In Spain, where the courtly Castilian hidalgo
Twangs lightly each night his romantic guitar,
Where the castanets clink on the gay piazetta
And strains of fandangoes are heard from afar;
There lived, I am told, a bold hussy named Carmen
A pampered young vamp full of devil and guile.
Cigarette and cigar men were smitten with Carmen;
From near and from far men were caught with her smile.
Now one day it happened she got in a scrap, and
Proceeded to beat up a girl in the shop,
Till someone suggested they have her arrested
And though she protested they called in a cop.
In command of the guard was a shavetail named Jose
A valiant young don with a weakness for janes,
And so great was her beauty this bold second loot, he
Could not do his duty and put her in chains.
"I'm sorry, my dear, to appear to arrest you ---
At best you are hardly much more than a kid.
If I let you go, say, there'll be some expose.
But beat it," Said Jose, and beat it she did.
The scene now is changed to a strange sort of tavern
A hangout for gypsies, a rough sort of dive.
And Carmen, who CAN sing, is warbling and dancing
Awaiting her date, the late loot, to arrive.
In comes Escamillo, the toreadoro,
And sings his great solo 'mid plaudits and cheers.
And when he concludes, after three or four encores,
The gypsies depart and Don Jose appears.
These gypsy companions of Carmen are smugglers
The worst band of bandits and cut-throats in Spain,
And Jose, we know well's A.W.O.L. Says
He, "Since that's so, well, I guess I'll remain."
The gypsies depart to the heart of the mountains,
And with them goes Jose who's grouchy and sore.
For Carmen, the flirt, has deserted poor Jose,
And transferred her love to the toreador.
And as he sits sulking, he sees Escamillo.
A challenge is passed and they draw out their knives.
Till Jose, though lighter, disarms the bull fighter
And near kills the blighter when Carmen arrives.
Now comes Micaela, Don Jose's young sweetheart,
A nice looking blonde without much in her dome.
Says she, "Do you know, kid, you ma's kinda low, kid?"
Says Jose, "Let's go, kid," and follows her home.
At last we arrive at the day of the bullfight;
The grandstand is packed and the bleachers are full.
A picturesque scene, a square near the arena
The Plaza del Toro, or Place of the Bull.
Dark skinned senoritas with fans and mantillas
And haughty Castillians in festive array;
And dolled out to charm men, suspecting no harm,
Enters, last of all, Carmen to witness the fray.
But here's our friend Jose, who seizes her bridle. A
Wild homicidal glint gleams in his eye.
He's mad and disgusted and cries out, "You've busted
The heart that once trusted you. Wed me, or die!"
Though Carmen is frightened at how this scene might end,
I'm forced to admit she is game to the last.
She says to him, "Banish the notion and vanish!
Vamos! (which is Spanish for "run away fast."
A scream and a struggle! She reels and she staggers
For Don Jose's dagger's plunged deep in her breast.
No more will she flirt in her old way, that's certain.
So ring down the curtain, poor Carmen's at rest.
From Newman Levy's book- Opera Guyed
also see THAIS
NOTE: Sings jes' fine to El Paso