Meditation from Thaïs
Jules Massenet Lyrics

(Newman Levy)

One time in Alexandria, in wicked Alexandria
Where nights were wild with revelry and life was but a game,
There lived, so the report is, an adventuress and courtesan
The pride of Alexandria, and Thais was her name.
(Break: Naughty Lady of Shady Lane)

Nearby, in peace and piety, avoiding all society
There dwelt a band of holy men who'd made their refuge there,
And in the desert's solitude, they spurned all earthly folly to
Devote their lives to holy works, to fasting and to prayer.
(Break: Break, oh Mighty Fortress)

Now one monk whom I solely mention of this band of holy men
Was known as Athaneal, he was famous near and far.
At fasting bouts and prayer, with him, none other could compare
with him,
At plain and fancy praying he could do the course in par.
(Break: God of our Fathers)

One day while sleeping heavily, from wresting with the Devil he
Had gone to bed exhausted, though the sun was shining still
He had a vision Freudian, and though he was annoyed, he an-
Alyzed it in the well-known style of Doctors Jung and Brill.
(Break: Dr. Freud)

He dreamed of Alexandria, of wicked Alexandria.
A crowd of men was cheering in a manner rather rude.
And Athaneal glancing there at THAIS, who was dancing there
Observed her do the shimmy, in what artists call The Nude!
(Break: Samson and Delilah)

Said he,"This dream fantastical disturbs my thoughts monastical,
Some unsuppressed desire, I fear, has found my monkish cell.
I blushed up to the hat o' me to view that girl's anatomy
I'll go to Alexandria and save her soul from Hell!"
(Break: Onward Christian Soldiers)
So, pausing not to wonder where he'd put his winter underwear
He quickly packed his evening clothes, a toothbrush and a vest
To guard against exposure he threw in some woolen hosiery
And bidding all the boys Adieu, he started on his quest.
(Break: Happy Wanderer)

The monk, though warned and fortified was deeply shocked and
To find, on his arrival, wild debauchery in sway.
While some were in a stupor, sent by booze of more than two
The rest were all behaving in a most immoral way.
(Break: Passengers Will Please Refrain)

Said he to Thais, "Pardon me. Although this job is hard on me,
I've got to put you straight to what I came out hear to tell:
What's all this boozin' gettin' you? Cut out this pie-eyed
Let's hit the road together, kid, and save you soul from Hell!"
(Break: Onward Christian Soldiers)
Although this bold admonishment caused Thais some astonishment,
She quickly answered,"Say! You said a heaping mouthful, Bo!
This burg's a frost, I'm telling you. The brand of hooch they're
selling you
Ain't like the stuff you used to get, so let's pack up and go!"
(Break: Blowing in the Wind)

So off from Alexandria, from wicked Alexandria
Across the desert sands they go, beneath the burning sun.
Till Thais, parched and sweltering, finds refuge in the
Seclusion of a convent in the habit of a nun.
(Break: Dominique)

And now the monk is terrified to find his fears are verified
His holy vows of chastity have cracked beneath the strain!
Like one who has a jag on, he cries out in grief and agony
"I'd sell my soul to see her do the shimmy once again!"
(Break: Snake Dance)
Alas! His pleadings amorous, though passionate and clamorous
Have come too late. The courtesan has danced her final dance.
Said he,"Now that's a joke on me, for that there dame to croak on

I never should have passed her up the time I had a chance!"

NOTE: Breaks are instrumental breaks as performed by Nick
@ballad @religion @drink
filename[ THAISALX

Contributed by Keira R. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
To comment on specific lyrics, highlight them
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Comments from YouTube:

Ellen Munger

This beautiful piece was often played by my father who was a violin player, He played this at all three of our( daughters) weddings. I surprised my dad and played it for mom and dads 50th wedding anniversary on my flute. Now that dad is gone, when I do play it or just hear others playing it, I cry alot. It is sooo beautiful!

Alysson Silva

That's great. Thank you.

hanrolav H

Pardon my ignorance, but why do violinists have a sad expression when they play this piece.

gosmdochi !

It’s so beautiful story and I wish all your sisters and you live happy as your father wished.
I’m a big fan of Yuna Kim(김연아) and she used this song as her gala. You may google Yuna Kim thaisse sometime:-)

Luiz Munhoz

Dear Ellen, I am Luiz and live in São Paulo. I lost my mom and daddy a long time ago. I send you a Kiss to comfort you.


@zoo so she means her father played at her and her husband's daughter's weddings. The grandfather played at the wedding. Also, dont be rude online and get your head out of the gutter.

33 More Replies...


Que lindo! Da ópera Thaís de Massenet. Ah qto esta música foi tocada nos inúmeros encontros espirituais que participei, que trabalhei! Eu choro de saudade!

Donna Dobkin

This was performed at my brother's funeral last week by two fellow musicians. He too was a violinist and this piece was such an emotional tribute to the beauty of his life and his music. This performance is exquisite.

Charles Ong

Sorry to that So Sad News my friend.
Any way. Sound can make so SADNESS to all.
But pls. Understand me.
They are so relaxing on a way that those people we love have a PEACEFUL outer life.

Yosini Nurnovima


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