Libretto by Uzeyir Hajibeyli (based on the poem Leyli and Majnun by Muhammad Fuzuli)
Translation by Aida Huseynova and Isabelle Hunter
1. LOVE AND SEPARATION
My soul is on fire because we are apart
I want to join my beloved
My heart is heavy because I am alone
I want to see my beloved
I feel like a nightingale that cries in pain,
trapped in a cage
I want a flower garden.
My heart has been breaking since I was overcome by love
What kind of sorrow is this?
I do not have the strength to describe the sorrow in my heart
I cannot bear being apart from you
Seeing your face – as lovely as the sun – has made me weak
I cannot be still
My only wish is to perish in the world of love
I thank God that my wish is granted
I have no more desire
My true love knows my heart is breaking
He knows what sadness lives in my heart
There is no need for me to explain my grief
He knows every sliver of sorrow in my heart
Majnun: Yes, I know
Layla: Yes, he knows
Majnun: Yes, I know
Layla and Majnun:
Your movements tantalize me
Your smile – like a flower – makes me weep
Your sweet scent renders me motionless
Your tousled hair drives me mad
2. THE PARENTS’ DISAPPROVAL
You fell in love, desperately in love
And your love is mixed with sadness and grief
Father and Mother – my soul, my spirit
Father and Mother – my heart
How could I know that falling in love with Layla
would turn out this way?
What could I say, what could I do?
I cannot control this love
I’m powerless – I have no strength
I can only worship this one idol
until the very end of my life
Mother, Father - it’s not my fault that I went to school
I’ve never done anything to disobey you
I swear this was not my intention
I just wanted to be a carefree schoolgirl
Don’t say any more
Have mercy and stop tormenting me
Father, Mother, my love will drive me mad.
3. SORROW AND DESPAIR
Dear God, let me be at peace with my troubles
Let me feel the despair of my love
Have mercy on me in my grief
Let me feel even more despair for my love
Your eyes are closed, your heart is broken
Your mind tortured, and your legs are bound
You are burning from head to toe
And your heart smolders
I yearn to feel this sorrow as long as I live
I need this sorrow because this sorrow needs me
I will not surrender
I will not be called unfaithful
I am as faithful as you are
Maybe even more so
You are on fire only at night
While I am on fire night and day
Like Fuzuli, I am inspired. Please, God, let me be.
4. LAYLA’S UNWANTED WEDDING
Why are you in the garden with a stranger
Enjoying yourself, bestowing favors on him?
How could you break your word?
Did you forget about our vows? How cruel!
No, no, my soul mate, please listen to me
If this were up to me I would never want anyone but you
Fate has dealt me a cruel blow
I don’t know how this happened
What did I do to make you turn away from me?
How could you choose a stranger to share your grief and happiness?
Is this what you call love?
You are cruel! You broke our vows!
God, what torture! What agony!
I was burning with love for you. Now I know the torture of being apart.
So this is your loyalty, Layla?
Can someone who is unfaithful be loved?
5. THE LOVERS' DEMISE
The wheel of fate has not turned the way I wanted
It has not cured the pain of separation
My beloved gave me so much pain
My heart is filled with suffering that has no remedy
My beloved promised to love me forever,
But he forgot about his vows and about our love.
True love means sacrificing one’s life for his beloved
A soul that has not been given to a beloved is a wasted soul
Lovers want to be together
But separation brings them joy forever.