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Chanson espagnole (1883) L42

Chanson espagnole

Nous venions de voir le taureau,
Trois garçons, trois fillettes.
Sur la pelouse il faisait beau,
Et nous dansions un boléro
Au son des castagnettes:
«Dites-moi, voisin,
Si j’ai bonne mine,
Et si ma basquine
Va bien, ce matin.
Vous me trouvez la taille fine? …
Les filles de Cadix aiment assez cela.»
Et nous dansions un boléro
Un soir, c’était dimanche.
Vers nous s’en vint un hidalgo
Cousu d’or, la plume au chapeau,
Et le poing sur la hanche:
«Si tu veux de moi,
Brune au doux sourire,
Tu n’as qu’à le dire,
Cet or est à toi.
—Passez votre chemin, beau sire …
Les filles de Cadix n’entendent pas cela.»

Spanish Song

We’d just left the bullfight,
three boys, three girls,
the sun shone on the grass
and we danced a bolero
to the sound of castanets.
‘Tell me, neighbour,
am I looking good,
and does my skirt
suit me, this morning?
Have I a slender waist? …
The girls of Cadiz are fond of that.’
And we were dancing a bolero,
one sunday evening.
A hidalgo came towards us,
glittering in gold, feather in cap,
and hand on hip:
‘If you want me,
dark beauty with the sweet smile,
you’ve only to say so,
and these riches are yours.’
‘Go on your way, fine sir …
The girls of Cadiz don’t take to that.’
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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(Achille) Claude Debussy was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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