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Songs

Il pleure dans mon cœur (1885) L60


Part of a series or song cycle:

Ariettes oubliées (L60)


Il pleure dans mon cœur

Il pleure dans mon cœur
Comme il pleut sur la ville;
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui pénètre mon cœur?
Ô bruit doux de la pluie
Par terre et sur les toits!
Pour un cœur qui s’ennuie
Ô le bruit de la pluie!
Il pleure sans raison
Dans ce cœur qui s’écœure.
Quoi! nulle trahison? …
Ce deuil est sans raison.
C’est bien la pire peine
De ne savoir pourquoi
Sans amour et sans haine,
Mon cœur a tant de peine.

Tears fall in my heart

Tears fall in my heart
As rain falls on the town;
What is this torpor
Pervading my heart?
Ah, the soft sound of rain
On the ground and roofs!
For a listless heart,
Ah, the sound of the rain!
Tears fall without reason
In this disheartened heart.
What! Was there no treason? …
This grief’s without reason.
And the worst pain of all
Must be not to know why
Without love and without hate
My heart feels such pain.
Translation © Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Composer

(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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Poet

Paul-Marie Verlaine was a French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.
Born in Metz, Verlaine was educated at the Lycée Impérial Bonaparte (now the Lycée Condorcet) in Paris and then took up a post in the civil service. He began writing poetry at an early age, and was initially influenced by the Parnassien movement and its leader, Leconte de Lisle. Verlaine's first published poem was published in 1863 in La Revue du progrès, a publication founded by poet Louis-Xavier de Ricard. Verlaine was a frequenter of the salon of the Marquise de Ricard (Louis-Xavier de Ricard's mother) at 10 Boulevard des Batignolles and other social venues, where he rubbed shoulders with prominent artistic figures of the day: Anatole France, Emmanuel Chabrier, inventor-poet and humorist Charles Cros, the cynical anti-bourgeois idealist Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Théodore de Banville, François Coppée, Jose-Maria de Heredia, Leconte de Lisle, Catulle Mendes and others. Verlaine's first published collection, Poèmes saturniens (1866), though adversely commented upon by Sainte-Beuve, established him as a poet of promise and originality.

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