Monday, 12 February 2018

HCA: 'Dandse, dandse, Dukken min' in English translation

Dance now, dance now, doll of mine

‘Yes, well this song is one for very young children!’ Auntie Malle assured them; ‘with the best will in the world, I’m unable to keep up!’
But little Amalie could; she was only three years old, played with dolls and brought them up to be just as wise as Auntie Malle.
A student used to come to the house help her brothers with their lessons; he spoke a great deal to little Amalie and her dolls, talked quite differently from all the rest; it was so amusing, the young girl found, though Auntie Malle said that he didn’t know how to converse with children; their little heads couldn’t possibly grasp all he said. Little Amalie could, and she even learnt a whole song by heart from the student: ‘Dance now, dance now, doll of mine!’’ and she sang it to her three dolls, two of them were new, one was a young lady, the other a young man, but the third doll was an old one called Lise. She also got to hear the song and was even mentioned in it:

Dance now, dance now, doll of mine!
Isn’t this young lady fine!
And her escort looks a treat,
With his hat and gloves so neat,
Trousers white and jacket blue,
Big-toe corn from tight-laced shoe.
He’s so fine, and she’s so fine.
Dance now, dance now, doll of mine!

And there’s Lise here as well!
Last year’s doll’s a grand old gell,
Hair quite new, it’s made of flax,
Forehead rubbed quite clean with wax;
She now looks quite young once more.
Come, old friend, and take the floor!
You shall dance, the three of you.
So we can enjoy the view.

Dance now, dance now, doll of mine!
Get your steps right, keep in line,
Point your toes and keep quite trim,
Then you’ll look both sweet and slim!
Curtsey, turn and round you spin,
It’s so healthy for the skin!
An entrancing sight to see.
Keep on dancing, all you three!

And the dolls understood the song, little Amalie understood it, the student understood it; he had composed it himself and said that it was quite excellent; only Auntie Malle didn’t understand it; she was well past the stage of childlike jollity – ‘mere frivolity’ she said. Not so Amalie, she sings it. She’s the one we’ve got it from.


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