The Mother's Heart  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Mother’s Heart is a song which first appeared in the West in the novel La Glu by Jean Richepin, where it was sung by one of its characters, Gillioury the old sailor, at the very end of the novel[1].

It is the story of a mistress who demands of her lover his mother's heart to feed to her dog. It is considered one of the most heart-wrenching tales of motherly love.

In France, the theme came to be known by its song title La chanson de Marie des Anges[2], it was a staple in the French cabarets of the late 19th century and has been interpreted by various performers including Eugènie Valladon, Mistinguett and Polaire.

Hungarian writer József Kiss used the theme for his poem "The Mother's Heart"[3] ("Az anyasziv", written between 1883 and 1889), first published in a collection of 1891.

The origin of the story is probably an old Arabian tale. It was updated in the 1920s by Iranian poet Iraj Mirza.

The Irish poet (Frederic) Herbert Trench (1865 - 1923) translated Richepin's poem into English, and it was published in "New Poems", 1907 and later in Robert Lynd's Anthology of Modern Poetry, 1939.

Trench's English version was adapted into Scottish and set to music by Hamish Henderson (1919 - 2002) and became a favourite in his performances.

Contents

French original version

The original lyrics of the song are:

Y avait une fois un pauvre gars
Et lonlon laire
Et lonlon la
Y avait une fois un pauvre gars
Qui aimait celle qui ne l'aimait pas.
Elle lui dit : Apporte-moi d'main,
Et lonlon laire
Et lonlon la
Elle lui dit : Apporte-moi d'main,
L' cœur de ta mère pour mon chien.
Va chez sa mère et la tue,
Et lonlon laire
Et lonlon la
Va chez sa mère et la tue,
Lui prit l' cœur et s'en courut
Comme il courait, il tomba
Et lonlon laire
Et lonlon la
Comme il courait, il tomba
Et par terre, le cœur roula.
Et pendant que le cœur roulait
Et lon, lon laire,
Et lon, lon la,
Et pendant que le cœur roulait,
Entendit le cœur qui parlait.
Et le cœur disait, en pleurant
Et lonlon laire
Et lonlon la
Et le cœur disait, en pleurant :
T'es-tu fait mal, mon enfant ?

English version

(Frederic) Herbert Trench's translation

A poor lad once and a lad so trim
Fol de rol de raly O!
Fol de rol!
A poor lad once and a lad so trim
Gave his love to her that loved not him.
And says she, "fetch me tonight you rogue"
Fol de rol de raly O!
Fol de rol!
And says she, "fetch me tonight you rogue"
Your mother's heart to feed my dog!
To his mother's house went that young man
Fol de rol de raly O!
Fol de rol!
To his mother's house went that young man
Killed her, and took the heart, and ran.
And as he was running, look you, he fell
Fol de rol de raly O!
Fol de rol!
And as he was running, look you, he fell
And the heart rolled to the ground as well.
And the lad, as the heart was was a-rolling, heard
Fol de rol de raly O!
Fol de rol!
And the lad, as the heart was was a-rolling, heard
That the heart was speaking, and this was the word
The heart was a weeping and crying so small
Fol de rol de raly O!
Fol de rol!
The heart was a weeping and crying so small
"Are you hurt my child, are you hurt at all?"


See also

Once upon a time a man lured an ignorant boy, with his money to get his desire ..
He said : "bring me your mother's heart boy, and you shall have jewels and dibs and pearls" ..
So he went and he thrust a dagger in her chest, got the heart out and went back from the way he came ..
But he was in such a rush that caused him to fall down, so the groveled heart trundled on the ground ..
At that point the mother's heart called for him : "My son! My beloved! Are you hurt?"
This voice despite its tenderness, was the heaven's torrential anger upon this boy ..
Than he retreated to the heart to wash it, with the water that his eyes poured out ..
Telling the heart : "O heart avenge me, and never forgive me that my crime was unforgivable" ..
Then he took his dagger to stick it in his own chest, and remain an example to those who can see ..
At that point the mother's heart called for him: "O Son stop! and don't strike my heart two times in a row ..

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Mother's Heart" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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