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Bell Song Lyrics and English Translation

Lakme's Aria from Delibes' Opera, Lakme


The Bell Song from Delibes' opera, Lakme is just as famous and easily recognizable as another aria from the same opera - the Flower Duet. In the town square of a village in India, Lakme, as instructed by her father, tells the legend of a pariah's daughter who saved the son of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu. Lakme's father hopes the story will lure a trespasser out into the open, revealing himself.

French Lyrics
Ou va la jeune Indoue,
Filles des Parias,
Quand la lune se joue,
Dans le grand mimosas?
Elle court sur la mousse
Et ne se souvient pas
Que partout on repousse
L'enfant des parias;
Le long des lauriers roses,
Revant de douce choses, Ah!
Elle passe sans bruit
Et riant a la nuit.
Labas dans la foret plus sombre,
Quel est ce voyageur perdu?
Autour de lui
Des yeux brillent dans l'ombre,
Il marche encore au hasard, e perdu!
Les fauves rugissent de joie,
Ils vont se jeter sur leur proie,
Le jeune fille accourt
Et brave leur fureurs:
Elle a dans sa main la baguette
ou tinte la clochette des charmeurs!
L'etranger la regarde,
Elle reste eblouie.
Il est plus beau que les Rajahs!
Il rougira, s'il sait qu'il doit
La vie a la fille des Parias.
Mais lui, l'endormant dans un reve,
Jusque dans le ciel il l'enleve,
En lui disant: 'ta place et la!'
C'etait Vishnu, fils de Brahma!
Depuis ce jour au fond de bois,
Le voyageur entend parfois
Le bruit leger de la baguette
Ou tinte la clochette des charmeurs!

English Translation
Where will the young Indian girl,
daughter of the paraiahs,
go when the moon dances
In the large mimosas trees?
She runs on the moss
And does not remember
That she is pushed around
The child of outcasts;
Along the oleanders,
Dreaming of sweet things, Ah!
She goes without noise
And laughs a night.
There in the dark forest
Who is the lost traveler?
Around him
Eyes shining in the darkness,
He wonders randomly, aimless and lost!
The wild beasts roar of joy,
They will pounce on their prey,
The girl runs to him
And braves their fury
She has in her hand the baton
with tinkle bell charms!
The stranger looks at her,
and remains dazzled.
She is more beautiful than the Rajahs!
He will blush if he knows he must owe
his life to the daughter of the pariahs.
But they fall asleep and drift into a dream,
Up in the sky, they are transported,
The traveler tells her: 'your place is here!'
It was Vishnu, son of Brahma!
From that day on, in the depths of the dark forest,
a traveler may sometimes hear
the slight noise of the baton
with the tinkle bell charms!

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