at the end as the raison d’être for the whole opera. In this setting, here, Alain Jacques proposes the singer to end by whisttling away the song, like in a movie. Literal translation (AJ):

1. If you believe that I will tell Who I dare to love, I would not for a kingdom Give you her name.

2. We are going to sing all around, If you would, That I adore her and that she is fair Like the wheat.

3. I do whatever her fancy Wants to order me, And I could, if she needed my life, Give it to her.

4. From the pain that a unrecognized love Makes us suffer, I bear my soul torn To death.

5. But I love too much to tell Who I dare to love, And I want to die for my sweetie Without giving out her name.

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