– The operetta aria “Immer nur Lächeln” by Lehár; part two

Last week we gave you the original text of the moving aria of Prince Sou-Chong “Immer nur Lächeln” (“Patiently smiling”) from the operetta “Das Land des Lächelns” (“Land of smiles”) by Franz Lehár (1870-1948). I’d like to present you now an English translation I found, regrettably unaware of the translator. I do know though that the English writer Harry Graham (23 December 1874 – 30 October 1936) was one of the people known for their great translations of song lyrics and he did translate this aria as well … 

I enter the room, shivering with desire
That’s the sacred place, it’s there she’s breathing,
It’s there she’s living
She, my sunshine, my dream.

Oh you’re beating so violently, my trembling heart,
I taught you to be silent.
What does she know about me, about all my pain,
And the desire that consumes me!

However, when we Chinese feel our heart is breaking,
Who wants to know what’s going on? We don’t show it

Patiently smiling and always amused
Always satisfied for our own convenience
Smiling despite pain and thousands of torments
But how you inside feel is none of one’s concern

I can’t say it, I say it never.
Anyway, the path to Heaven is blocked?
I’m just a toy, a stranger to her,
just an exotic flirt!

She has bewitched me, she has intoxicated me
like hashish, like purple red wine,
it can’t be true that she’s mine.
Only in my dreams I’m allowed to be blissful!
She must not notice it, not feel it, oh no,
who cares at my pain!
Just I, all alone.

Patiently smiling and always amused.
Always satisfied for our own convenience.
Smiling despite pain and thousands of torments,
just never showing his real face.

Always satisfied for our own convenience.
Smiling despite pain and thousands of torments,
but how you inside feel is none of one’s concern.

You might be surprised to learn that Lisa and Sou-Chong confess their love for eachother and marry. In a later blog I will share more details about their lives in Peking …

Enjoy the week and we hope to meet you on 10 August at 20.00 hrs. in the Saint-Nicolas church in Durbuy!

Marijke Persijn

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