"Glitter and be gay,
That's the part I play.
Here am I in Paris, France,
Forced to bend my soul
To a sordid role,
Victimized by bitter, bitter circumstance.
Alas for me, had I remained
Beside my lady mother,
My virtue had remained unstained
Until my maiden hand was gained
By some Grand Duke or other.
Ah, 'twas not to be;
Brought me to this gilded cage.
Born to higher things,
Here I droop my wings,
Singing of a sorrow nothing can assuage.
And yet, of course, I rather like to revel,
I have no, strong objection to champagne,
My wardrobe is expensive as the devil,
Perhaps it is ignoble to complain . . .
Of being basely tearful!
I'll show my noble stuff
By being bright and cheerful!
Pearls and ruby rings . . .
Ah, how can worldly things
Take the place of honor lost?
Can they compensate
For my fallen state,
Purchased as they were at such an awful cost?
Bracelets . . . lavalieres . . .
Can they dry my tears?
Can they blind my eyes to shame?
Can the brightest brooch
Shield me from reproach?
Can the purest diamond purify my name?
And yet, of course, these trinkets are endearing,
I'm oh, so glad my sapphire is a star,
I rather like a twenty-carat earring,
If I'm not pure, at least my jewels are!
I'll take their diamond necklace
And show my noble stuff
By being gay and reckless!
Observe how bravely I conceal
The dreadful, dreadful shame I feel."
Text from the Operetta Candide (Aria: Glitter and be Gay)