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Juliette Gréco

The Obscure Waltz

They are not people to slow waltz
The good prowlers who slides in the night
They prefer to it the lively waltz
Supple, fast, where someone turns with no noise
Silent they take in their arms their lady love
Combining the overalls and the petticoat
light, light they go with them
In a cheerful whirl
 
It’s the moon fellows’
Obscure Waltz
the light bother
And who searches a dark corner
It’s the moon fellows’
Obscure Waltz
To each her own (1)
Dance it in the evening
 
They are not tender for their spouses
And when it’s needed, know to give them a hiding
Only one soupçon of their jealous soul
and the prowlers are ready to take revenge on
While they do to Berthe, to Léonore
a madrigal in verse at their manner
a brave agent, by his resounding talent
emphasize the song
It’s the moon fellows’
Obscure Waltz
the light bother
And who searches a dark corner
It’s the moon fellows’
Obscure Waltz
To each her own
Dance it in the evening
 
When the prowler, in the night, goes after
And by the throat grabs a passer-by (2)
The good friends, in other that any noise fade
Not far from him sing hugging each other
While he stoles a magnificent dwelling
or he emerges victorious from a fight
The good bourgeois fascinated by the music
Murmur all in unison
 
It’s the moon fellows’
Obscure Waltz
the light bother
And who searches a dark corner
It’s the moon fellows’
Obscure Waltz
To each her own
Dance it in the evening
 

If you figure...

If you figure,
if you figure,
little girl, little girl,
if you figure
that it will, it will
last forever,
the mating
the mating
 
the mating season,
you couldn't be
more wrong, girl.
Couldn't be more wrong.
 
If you think, kiddo,
if you think, ha ha
that your rosy complexion,
your slender waist,
your cute biceps,
your enamel nails,
your nymph's thigh
and your light foot,
 
if you think
that all this
will last forever,
you couldn't be
more wrong, girl.
Couldn't be more wrong.
 
They are soon gone,
the sunny party days.
Suns and planets
all go round in circles
 
as for you, lass,
you're walking straight
toward an unseen future:
 
they are already on the prowl,
the swift wrinkle,
the ponderous fat,
the tripled chin,
the flaccid muscle.
 
So come on, pick, pick
the roses, the roses,
the roses of life
the roses of life.
 
And may their petals
become the quiet sea
of all bliss
of all bliss
 
Come on, pick them all.
If you don't do it,
you couldn't be
more wrong, girl.
Couldn't be more wrong.
 
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And you believe it

A little taut silk is enough
A smile in the corner of the mouth that kills
And you believe it
 
All the rivers are in flood
All the winters have been conquered
Suffering has disappeared
 
And you believe it
 
It grips the mouth, it grips the nose,
The hands, the heart, and the mind’s ideas
And you are trapped
 
A little cream in the coffee
Like a smell which you have captured
 
And you believe it
And you believe it
 
It can wipe the nose with fingers
Tell you anything often
And you believe it
 
It’s not the devil, it’s not the Almighty
It gives, it takes, it makes you happy
When you believe it
 
It’s not the day, it’s not the night
It bites sometimes when it smiles
 
And you believe it
It’s love, you believe it.
 
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Elm Square

Back in '39, that year
people started to wage war.
As for me, I was too little, I couldn't understand
what war was.
 
I watched the flowers and the water in the river,
or I played hide-and-seek on Elm Square.
On Elm Square.
There were no more celebrations, no more sunday dances,
only a few elderly were left on Elm Square.
On Elm Square.
We listened to the in secret, behind
the shadow of our curtains
while .
And then, at last
the year '45 came.
 
Back in '45, that year
people were ending the war.
As for me, I had grown up, still I couldn't understand
why people wage wars.
 
I watched the flowers and the water in the river,
boys kissed me on Elm Square.
On Elm Square.
There were balls everywhere, lots of sunday dances.
Mariages were celebrated on Elm Square.
On Elm Square.
We basked in the sun, we got drunk on sunlight,
we drew the curtains
while Europe was sorted into several parts.
The war was over.
And, all the same, since then
 
Since then, all that while
people keep on waging wars.
As for me, I'm an adult now, and I still can't understand
why people wage wars
 
while there are flowers, birds, rivers
and children loving one another on Elm Square.
The weather is nice today.
It is today, but could it be that tomorrow on Earth
a paradise would die and elude us,
elude us forever and ever?
No more children in the sun, no more peace on Earth.
No more flowers, no more birds.
But that's couldn't happen, the weather is so nice
today, so nice
on Elm Square.
So nice...
 
This translation does not claim to be of any particular value.
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You can reuse it as you please.
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Love is gone

Love is gone
and life goes on
The summer rain
brings oblivion
and falls silently
as the quiet hours go by.
The rain of my heart
The rain of oblivion
 
I've learned the handsome face
of love is bound to die someday
and my torment,
frail and shuddering
like a bird
flew away into the night.
 
Love is gone and
the rain of my heart
the rain of oblivion
falls silently.
 
One glorious day I saw
the handsome face of love
being reborn. It came,
clad in green water and soft grass,
clearer than a morning,
and I was weeping.
The summer wind
the wind told me
this was happiness.
The wind of life
carries away silently
carries away the rain
the rain of my heart.
 
Love is gone and
the rain of my heart
the rain of oblivion
falls silently.
 
This translation does not claim to be of any particular value.
Glad if you liked it, sorry if you didn't.
You can reuse it as you please.
Glad if it's for knowledge or understanding, sorry if it's just for money or fame.

Tomorrow is another day

Tomorrow is another day
dawning on this naked earth.
Tomorrow is another day,
life goes on.
 
Even if your hand and mine
hold each other on the road
and our paths
suddenly split apart.
 
Dear oh dear, my love,
what good are speeches?
Dear oh dear, my love,
tomorrow is another day.
 
Should you love me or forget about me,
seasons defy us all the same.
Whether we're foes or buddies1,
tomorrow is another day.
 
Tomorrow is another day,
while the night rests
so that love blooms
and the rose whiters.
 
The sun will shine
on empty oceans,
and the rain will fall
on the arid cities.
 
Dear oh dear, my love,
what good are speeches?
Dear oh dear, my love,
tomorrow is another day.
 
Should you love me or forget about me,
seasons defy us all the same.
Whether we're foes or buddies,
tomorrow is another day.
 
  • 1. that sounds pretty odd in French. I suspect 'copains' instead of 'amis' is just there for the rhyme
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.

Lament

I'll never know happiness on Earth,
I'm far too much of a jerk.
Everything is painful and miserable
for a stupid jerk like me.
Any endeavour is bound to end up in tears,
for the jerks, that is.
Any pleasure fades, and then it's much worse,
at least for the jerks.
Anguish grasps and smothers me, I'm being
ever more of a jerk.
Don't know if I should laugh or cry,
as jerks do.
Sometimes it is blue, sometimes a soothy black,
the colour of jerks.
You'd like to sing, now here comes the rain
pouring down on jerks.
You'd like to dance, soil is nothing but mud,
the jerks are wading.
We are mud-eating idiots,
we are jerks.
Love loiters in an gyroplane
above the jerks,
who look up with a gentle smile,
the smile of jerks,
as they still await the nice love story,
delusional jerks,
for they are down to their bare nature,
the nature of jerks.
Roses, flowers, moonlight
are not for jerks.
The jerks believe in all this, but for peanuts1,
a food for jerks.
 
  • 1. lit. 'plums'
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.

Phone lament

When we leave one another and you call me,
I'm sad for a host of reasons.
It saddens me that your voice rings
in my ear while you're not there,
and also you speak too close to the receiver.
I know you love me, alright, but just don't be so loud!
You always call when I work or when I sleep.
I'd think you're picking your time.
 
Use your phone if you feel like it, but please,
if it's for blabbering, just don't call me!
You can write to me, reel off your life story,
but you know, thinking of me is quite enough.
I feel an pang of anguish when the phone rings.
It annoys me, thinking it'll be you again.
Seven phone calls within the hour,
that's way too much for a single person1!
 
We say stupid things when we speak.
We fight, we are out of our minds.
If you ask me, what really matters
in life are feelings.
Ears have their limits.
As for me, I love you when you're quiet!
A silence, a pounding heart,
a caress, you can't beat these.
 
Call me if you feel like it,
but don't try to talk nice to me.
I know you just don't want me to forget about you,
but sometimes I think it would actually be a relief.
When we leave one another and you call me,
my poor head buzzes with all your speeches.
I like it better when we see each other
and cuddle up to one another
and kiss, and you're quiet at last!
 
  • 1. that was written at a time when SnapChat was still lying in an inconcievable future, of course...
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.

Children who love each other

Children who love each other kiss each other up against the doors of the night
And passers-by point fingers at them
But children who love each other aren't there for anybody
And it's only their shadow that trembles in the night
Enraging the passers-by
Their rage, their contempt, their laughter and their envy
Children who love each other aren't there for anybody
 
They are somewhere else far beyond the night
Far higher than the day
In the dazzling clarity of their first love
They are somewhere else far beyond the night
Far higher than the day
In the dazzling clarity of their first love
 

Oldalak