Fordítások keresése

Juliette Gréco

Times gone by

In over-complex calculations
twenty years, thats a lot of happiness.
My 20 years ended up in the war
on the far side of the field of honour.
If I've known a rotten time, certainly,
it was indeed the time I was twenty!
Nevertheless I mourn its loss,
it's lost and gone so it was the good time.
 
The time gone by is always nice.
Once they've all died1,
we forgive everyone who has offended us,
the dead are all good guys.
 
In your little memory like a sieve2
Bécassine3, you still have the memory
of our wry-mouthed love affair,
love that was null and void,
halfpenny love that certainly didn't go
any further at all than the end of the bed.
Neverthless, we mourn its loss,
it's lost and gone it's grown more attractive.
 
The time gone by is always nice.
Once they've all died1,
we forgive everyone who has offended us,
the dead are all good guys.
 
I've put on my darkest outfit
and my funereal face
to send off a bundle of old bones
to the kingdom of the shades.
The world has certainly never produced
a nastier piece of work.
Nevertheless, we mourn her loss,
she has died, she's been embalmed.
 
The time gone by is always nice.
Once they've all died1,
we forgive everyone who has offended us,
the dead are all good guys.
 
  • literally: broken their pipes
  • 2. lit: hare's memory
  • 3. a character in an early 20th centuy comic strip, an often blundering female
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Six Soldiers

Three soldiers hidden
In the light grass
Three soldiers lying down
On a battlefield
Whilst all around
The silence stretches out
Dreaming about luck
Dreaming about love
The grass is soft
The sun is gentle
Our flag lies sleeping
Amongst the cornflowers
The bird is singing
Let's not frighten it
 
On the other side
Three soldiers likewise
Think of summer
Of all that they love
They're dreaming too
When moments of silence come
Dreaming about luck
Dreaming about life
The grass is soft
The sunlight in full bloom
The poppy is our colour
The air is calm
Let's not disturb it
 
The papers will cry out
To the people who wander
'All calm on the front
The assault is being prepared'
But the six soldiers
On their rustic bed
They'll say perhaps
As they cross their arms
'You, Gentlemen of the Headquarters
If your heart is in it
You can attack it hard
Us, we're staying put
We're too comfortable'
 
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I feel good

And I no longer love anyone
And nobody loves me anymore.
Nobody awaits me anywhere,
I await nothing but fate.
I feel good.
Outside, the night wraps itself
all around its North Star1.
In the distance, a crowd is cooing,
with more meanness than rudeness.
I feel good...
 
I dream up gardens
laden with grey roses.
I burn down a few churches,
I boil off a few perfumes.
I feel good...
I flip through my former lovers2,
mixing up their first names.
Funny thing, the family name of all these volcanoes
I extinguished is always Smith3.
I feel good...
 
I swim up the river of
that great bed that encloses me4.
A diamond tinkles merrily
deep inside my glass.
A tree is growing inside my heart,
I'm going to hang all the fusspots there,
and I will no longer be surnumerary5,
and I will feel good...
 
I recall insults
and old enemies, and it no longer
bothers me either way.
Would I be growing up?
That would be good.
I hear nothing but my heart of stone.
Tonight I won't party6
nor act the beauty7 nor the beast.
I don't even care bout my wrinkles.
I feel good
and I switch the light off.
I feel good.
I'm not being honest...
 
  • 1. probably a pun on 'polaire' also meaning 'fleece jacket', though the night wrapping itself 'around' a jacket does not work terribly well, in my opinion
  • 2. It's about male lovers, which tends to indicate the song was meant to be sung by a woman in the first place (LGBT concerns were still in a distant future when this was written).
  • 3. 'Dupont' is the emblematic common French family name, though the most widespread is actually 'Martin'
  • 4. Brel invents the verb 'vestibuler' from 'vestibule', which usually means 'entrance hall' but also 'vestibule' (a cavity inside the body) in medical terms. The image of the bed as a cavity enclosing the singer seems more likely to me, but that's debatable
  • 5. that's a word Brel has used a lot in this particular album. Might be the symbol of a dying man feeling already out of place among the living
  • 6. plays on two different meanings of 'faire': 'faire la fête'(party) and 'faire la belle ou la bête'(act the beauty or the beast), while reffering to the tale 'la belle et la bête' ('Beauty and the Beast)
  • 7. again 'la belle' is meant for a female singer
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.

I'm coming

From chrysanthemum to chrysanthemum,
our friendships are on their way out.
From chrysanthemum to chrysanthemum,
death puts1 our sweethearts to the gallows.
From chrysanthemum to chrysanthemum,
the other flowers do what they can.
From chrysanthemum to chrysanthemum,
men are crying, women are raining down.
 
I'm coming, I'm coming,
still I would have liked so much
to drag my weary bones once more
into sunlight, into summer,
until spring, until tomorrow.
I'm coming, I'm coming
still I would have liked so much
to see once more if the river
is still a river and the port
is still a port, and see me there once more.
I'm coming, I'm coming,
but why me, why now,
why was that about, and where to go?
 
I'm coming, of course, I'm coming,
did I ever do anything else?
 
From chrysanthemum to chrysanthemum,
each time more lonely.
From chrysanthemum to chrysanthemum,
each time supernumerary2
I'm coming, I'm coming,
still I would have liked so much
to catch a love once more
like you catch a train to stop being lonely,
to be some place else, to feel good.
I'm coming, I'm coming,
still I would have liked so much
fill onece more with stars
a body that trembles, and drop dead,
consumed by love, my heart in ashes.
I'm coming, I'm coming,
you're not even early,
I'm the one being late.
I'm coming, of course, I'm coming,
did I ever do anything else?
 
  • 1. though 'potence' means 'gallows', there is no such verb as 'potencer' (that would be 'pendre' (hang) in standard French)
  • 2. the word is rather unusual in French too
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.
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The day

The day leaves the sky
But you said my days
The sea falls asleep on the sand
Your heart falls asleep on my heart
 
Tomorrow the dawn charms
Even rage in your pale eyes
Your hand resting on my neck
Will arise the sun
 
Tonight pays his long melancholy
Where the noise rises, there we make the night fly
Ah! I have only you and you have only me
And you will lose us when you forget it
 
There ! Doing without you or shadows without joy
Neither the hard sun will teach me
I love you that I die of sweetness
When you kissed me
But that I would die for real
If your love ever left me
 
The day leaves the sky
But you said my days
The sea falls asleep on the sand
Your heart falls asleep on my heart
 
•Translation done by Stavroula Chaloulakou

->Every comment concerning the improvement of my translations is always accepted.
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The Ant

An ant of eighteen metres
With a hat on his head
That doesn’t exist, that doesn’t exist
 
An ant trailing a chariot*
Full of penguins and ducks
That doesn’t exist, that doesn’t exist
 
An an speaking French
Speaking Latin and Javanese
That doesn’t exist, that doesn’t exist
 
And why, why not?
 

It felt good (the lonely ball)

Versions: #2
It was just after the war
in a little ball that had seen better days,
on a miserable dance floor.
There were these two who danced
under the sky among rubble,
in this little ball that was called...
that was called... that was called...
 
No, I can't recall the name of the lonely ball,
but I do remember these two lovers
who saw nothing around them.
Their gestures were so
care free and full of emotion
that it does not matter
how the ball was called.
No, I can't recall the name of the lonely ball,
but I remember they were happy,
lost in each other's eyes,
and it felt good. It felt good.
 
They drank from the same glass,
eyes still locked together.
They prayed for the same thing,
being happy for ever and ever.
They smiled among the rubble
in this little ball that was called...
that was called... that was called...
 
No, I can't recall the name of the lonely ball,
but I do remember these two lovers
who saw nothing around them.
Their gestures were so
care free and full of emotion
that it does not matter
how the ball was called.
No, I can't recall the name of the lonely ball,
but I remember they were happy,
lost in each other's eyes,
and it felt good. It felt good.
 
And then when the accordion
stopped playing, they went away.
Night was falling upon the dancefloor,
the rubble and my very life.
It looked all forlorn again,
this little ball that was called...
that was called... that was called...
 
No, I can't recall the name of the lonely ball,
but I remember these two lovers
who saw nothing around them.
The street was so alight
with these two,
so what does it matter
how the ball was called?
No, I can't recall the name of the lonely ball,
but I do remember we were happy,
lost in each other's eyes,
and it felt good. It felt good.
 
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.

Oldalak