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"Quando men vo" Lyrics and Text Translation

Musetta's Aria from Puccini's Opera, La Boheme


During the second act of Puccini's opera, La Boheme, Musetta attempts to attract the attention of her ex Marcello to make him jealous of her relationship with the wealthy (yet old) government administrator, Alcindoro. As she grows tired of her current lover, she sings the song "Quando me'n vo" (also known as "Musetta's Waltz"). During the aria, she complains of her tight shoe, so Alcindoro runs to the shoemaker to fix the problem. In the scene to follow, now that Alcindoro is out of the way, Marcello and Musetta end up in each others arms.

Italian Lyrics
Quando men vo soletta per la via,
La gente sosta e mira
E la bellezza mia tutta ricerca in me
Da capo a pie'...
Ed assaporo allor la bramosia
Sottil, che da gli occhi traspira
E dai palesi vezzi intender sa
Alle occulte beltà.
Così l'effluvio del desìo tutta m'aggira,
Felice mi fa!
E tu che sai, che memori e ti struggi
Da me tanto rifuggi?
So ben:
le angoscie tue non le vuoi dir,
Ma ti senti morir!

English Translation
When walking alone on the streets,
People stop and stare
And examine my beauty
From head to toe...
And then I savor the cravings
which from their eyes transpires
And from the obvious charms they perceive
The hidden beauties.
So the scent of desire is all around me,
It makes me happy!
And you who know, who remembers and yearns,
You shrink from me?
I know why this is:
You do not want to tell me of your anguish,
But you feel like dying!

More Aria Translation
"A un dottor della mia sorte" from Mozart's Barber of Seville
"In uomini, in soldati" from Mozart's Cosi fan tutte
"Catalog Aria" from Mozart's Don Giovanni

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