Dance (and sing) Macabre –

If your darker side peeks through more oft than naught like mine does, you may find this interesting. While doing research with another author for period music (mid to late Victorian) I ran across this English translation of a poem which inspired the French composer, Camille Saint-Saens to write one of my favorite pieces of music, “Danse Macabre”:

Zig, zig, zig, Death in cadence,

Striking a tomb with his heel,

Death at midnight plays a dance-tune,

Zig, zig, zag, on his violin.

The winter wind blows, and the night is dark;

Moans are heard in the linden trees.

White skeletons pass through the gloom,

Running and leaping in their shrouds.

Zig, zig, zig, each one is frisking,

You can hear the cracking of the bones of the dancers.

A lustful couple sits on the moss

So as to taste long lost delights.

Zig zig, zig, Death continues

The unending scraping on his instrument.

A veil has fallen! The dancer is naked.

Her partner grasps her amorously.

The lady, it’s said, is a marchioness or baroness

And her green gallant, a poor cartwright.

Horror! Look how she gives herself to him,

Like the rustic was a baron.

Zig, zig, zig. What a saraband!

They all hold hands and dance in circles.

Zig, zig, zag. You can see in the crowd

The king dancing among the peasants.

But hist! All of a sudden, they leave the dance,

They push forward, they fly; the cock has crowed.

Oh what a beautiful night for the poor world!

Long live death and equality!


Ah, the seduction of the dark side –