Monday, September 10, 2007

"C'est Mon Ami"

Although it is fairly well-known that Marie-Antoinette loved music (she studied under the famous Chevalier de Saint-Georges), many people are surprised to learn that she composed her own tunes. This is at odds with the typical image of the queen as being a thoughtless playgirl. (She also wrote poetry and spoke Italian. She was not an intellectual, but she was very bright, contrary to the myths.) She composed several songs, the most famous being "C'est mon ami" ("My Friend") with lyrics by Florian. In "Portrait Charmant," however, both words and lyrics were her own. Mayuko Karasawa sings several of the queen's songs. Share


Anonymous said...

How interesting. I did not know that. She seems to have been gifted in the arts. The Dauphin would probably have been an amazing King.

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, he was a child of great possibilities, which is why the revolutionaries had to ruin him.

Anonymous said...

I listened to the clips of "C'est mon ami" and "Portrait Charmant" - they are lovely, charming pieces. My French is too poor to translate them; could you?

It is a shame that France was deprived of her son. It must have broken so many hearts...especially in areas like the Vendee.

elena maria vidal said...

I'll try to come up with some translations soon!!

elena maria vidal said...

A friend found the lyrics and translation for me, as follows. Here are the lyrics of "C'est mon ami" by Jean Pierre Claris de Florian.

C'est mon ami

Ah s'il est dans votre village
Un berger sensible et charmant
Qu'on chérisse au premier moment
Qu'on aime ensuite davantage

C'est mon ami
Rendez-le moi
J'ai son amour
Il a ma foi

Si par sa voix douce et plaintive
Il charme l'écho de vos bois
Si les accents de son hautbois
Rendent la bergère pensive

C'est encore lui
J'ai son amour
Il a ma foi

Si même n'osant rien vous dire
Son seul regard sait attendrir
Si sans jamais faire rougir
Sa gaité fait toujours sourire

C'est encore lui
J'ai son amour
Il a ma foi

Si passant près de sa chaumière
Le pauvre en voyant son troupeau
Ose demander un agneau
Et qu'il obtienne encore la mère

Oh c'est bien lui
Rendez-le moi
J'ai son amour
Il a ma foi

(translation :

Ah, if there is in your village, a sensitive and charming shepherd, whom we cherish at the first moment, and whom we later love more, he is my friend, give him back to me, I have his love, he has my faith.

If with his sweet and plaintive voice, he charms your forests' echoes, if the accents of his oboe makes the shepherdess thinking, it's him again...

If even not daring to tell you anything, his look only can move you, if never making you blush, his cheerfulness makes you always smile, it's him again...

If passing by next to his cottage, the poor seeing his flock, dares to ask for a lamb,a nd that he obtains the mother also, Oh yes it's him...

elena maria vidal said...

Marie Antoinette completely composed "Portrait Charmant", music and lyrics. It is an example of the extremely florid and gushing language she used with her close friends and family. This is also typical of her era, and we cannot impose the same meanings to the words as they might have for us today.

"Portrait Charmant"

Portait charmant, portait de mon amie
Gage d'amour par l'amour obtenu
Ah viens m'offrir le bien que j'ai perdu
Te voir encore me rappelle à la vie.

Oui les voilà ses traits, ses traits que j'aime
Son doux regard, son maintien, sa candeur
Lorsque ma main te presse sur mon coeur
Je crois encore la presser elle-même

Non tu n'as pas pour moi les mêmes charmes
Muet témoin de nos tendres soupirs
En retraçant nos fugitifs plaisirs
Cruel portrait, tu fais couler mes larmes

Pardonne-moi mon injuste langage
Pardonne aux cris de ma vive douleur
Portait charmant, tu n'es pas le bonheur
Mais bien souvent tu m'en offres l'image

(translation :

Charming portrait, portait of my friend
Token of love, by love obtained
Ah come and give me back the good I have lost
To see you again brings me back to life

Yes here they are, her features, her features I love
Her sweet looks, her bearing, her ingenuousness
When I press you to my heart
I think I still embrace her herself.

No you don't have to me the same charms
Silent witness of our tender sighs
By recounting our fleeting pleasures
Cruel portrait, you make my tears fall.

Forgive me for my unfair language
Forgive the cries of my bitter woe
Charming portait, you are not happiness
But so often you give me the image of it.

Anonymous said...

Amazing! One can find everything on the Internet.

elena maria vidal said...

A Belgian friend translated them for me. I am going to be doing a post about Marie-Antoinette and her friendships.