Trois Mélodies 90

sur des poèmes de Jules Laforgue, Paul-Jean Toulet, Francis Carco

Contrary to my custom, I decided to bring together in this cahier songs set to poems by three different writers. Their date of composition, which provides this (false) semblance of title, would certainly not have been sufficient reason for putting them together, any more than their brevity or economy of means, qualities that will be recognised in all the poems I have set to music. But today, with hindsight, I find a real kinship of climates and sentiments in them. Published together, not as a heterogeneous collection but as a veritable ‘suite’, they take on their full meaning.

Laforgue, the eternal Pierrot of French poetry, the inimitable imitator of ‘Notre-Dame la Lune’, drags his spleen through a Watteau landscape; if he sometimes questions, it can only be with ‘irony’, and etymology proves him right. Toulet, with precious, measured words, speaks of mourning, both for a friend and for his own youth; a few colour highlights only exacerbate the pain. Carco joins Verlaine and the host of poets in whose heart ‘it weeps as it rains on the town’…

Guy Sacre
(translation: John Tyler Tuttle)


  • Pierrot (Jules Laforgue)
  • In memoriam (Paul-Jean Toulet)
  • Berceuse (Francis Carco)