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Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill

November 14, 2009

My first encounter with Kurt Weill’s music was this album, “Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill“. This is probably not a good start, since most tracks are not presented in the original form. Nevethelese, they are quite interesting adaptations.

Recently I got the CD of Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) with Lotte Lenya as Jenny. During my search for Lotte Lenya’s CDs, I got to know Ute Lemper’s performance through these two CDs, Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill Vol. I (1988) and Vol. II (1993).

Ute Lemper’s singing reminds me of Lotte Lenya’s, but her voice is more refined and bright, and can cover a wider range. You can compare their singings of Salomon-Song (Song of Solomon): Lenya vs Lemper.

This Youkali Tango by Weill is also well sung by Lemper. Lyrics and its translation are shown in the end.

Also this funny song, The Saga of Jenny.

And now compare with Julie Andrews’s take for the film “Star!”

According to johnm001, this singing was not recorded live, but recorded to coincide with the choreography. So, don’t be surprised that Julie could sing while her body was thrown in the air.ūüôā

[Update] You can download the clip of Ute Lemper’s performance of “The Saga of Jenny” here (public domain).

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Youkali Tango (Lyrics & translation)

Chorus (after each verse):
C’est presqu’au bout du monde (It was almost to the end of the world)
Ma barque vagabonde (That my wandering boat)
Errant au gr√© de l’onde (Straying at the will of the waves)
M’y conduisit un jour (Led me one day)
L’√ģle est toute petite (The isle is very small)
Mais la f√©e que l’habite (But the kind fairy that lives there)
Gentiment nous invite (Invites us)
A en faire le tour (To take a look around)

Youkali
C’est le pays de nos d√©sirs (Is the land of our desires)
Youkali
C’est le bonheur, c’est le plaisir (Is happiness, pleasure)
Youkali
C’est la terre o√Ļ l’on quitte tous les soucis (Is the land where we forget all our worries)
C’est, dans notre nuit, comme une √©claircie (It is in our night, like a bright rift)
L’√©toile qu’on suit (The star we follow)
C’est Youkali (It is Youkali)

Youkali
C’est le respect de tous les voeux √©chang√©s (Is the respect of all vows exchanged)
Youkali
C’est le pays des beaux amours partag√©s (Is the land of love returned)
C’est l’esp√©rance (It is the hope)
Qui est au coeur de tous les humains (That is in every human heart)
La délivrance (The deliverance)
Que nous attendons tous pour demain (We await for tomorrow)

Youkali
C’est le pays de nos d√©sirs (Is the land of our desires)
Youkali
C’est le bonheur, c’est le plaisir (Is happiness, pleasure)
Mais c’est un r√™ve, une folie (But it is a dream, a folly)
Il n’y a pas de Youkali (There is no Youkali)

Et la vie nous entra√ģne (And life carries us along)
Lassante, quotidienne (Tediously, day by day)
Mais la pauvre √Ęme humaine (But the poor human soul)
Cherchant partout l’oubli (Seeking forgetfulness everywhere)
A, pour quitter la terre (Has, in order to escape the world)
Se trouver le mystère (Managed to find the mystery)
O√Ļ r√™ves se terrent (In which our dreams burrow themselves)
En quelque Youkali (In some Youkali)

Youkali
C’est le pays de nos d√©sirs (Is the land of our desires)
Youkali
C’est le bonheur, c’est le plaisir (Is happiness, pleasure)
Youkali
C’est la terre o√Ļ l’on quitte tous les soucis (Is the land where we forget all our worries)
C’est, dans notre nuit, comme une √©claircie (It is in our night, like a bright rift)
L’√©toile qu’on suit (The star we follow)
C’est Youkali (It is Youkali)

Youkali
C’est le respect de tous les voeux √©chang√©s (Is the respect of all vows exchanged)
Youkali
C’est le pays des beaux amours partag√©s (Is the land of love returned)
C’est l’esp√©rance (It is the hope)
Qui est au coeur de tous les humains (That is in every human heart)
La délivrance (The deliverance)
Que nous attendons tous pour demain (We await for tomorrow)

Youkali
C’est le pays de nos d√©sirs (Is the land of our desires)
Youkali
C’est le bonheur, c’est le plaisir (Is happiness, pleasure)
Mais c’est un r√™ve, une folie (But it is a dream, a folly)
Il n’y a pas de Youkali (There is no Youkali)

Mais c’est un r√™ve, une folie (But it is a dream, a folly)
Il n’y a pas de Youkali (There is no Youkali)

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