Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0027003, Wed, 18 May 2016 13:12:47 -0300

[NABOKV] More information on "On dit que l'on te marie..." (SF) -
Ay, Chiquita, lyrics and score

Lucette:‘You deceived me many, many times when I was a little girl. If
you’re doing it now tu sais que j’en vais mourir.’

Ada: ‘Je t’emplie ("prie" and "supplie"), stop, Van. Tu sais que j’en vais

Spring in Fialta: On dit que tu te maries, tu sais que j'en vais mourir /
and that melody, the pain, the offense, the link between hymen and death
evoked by the rhythm, and the voice itself of the dead singer, which
accompanied the recollection as the sole owner of the song

Jansy Mello: A more thorough search in the internet informed me that the
original song, the "sobbing ballad" in Spring in Fialta, was Spanish and
published as "Chansons Espagnoles del Maestro Yradier", under the titles
"Ay, Chiquita - Les Amonestaciones", in Paris by Henri Heydgel.

It was translated to the French by Paul Bernard and made famous after it was
sung "au Vaudeville" by Juliette Beau (I'm not sure of the date of its
public performance, it was probably in 1878). In the presentation a
feminine voice is heard and she is singing a young man's lamentation. In
Nabokov's novels, the lyrics are cited by Ada and by Lucette and addressed
to Van. In SF the lines are longer and clearly related to "Ay, Chiquita"
when they are recollected by Victor dealing with his repeated losses of

The musical score is in the public domain, but I decided to avoid sending my
pdf-link to all because the site was not considered a safe one. The
incomplete lyrics (below) were obtained from another address. I printed the
song and photographed two pages from the easily accessible material in the
internet to add to the present post.

Lyrics:1er Couplet

On dit que l'on te marie, Tu sais que j'en vais mourir,/ Ton amour c'est ma
folie ,Hélas ! je n'en puis guérir/. En passant devant, ma porte/ Si tu vois
prier le soir, /Dis-toi c'est ma pauvre morte, /La morte du désespoir.


Qui voudrait/qui voudrait encore,/ Qui voudrait m'aimer, ah ! dis-moi /
Aimer celle qui t'adore/ Et qui meurt, qui meurt pour toi.
Qui voudrait, qui voudrait encore, / Ay Chiquita, qui voudrait /Aimer celle
qui t'adore/Et qui meurt, qui meurt pour toi.

2me Couplet

Prends garde que dans l'église/ Quand viendront les fiancés/ Dans l'ombre
l'écho ne dise /Le pseaume des trépassés;/ Tandis que pour te complaire
/L'épouse te sourira./ Sous un voile funéraire,/ C'est moi qu'on.emportera.

Qui voudrait, etc.

3me Couplet

Adieu le passé se brise,/ Tu veux un nouvel amour /Mais ne crois pas qu'il
suffise/ Pour oublier d'un seul jour,/ Ton coeur ne saura que faire/ D'aimer
ou bien de gémir./ Je resterai ton calvaire/ Car tu m'auras fait mourir...

Qui voudrait, etc.

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