“Va pensiero” Lyrics With an English Translation

Va, pensiero in Nabucco
Va, pensiero in Nabucco

There are many translations into English of the original Italian lyrics of the opera chorus «Va pensiero».

The Italian lyrics were written by Temistocle Solera (1815 – 1878).

Below is a translation done specifically for this website.

“Va pensiero” performed in the Herkulessaal der Münchener Residenz

Click to hear “Va pensiero” performed in the Herkulessaal der Münchener Residenz, by the K&K Philharmoniker and K&K Opernchor in April 2005 and conducted by Myron Yusypovych (Myron Jussipowitsch).

Is There an English Translation of the Italian Lyrics for Va, pensiero?

“Va pensiero” in Original Italian

Va', pensiero, sull'ali dorate;
Va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli,
ove olezzano tepide e molli
l'aure dolci del suolo natal!
Del Giordano le rive saluta,
di Sionne le torri atterrate…
Oh mia Patria sì bella e perduta!
O membranza sì cara e fatal!
Arpa d'or dei fatidici vati,
perché muta dal salice pendi?
Le memorie nel petto raccendi,
ci favella del tempo che fu!
O simile di Solima ai fati,
traggi un suono di crudo lamento;
o t'ispiri il Signore un concento
che ne infonda al patire virtù!

“Va pensiero” English Translation

Hasten thoughts on golden wings.
Hasten and rest on the densely wooded hills,
where warm and fragrant and soft
are the gentle breezes of our native land!
The banks of the Jordan we greet
and the towers of Zion.
O, my homeland, so beautiful and lost!
O memories, so dear and yet so deadly!
Golden harp of our prophets,
why do you hang silently on the willow?
Rekindle the memories of our hearts,
and speak of the times gone by!
Or, like the fateful Solomon,
draw a lament of raw sound;
or permit the Lord to inspire us
to endure our suffering!

What are the Key Ideas in the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves?

In the chorus, the people of Judah lament their lost freedom and exile into a foreign land.

The exiles yearn for their native land (“Oh mia Patria sì bella e perduta!” – O, my homeland, so beautiful and lost!).

The Hebrews long for the beauty of the land of their forefathers (“ove olezzano tepide e molli l'aure dolci” – where warm and fragrant and soft are the gentle breezes).

The slaves remember with nostalgia the history of their ancestors (“Le memorie nel petto raccendi, ci favella del tempo che fu!” – Rekindle the memories of our hearts, and speak of the times gone by!).

«Va pensiero» at Lviv Opera
«Va pensiero» at Lviv Opera

Yearning, longing and nostalgia are key themes in the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, as written by Temistocle Solera, for the opera Nabucco, composed by Giuseppe Verdi.


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