Ah So Pure (Marta)

Writer(s): Friedrich Von Flotow
From a Medley in the movie “The Joker Is Wild”
From the CD Frank Sinatra In Hollywood (1940-1964) Disc 5, track 15

In the film “The Joker Is Wild,” the classic aria “Ah So Pure,” from the opera “Marta” composed by Friedrich Von Flotow, duly acknowledged in the liner, was featured in a parody of the song, “Naturally,” in ONE measly line: “Martha, Martha, where is Martha?” as a salute to Connie Boswell, a singer in the 1930s crippled by polio, and carving out a brilliant career in recording studios and night-clubs; and to his compatriot Enrico Caruso, the great Italian tenor whose favorite is this aria..

The following is the original aria from Marta, “M’appari tutt’amor” as sung by Enrico Caruso; and its English version, lyrics by Natalia MacFarren:

M’appari tutt’amor, il mio aguardo l’incontro;
Bella si che il mio cor, ansioso a lei volo,
Mi feri, m’invaghi quell’ angelica belta,
Sculta in cor dall’ amor cancellarsi non potra,
Il pensier di po ter palpitar con lei d’amor,
Puo sopir il martir che m’affanna e strazia il cor,
E strazia il cor;
M’appari tutt’amor, il mio aguardo l’incontro,
Bella si che il mio cor ansioso a lei volo;
Marta, Marta, tu sparisti, e il mio cor col tuo m’ardo!
Tu la pace, mi rapisti, di dolor io moriro,
Ah, di dolor morro, si, morro!

None so rare, none so fair, yet enraptured mortal heart;
Maiden dear, past compare, ah, ‘twas death from thee to part!
Ere I saw thy sweet face, on my heart there was no trace
Of that love from above that in sorrow I now prove,
But, alas, thou art gone, and in grief I mourn alone;
Life a shadow doth seem, and my, my a-fleeting dream a-fleeting dream!
None so rare, none so fair, yet enraptured mortal heart;
Maiden dear, past compare, ah ‘twas death from thee to part!
Martha, Martha! I conjure thee, leave me not to lone despair!
Let me grieve not, I implore thee, or return, my life to share,
Oh come, my life to share, ah, return!

The piece was inserted by Frank Sinatra primarily as a salute to Connie Boswell, who sang many a duet with Bing Crosby. The following is the famous classic piece sung by Connie Boswell, crippled by polio, the only singer acknowledged to have influenced and inspired Ella Fitzgerald, in a sensational release, recorded November 1937 with Bob Crosby and his Bobcats.

Writer(s): Friedrich Von Flotow, Connie Boswell

Ah so pure, ah so bright, merge her beauty on my sight,
Oh so mild, so divine, she beguiled this heart of mine.
Reap the vain-glorious strain, though the future seem to loom,
Still her clear, brilliant fear, new with light dispel the gloom,
Woe she fled, quickly said, all my joy in pleading gleams,
As I wake, hope forsake, robbing me of Godlike dreams,
Of God-like dreams, oh
Ah so pure, ah so bright, merge her beauty on my sight,
Oh so mild, so divine, she beguiled this heart of mine.
Marta, Marta, Marta, Marta, Marta, Marta, Marta, Marta.
Canst thou leave me, though forsaken,
Come and share the boon with me,
Share, share the boon with me, yea with me.
(musical interlude)
Woe she fled, quickly said, all my joy in pleading gleams,
As I wake, hope forsake, robbing me of Godlike dreams,
Of Godlike dreams, oh
Ah so pure, ah so bright, merge her beauty on my sight,
Oh so mild, so divine, she beguiled this heart of mine.
Marta, Marta, thou hast taken every bliss away with thee.
Canst thou leave me, though forsaken,
Come and share the boon with me,
Share, share the boon with me, yea, with me.

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