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La diva de l’empire (1904)

La diva de l’empire

Sous le grand chapeau Greenaway,
Mettant l'éclat d'un sourire,
D'un rire charmant et frais
De baby étonné qui soupire,
Little girl aux yeux veloutés,
C'est la Diva de l'Empire.
C'est la rein' dont s'éprennent
Les gentlemen
Et tous les dandys
De Piccadilly.
Dans un seul "yes" elle mettant de douceur
Que tous les snobs en gilet à coeur,
L'accueillant des hourras frénétiques,
Sur la scène lancent des gerbes de fleurs,
Sans remarquer le rire narquois
De son joli minois.
Elle danse presque automatiquement
Et soulève, oh très pudiquement,
Ses jolis dessous de fanfreluches,
De ses jambes montrant le frétillement.
C'est à la fois très très innocent
Et très très excitant.

The starlet of the Empire

Beneath her large Greenaway hat,
Putting on her dazzling smile,
The fresh and charming laugh
Of a wide-eyed sighing babe,
A little girl with velvet eyes -
She's the Diva of the Empire,
She's the queen they're smitten with,
The gentlemen
And all the dandies
Of Piccadilly.
She invests a single 'Yes' with such sweetness,
That all the fancy-waistcoated snobs
Welcoming her with frenzied cheers,
Hurl bouquets on the stage,
Without observing the wily smile
On her pretty face.
She dances almost mechanically
And lifts - Oh! so modestly -
Her pretty petticoat edged with flounces,
To reveal her wriggling legs.
It is very, very innocent
And very, very exciting too.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Éric Alfred Leslie Satie was a French composer and pianist. An influential artist in the Parisian avant-garde, Satie's work can be considered a precursor to later movements such as minimalism, repepitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd.

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