Toreador Song

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The Toreador Song, also known as the Toreador March,[1] is the popular name for the aria "Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre" ("I toast you"), from the French opera Carmen, composed by Georges Bizet to a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. It is sung by the bullfighter (French: toréador) Escamillo as he enters in act 2 and describes various situations in the bullring, the cheering of the crowds and the fame that comes with victory. The refrain, "Toréador, en garde", forms the middle part of the prelude to act 1 of Carmen.


{ \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" } \clef "bass" \key f \minor bes,_"Range" (f') }

The bass-baritone couplet has a vocal range from B2 to F4 and a tessitura from C3 to E4. Its time signature is common time (4/4), its key is F minor with the refrain in F major. The tempo indication is allegro molto moderato, quarter note=108.

The orchestra introduces the first melodic section, which is jaunty and flashy. Like Carmen's Habanera, it is built on a descending chromatic scale as Escamillo describes his experiences in the bullfighting ring. In the chorus praising the toreador, the music turns celebratory and confident in character.[2]

Frasquita, Mercédès, Carmen, Moralès, Zuniga and the chorus join for the repeat of the refrain.[3]


Matador on a Carmen poster, 1939

Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre,
Señors, señors car avec les soldats
oui, les toréros, peuvent s'entendre;
Pour plaisirs, pour plaisirs,
ils ont les combats!

Le cirque est plein, c'est jour de fête!
Le cirque est plein du haut en bas;
Les spectateurs, perdant la tête,
Les spectateurs s'interpellent
À grand fracas!

Apostrophes, cris et tapage
Poussés jusques à la fureur!
Car c'est la fête du courage!
C'est la fête des gens de cœur!
Allons! en garde!
Allons! allons! Ah!

(Refrain ×2)
Toréador, en garde! Toréador!
Et songe bien, oui,
songe en combattant
Qu'un œil noir te regarde,
Et que l'amour t'attend,
Toréador, l'amour, l'amour t'attend!

Tout d'un coup, on fait silence,
On fait silence... ah! que se passe-t-il?
Plus de cris, c'est l'instant!
Plus de cris, c'est l'instant!

Le taureau s'élance
en bondissant hors du toril!
Il s'élance! Il entre, il frappe!...
un cheval roule,
entraînant un picador,
"Ah! Bravo! Toro!" hurle la foule,
le taureau va... il vient...
il vient et frappe encore!

En secouant ses banderilles,
plein de fureur, il court!
Le cirque est plein de sang!
On se sauve... on franchit les grilles!
C'est ton tour maintenant!
Allons! en garde! allons! allons! Ah!

(Refrain ×2)
Toréador, en garde! Toréador!
Et songe en combattant
Qu'un œil noir te regarde,
Et que l'amour, t'attend!
Toréador, l'amour, l'amour t'attend!

(Refrain x2)

L'amour! L'amour! L'amour!
Toréador, Toréador, Toréador!

Your toast, I can requite it,
Señores, Señores, because with soldiers,
yes, toreros can reach an understanding,
Because for pleasure, for pleasure
they [both] fight!

The bullring is full, it is a festival day!
The bullring is full from top to bottom;
The crowd, losing its head,
the crowd cries out
in a great roar!

Calling out names, shouts, and noises
Rise to a frenzy,
For this is the celebration of courage!
It is the celebration of the brave at heart!
Let's go! On guard! Let's go!
Let's go! Let's go! Ah!

(Refrain ×2)
Toreador, on guard! Toreador!
And contemplate well, yes, contemplate
as you fight
that a dark eye is watching you,
and that love is waiting for you,
Toreador, love, love is waiting for you!

All at once, we are silent,
we are silent,... Oh, what is happening?
No more shouts, this is it!
No more shouts, this is it!

The bull is rushing
while jumping out of its fence!
He is rushing in! He's entering, hitting!
A horse is falling,
Dragging down a picador.
"Ah! Bravo! Toro!" the crowd is calling,
The bull goes on... he comes...
he comes, hitting once more!

While shaking his banderillas ,
full of rage, he runs!...
The ring is full of blood!
We flee... we pass the gates!
It's your turn now!
Let's go! On guard! Let's go! Let's go! Ah!

(Refrain ×2)
Toreador, on guard! Toreador!
And contemplate well, yes, contemplate
as you fight
that a dark eye is watching you,
and that love is waiting for you,
Toreador, love, love is waiting for you!

(Refrain ×2)

Love! Love! Love!
Toreador, Toreador, Toreador!


Stan' up and Fight[edit]

The English language version of the song, Stan' (or Stand) up and Fight, written by Oscar Hammerstein II for Carmen Jones, has long been associated with Munster Rugby,[4][5][6][7] and an adapted version, Geelong Cats: We Are Geelong, has been used by the Geelong Cats Australian Football League team.[8][9]

In other media[edit]

Usage and renditions of the Toreador Song have appeared in various forms of media, such as when the song was performed by Samuel Ramey on Sesame Street, who rewrote the lyrics to be about the letter L, or in an episode of Doctor Who.[10][11] The song is also heard in the 2014 video game Five Nights at Freddy's, where the song plays as the theme of the titular antagonist upon the player running out of power in-game; as such, the Toreador Song has occasionally been marketed as Freddy's theme.[12][13][14]

Since the middle of the 1990s the Toreador Song has been used in Formula 1 and the World Rally Championship during the champagne spraying on the podium.[15]

A piece of the Toreador Song's sheet music, with lyrics translated to English by Jerry Castillo, is owned by the Smithsonian Institution and kept in the National Museum of American History.[16]

The series Thermae Romae Novae features an adaptation of the Toreador Song. The adaptation was specifically created for the series to reflect the theme of bathhouses and their practices.[17]


  1. ^ Carmen Suite No. 1: Toreador March, 1 January 2009, retrieved 27 February 2023
  2. ^ "Guide: Carmen" (PDF). Metropolitan Opera.
  3. ^ Score, French text, English translation by Theodore Baker; William and Gayle Cook Music Library, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University Bloomington
  4. ^ Farrell, Sean (28 April 2020). "From Bizet to O'Brien: How Stand Up and Fight became a Munster anthem". The42.
  5. ^ "Anthony Foley remembered as a man of dignity in moving funeral in home town of Killaloe". Sky Sports. Press Association.
  6. ^ English, Alan (2018). Stand Up and Fight: 40th Anniversary Edition. Penguin Random House. ISBN 9781787290365.
  7. ^ English, Eoin (29 January 2021). "Cara O'Sullivan faced dementia with serenity, dignity and courage, mourners are told". Irish Examiner.
  8. ^ "Footy and Music unite for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's AFL Club Anthem Project". 26 June 2020.
  9. ^ "History behind every AFL club theme song". Herald Sun. 14 April 2020.
  10. ^ Vallejos, Tamara. "CARMEN in Pop Culture". Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  11. ^ "'Doctor Who': 10 Things You May Not Know About 'Asylum of the Daleks' | Anglophenia | BBC America". Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  12. ^ Will Usher (8 March 2015). "This Real-Life Five Nights At Freddy's Animatronic Will Invade Your Nightmares". CINEMABLEND. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  13. ^ Wamsley, Beth (30 August 2022). "Carmen in Pop Culture". Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  14. ^ "Five Nights at Freddy's review". pcgamer. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  15. ^ "How Bizet's Carmen came to be the soundtrack of Formula One racing". Classic FM. 29 July 2022. Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  16. ^ ""Toreador Song"". National Museum of American History. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  17. ^ "Thermae Romae Novae Anime Posts Title Sequence With Opening Song". Anime News Network. 25 June 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2023.

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