Pourquoi, pourquoi? (A. Jacques / Verlaine) - bilingual

Oh! why, Oh! why?

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Year of composition
Ashley Meliki Shoup
Paul Verlaine (1844-1896)
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
3 minutes
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

This poem by Paul Verlaine "Je ne sais pourquoi" (I don’t know why) is dated 1873. It is considered as a "tour de force" in rhythm as the flow of the words (in French) superbly models the flight of a seagull. This is reflected here in the melody by the interplay of bars in 2/4 and 3/4 forming patterns of 7/4 and 13/4. The attempted English translation has tried to keep up with this amazing piece of French poetry while fitting the music - an almost impossible task!

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