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Soldier’s Chorus

The story of Faust, Mephistopheles and Marguerite is an ancient story. Goethe wrote the German drama in 1773. In 1859 Gounod puplished the opera, effectively launching his operatic career. It’s a complicated story, but Faust got Margurite pregnant and then left her.  In the second scene in Act 3 a group of soldiers come home from battle, singing the Soldier’s Chorus outside Marguerite’s home, shortly before Faust return to her.

The text of the sone is originally in French, of course. We sing an English version.

Glory and love to the men of old
Their sons may copy their virtues bold
Courage in heart and a sword in hand
Both ready to fight and ready to die for Fatherland

Who needs bidding to dare by a trumpet blown?
Who lacks pity to spare when the field is won?
Who would fly from a foe if alone or lost?
And boast he was true, as coward might do when peril is past?

Glory and love to the men of old
Their sons may copy their virtues bold
Courage in heart and a sword in hand
All ready to fight for Fatherland

Now to home again we come, the long and fiery strife of battle over
Rest is pleasant after toil as hard as ours beneath a stranger sun
Many a maiden fair is waiting here to greet her truant soldier lover
And many a heart will fail and brow grow pale to hear the tale of cruel peril he has run

We are at home
Glory and love to the men of old
Their sons may copy their virtues bold
Courage in heart and a sword in hand
All ready to fight for Fatherland
All ready to fight, or ready to die for Fatherland

There are many recordings of the Chorus. Here’s one from the Treorchy Choir.

PLAY

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