Song Translations

Around the World in 80+ Notes

(from Il barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini)

La ran la le ra la ran la la.
Make way for the factotum of the city.
La ran la la, etc.
Rushing to his shop
for dawn is here.
La ran la la, etc.
What a merry life,
what gay pleasures
for a barber
of quality.
Ah, bravo Figaro,
bravo, bravissimo, bravo!
La ran la la, etc.
Most fortunate of men,
indeed you are!
La ran la la, etc.

Ready for everything
by night or by day,
always in bustle,
in constant motion.
A better lot
for a barber,
a nobler life
does not exist.
La la ran la la ran la, etc.

Razors and combs,
lancets and scissors,
at my command
everything’s ready.
Then there are “extras”
part of my trade,
business for ladies
and cavaliers …
La la ran la …la …la.
Ah, what a merry life,
what gay pleasures,
for a barber
of quality.

All call for me,
all want me,
ladies and children,
old men and maidens.
I need a wig,
I want a shave,
leeches to bleed me,
here, take this note.
All call for me,
all want me.
I need a wig,
I want a shave,
here, take this note.
Ho, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, etc.
Heavens! what a commotion!
Heavens! What a crowd!
One at a time,
for pity’s sake.

Ho, Figaro! – I am here!
Figaro here, Figaro there,
Figaro up. Figaro down.
Quicker and quicker
I go like greased lightning,
make way for the factotum of the city,

Ah, bravo, Figaro,
bravo, bravissimo,
On you good fortune
will always smile.
La la ran la, etc.
I am the factotum
of the city.

(from Manon Lescaut by Puccini)

In that delicate lace
In the gilded alcove there is a silence,
A chill that horrifies me!
And I, who became accustomed
to a seductive caress
of ardent lips and blazing arms,
now I have something very different!

O my humble dwelling,
You return to me
merry, alone, white,
like a gentle dream
of peace and love!


(song by Agustin Lara)

Granada, land of dreams for me

My song becomes gypsy-like

When it is for you.

My song made of fantasy

My song a melancholy flower

That I come to give to you.

Granada, blood-stained soil

In bull fight afternoons

Woman who preserves the enchantment

Of Moorish eyes.

I dream of you rebellious, a gypsy

Covered with flowers

And I kiss your scarlet mouth

Juicy apple

That speaks to me of love affairs

Granada, manola,* sung

In precious verses

I have nothing else to give you

Than a bouquet of roses

Of roses of sweet fragrance

That framed the dark virgin.

Granada your land is full

Of lovely women

Of blood and sun.


From The Snow Maiden by Rimsky-Korsakov

With my girlfriends, I go berry picking

To reply to their cheerful calling


To dance in circles and with the maidens, repeating after Lel, the chorus of spring songs,

Oh, Darling Lel

This is what your snow maiden wants

For without songs life holds no joy for her

Let me go, father!

When in Winter you return to the depths of the forest

At nightfall I shall comfort you by singing a song accompanied by the sounds of the snowstorm

I shall sing a joyful song!

I’ll choose one of Lel’s, and will learn it in no time!

Ah, Father!

With my girlfriends, I go berry picking

To reply to their cheerful calling


To dance in circles and with the maidens, repeat after Lel,

The chorus of spring songs,

Oh, Darling Lel

Without songs, life holds no joy for her, no joy!!!


(from Roméo et Juliette by Gounod)

Adorable angel,
My guilty hand
Profane, daring to touch him,
The divine hand
Which I imagine
No one has a right to approach!
That, I think,
That it is necessary to impose
I’m erasing
The unworthy trace
From my hand by a kiss!

Calm your fears!
To these hugs
Of the prostrate pilgrim
Even the saints
As long as he likes,
Have forgiven beforehand.
She withdraws her hand.
But at his mouth
The hand he touches
Prudently must refuse
This caress
Let him implore in a kiss!

The saints, however, have a mouth ruddy

To pray only!

Do not they hear the voice, who advises them
A more lenient stop?

At the prayers of love their heart remains insensitive,
Even by giving them!

So hear my vows and keep impassive
Your forehead blushing!
He kisses Juliet’s hand.

Ah! I could not defend myself!
I took sin for myself!

To calm your excitement!
Do you like to return it to me?

No! I took it! let me!

You took it, give it to me!


(from Un ballo in Maschera by Verdi)

It was you who sullied that soul,

the delight of my soul;

you who had my trust and at an abominable stroke

poisoned everything for me, poisoned for me!

Traitor! who in such a manner repay

the trust of your best friend, of your best friend.

Oh lost delights! Oh memories

of a coupling summoned by existence!

When Amelia, so beautiful, so fair,

shone with love on my breast!

when Amelia on my breast

glowed with love, yes glowed with love!

It’s ended, only hatred remains, only hatred remains,

hatred and death in the widowed heart!

Oh lost delights, of hopes of love, of love, of love!


(from L’elisir d’amore by Donizetti)

Take it. Because of me you are free.

Stay on your native soil.

There is not destiny for you so bitter

That will not change one day. Stay!

Here where everyone loves you

Wise, loving, honest

Always unhappy and miserable

No, you will not always be that way.


(from Susannah by Floyd)

Ain’t it a pretty night!
The sky’s so dark and velvet-like
And it’s all lit up with stars.
It’s like a great big mirror
Reflectin’ fireflies over a pond.
Look at all them stars, Little Bat.
The longer y’look the more y’see.
The sky seems so heavy with stars
That it might fall right down out of heaven.
And cover us all up in one big blanket of velvet
All stitched with diamon’s.

Ain’t it a pretty night!
Just think, all those stars can all peep down
An’ see way beyond where we can.
They can see way beyond them mountains
To Nashville and Asheville and Knoxville.
I wonder what it’s like out there,
Out there beyond them mountains
Where the folks talk nice, an’ the folks dress nice
Like y’see in the mail order catalogs.
I aim to leave this valley some day
An’ find out for myself:
To see all the tall buildin’s and all the street lights
An’ to be one o’them folks myself!

I wonder if I’d get lonesome fer the valley though;
Fer the sound of crickets an’ the smell of pine straw,
Fer soft little rabbits an’ bloomin’ things
An’ the mountains turnin’ gold in the fall.
But I could always come back I get homesick fer the valley.
So I’ll leave it someday an’ see fer myself.
Someday I’ll leave an’ then I’ll come back
When I’ve seen what’s beyond them mountains!

Ain’t it a pretty night!
The sky’s so heavy with stars tonight
That it could fall right down out of heaven
An’ cover us up, and cover us up
In one big blanket of velvet and diamon’s.


(from Otello by Verdi)

Now, by yond marble heaven!
By the jagged lightning-flash!
By Death, and by the dark
death-dealing ocean flood!
In fury and dire compulsion
shall thunder-bolts soon rain
from this hand that I raise outstretched!

Do not rise yet!
Witness, you sun that I gaze on,
which lights me and which animates
the broad earth and the spiritual expanse
of the whole universe,
that to Othello I do consecrate
ardently heart, hands and soul
even though on bloody business
his will be bent!

Now, by yond marble heaven!
By the jagged lightning-flash, etc.
God of vengeance!



(from Die zauberflöte by Mozart)



Are you really all mine now?

Now I really am all yours.

So now be my darling little wife!

So now be the little dove of my heart!

What a pleasure that will be,
when the gods remember us,
crown our love with children,
such dear little children!

First a little Papageno!

Then a little Papagena!

Then another Papageno!

Then another Papagena!

Papageno! Papagena!
It is the greatest feeling
that many, many
may be a blessing to their parents.

(from Die tote Stadt by Korngold)

Good fortune, remaining near to me,
Come to me, my true love.
Evening sinks into the grove
You are me light and day.
Timidly beats heart on heart
Hope rises toward heaven.

So true, a mournful song.
The song of true love
That must die.
I know this song.
I heard it oftentimes in younger,
in fairer days.
It still has one more verse.
Do I know it still?

Though grief becomes clouded,
Come to me, my true love.
Lean to me your pale face
Death will not part us.
If you must one day part from me,
Believe, there is rebirth.


(from Werther by Massenet)

Why do you awaken me,

O breath of Spring?

Why do you awaken me?

On my forehead I feel your caresses,
and yet very near is the time

Of storms and sorrows!

Why do you awaken me,

O breath of Spring?

Tomorrow, into the valley

Will come the traveler

Remembering my early glory

And his eyes in vain

Will look for my splendor.

They will find no more than grief

And misery. Alas!

Why do you awaken me,

O breath of Spring?


(from Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart)

To the zephyr …

“How sweet the breeze

The breeze …

“Will be this evening…

Will be this evening …

“In the pine grove.

In the pine grove?
In the pine grove.

The rest he’ll understand.

I’m sure he’ll understand.

(song by Yamata)

The seed, the seed of the Kiyama tree.

When the season is right 

The seed will fall.

Someone will pick it up.

Up the side of the mountain

An old woman has a stove. 

She stokes the fire hotter,

And it is bright. 

The Kaya seed is there, growing 

Tonight it will rain.

Let’s sleep. 

I hear a monkey call to the night.

Let’s go to bed early.

(song by Yamata)

The quiet night is untouched. 

I am standing in the quiet of autumn. 

I am lonely, I begin to cry.

(from Carmen by Bizet)

Your toast … I can return it to you
Señors, Señors, because with the soldiers
Yes bullfighters can hear each other,
For fun they have fights.
The circus is full, it’s a holiday,
The circus is full from top to bottom.
The spectators losing their heads,
The spectators are calling out loudly:
Apostrophes, shouting and noise
Pushed to fury.
Because it’s the day of courage,
It’s the party of the court people.
Let’s go on guard! Come on! Come on! Ah!
Toreador, on guard,
Toreador, toreador,
And think well, yes think fighting
A black eye is watching you
And that love is waiting for you.
Toreador, love,
Love is waiting for you!

All at once silence is made;
We are silent. Ah what’s going on?
No more screams; it’s the moment
The bull springs by leaping out of the toril …
He rushes, he enters, he knocks, a horse rolls
Driving a picador.
Ah bravo toro !, yells the crowd.
The bull goes … he comes … he comes and knocks!
By shaking his banderillas,
Full of fury, he runs!
The circus is full of blood;
We escape, we cross the gates;
It’s your turn now.
Let’s go on guard! Come on! Come on! Ah!
Toreador, on guard!
Toreador, toreador!
And think well, yes think fighting
A black eye is watching you
And that love is waiting for you.
Toreador, love is waiting for you!


(song by Anastasia Kamenskyh and Alexei Potapenko)

All wounds will heal

All the blood will dissipate

One day you will see me blossom And again

I will have clear skies and spring will come

Someday, when the war is over

Because I am Ukraine

I will endure the pain

I will protect you from bullets

That target me from everywhere

Because I’m strong

I will overcome everything

Because you carry me in your arms

You laid down your life

For an eternal slumber

One day you will be called Heroes

You are my sons

And the blooming viburnum that looks of blood red poppy

Homeland will remember, what it’s like to be Cossack

I believe

I am with you in our strength

Freedom in the heart like wings

And peace will return again

I know

I will overcome everything with you

Good and love always win

Our angels are protecting us

From the invasion and darkness of enemies

My wings will embrace you

My hands covered in the blood of strangers

They stabbed us in the back

Breaking in brazenly at night

But we became united for Ukraine

Crossing swords in battle

We will rebuild everything

All the birds will return from distant lands

Your eyes will smile at me

And children will laugh again

A strong nation, free, united

A Peaceful sky, a happy life

We are all yours

We are a family!

And so be it!

So be it!


(from Rigoletto by Verdi)

Fairest daughter of love,
I am a slave to your charms;
with but a single word you could
relieve my every pain.
Come, touch my breast and feel
how my heart is racing.

Ah! Ah! That really makes me laugh;
talk like that is cheap enough.
Believe me, I know exactly
what such play?acting is worth!
I, my fine sir, am quite accustomed
to foolish jokes like this.

Ah, these are the loving words
the scoundrel spoke once to me!
O wretched heart betrayed
do not break for sorrow.

Hush weeping can do no good…
You are now convinced he was lying.
Hush, and leave it up to me
to hasten our revenge.
It will be quick, it will be deadly,
I know how to deal with him.

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