Those are mostly litteral translations (at the best of my means, mistakes happen) in order to convey the meaning of the songs. I'm not trying to recreate the poetry (I do believe some of it is still there however) or even respect the scansion (I do try to keep the order of the words when possible if only to keep the stress where it's laid).

Many of the following songs are written in verses which obviously is not the case anymore once translated.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Jean-Roger Caussimon - It's sunny

Original Title: "Il fait soleil"

From the song to the prayer
There is a long way and yet
Every morning of light
I find back the soul of a child
Which meditates and is filled with wonder

I am happy, it's sunny
And yet

In this newspaper that is being brought to me
I could read black on white
The news items, in dead letters
All that stream of tears and blood
Rolls like it was rolling the day before

I am happy, it's sunny
And yet

I am free, I drink, I eat
In prison, cries an innocent man
On the dried up bank of the Ganges
A child falls slowly asleep
Under the dry eye of the vulture that watches

I am happy, it's sunny
And yet

Our only country, it's the world
We forget there, from time to time
That here and there, the canon rumbles
But who wants to listen to it, hears it
You just have to lend an ear

I am happy, it's sunny
And yet

That it's casting off to the abyss
This time of misery and death
Where our joys, pays itself with shame
And that I sing without remorse
Simply, like does the bee

For everyone, it's sunny
It's sunny! It's sunny!
Sun! Sun, sun, sun, sun...

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monique Morelli - Mac Orlan - The girl of the woods

Original Title: "La fille des bois"
Text: Pierre Mac Orlan
Music: Léo Ferré
When I recollect my beautiful childhood
And the patters I heard
About the month of may and its hopes
I was the fledgling trapped in birdlime.
I was a child, it's unquestionable
But an ugly child like I do not know what.
By definition a guilty child,
Seeking after the adventure, in the evening at the corner of a wood.

At the corner of that wood was crying the little owl
She had the look of it but that bitch
Instead of moaning was making fun of me for being flat broke
And of my bare feet turned blue by the cold
One night I caught sight at the branches of an oak tree
Two or three hangmen by way of flags
Some rooks looked like ebony fruits
So I half-made the sign of the cross

It was the masterwork of a grand captain
Who was populating the country of his memories
I was way too young to feel my sorrow;
It didn't stop me from falling back asleep.
The rascals coming from a poor village
Were galloping at night for fear of the sardonic ones*
But I, I was probably waiting for a beautiful page
Dressed in scarlet colors, nice hair like a king

Nature is good for everything that moves;
Later a good-for-nothing took me by the hand.
Those at the corner of the wood were calling him Auneau the Red²;
He told me "Jump rascally wench, the bed is in the hay"
It has been the tender and libertine fair
Up to the cursed day where I saw him all straighten up
In the livid dawn when the guillotine
Was stretching its two arms out in front of the belfry

Then as an end if necessary to every thing,
As decrepit as a sheard owl
I came back to strike my pose again
At the edge of the wood of the good ol' time lost.
It's the time of the end for the old hussies.
I do not worth more than a bundle of dead wood
It's maybe the image of a life without wisdom
But about wasn't my strong point.

*vagabond soldiers
²Criminal of the end of the 18th century
Pauline Julien's version

Friday, September 30, 2016

Léo Ferré - The missing

Original Title: "Le Manque"
Your skirt is too short
I see drawings in it, I see years
The turmoil which is going to disfigure you
Your skirt is too short
I can not imagine anymore

You are walking too fast
I see camel in the end of the desert
Who are dieing of thirst it's summer it's winter
You are walking too fast
I can not imagine anymore

People are looking at you
I'd like to put them in the back of your throat
You'd vomit them back with jasmine
The one who is pointing his finger at you and makes me sick
People are looking at you
I can not imagine anymore

Your skirt is too short
You are walking too fast
People are looking at me
Are looking at me imagining you

There is something missing in this obscene town
And it's you I miss
And it's you I miss

Your skirt is too short
I'd gladly climb on top of the roofs there
New York this morning had nothing left but you
Your skirt is too long
And I imagine and imagine ponds

You swim too fast
I see perfumes I smell your tiredness
You swim too fast
I die of you I die of myself
And I can't do anything else but imagine

People are queueing up
For anyone For your sour smell
You'd give them your blackberries not ripe
You are walking too fast
Give you the hand hold me on your map
Look over there on the red sign

Forbidden to live
Cops are looking at us
There is something missing in Amsterdam tonight
And it's you my love
You who run in my veins

I lost you ...and I miss you...
I can not imagine you anymore...
You the the heroine...
Of my romance novel

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jacques Bertin - Last warning

Original Title: "Dernier avertissement"
I am writing you this letter on the side of a road toward Vierzon
I've run out of petrol and I have the time, the sea is vast
I write it's to bid you farewell, there is no point as I am leaving
My love, I am sitting the ass at the bottom of the water in my distress
Fishes are empty moments, we look at each other with a stupid look
The boat which was leaking from everywhere it was my soul
I was bailing as much as I could, you weren't seeing anything, I was holding on
You liked to burn your wings to the diseases of the butterflies
You have shouted too often "It hurts" or "I am drowning, help!"
I was holding on but I was tiring the heart belt, the transmission
You didn't pay attention enough, you took your ill for a male
You thought you could hammer, groan and jump on it with your feet together
You were thinking "It's steel under the fingers, some cabbage belly, some Briton's head'
The bulldozer broke a piston during an ascent of the pillow, it's dieing
The climbers roped together got lost on the north face of the dolorosa soul on the ground²
Men, I see nothing else int he ditches, belly bursted
Little twentieth century chicks, the clued up rats pass without seeing
No doubt they are going to beat their big basket of troubles at the washing-place.
Oh god! Alas! You'll cry much less once alone
You won't want to bug your fellow man now that you are your nearest neighbour
I, I'll regret the quick-temper in bed, the bitter-sweet halter
The little Bovary chest of drawers so cumbersome
And your inteligence like a liquier which was tightening around my neck.
Oh God! From now on you'll say "Me, I" alone for your mirror
And your mirror, it's certain, will accept you better than I
You will finally go to sleep alone, such peace in the ocean of the sheets
No one anymore, thank God, to talk very low to be a sexual object
I will be able to run out of gas on the roads, no one to moan
You will have no one to admire, no one to complain to
And I, I will go, cushy, with my empty can along the meadows.
² play on words to sound like Mater Dolorosa

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Léo Ferré - You'd put the universe

Original Title: "Tu mettrais l'univers"
Text: Charles Baudelaire

You'd put the whole universe in your alleyway
Impure woman! Boredom makes your soul cruel.
To exercise your teeth to this singular game,
You need every day one heart to your rack.
Your eyes, lit up like shops
And blazing yew trees in public feasts,
Blatantly use of a feigned power,
Without ever knowing the law of their beauty.

Blind and deaf machine, fertile in cruelties!
Salutary instrument, drinker of the blood of the world,
How aren't you ashamed and how haven't you,
In front of all mirrors, seen your charmes fade?
The greatness of that ill where you believe yourself skilful
never then has made you back away in terror,
When nature, tall in its hidden design,
Uses you, oh woman, oh queen of sins,
- Of you, vile animal, - to knead a genius?

Oh miry greatness! Magnificent ignominy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Monique Morelli - Ronsard - When I see you

Original Title: "Quand je vous vois"
Text: Pierre de Ronsard

When I see you, or when I think of you
Of a shiver all my heart quivers
My blood stirs and of a fertile thought
Another grows, so is the subject sweet to me.

I tremble all of nerves and knees
Like the was in the fire, I distil myself
My reason falls and my strength useless
Leaves me cold breathless and without pulse.

I look like the dead, who is tumbled down the grave
So gaunt am I, dreadful and pale
Seeing my senses turn into death

And somehow I take pleasure in my embers.
Of an alike ill one and the other feel comfortable
I to die and you to kill me.

All poems written by Ronsard

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Jacques Bertin - To Doctor L.

Original Title: "Au Docteur L"
Vehicule stopped on the side of the road
"Do you need help...comrade?"

I have seen you when I was passing by very fast.
Exhausted in the screaming morning which was coming
I have seen you and I didn't stop
I have seen too many tired men
Tired, exhausted, open mouth
Worn out by the road, impossible to hold on
when the day is coming

I have seen you in bars on the morning
When you have smoked your pack of cigarettes during the night
The alcohol ends up triggering the tide in you
The filter only sends in the circuit the words that really hurt

You are unfair with your life
But afterall it has blinkers on the eyes
Like an horse which drags itself forever
Without knowing what it drags
Toward the final paddock
Anyway its legs are already hurting

Some evenings, at a friend's house,
Drunken with tiredness and emptiness
Suddenly grabbed by the elation of the suicidal ones
You start yelling about being useful and pure
And to burn one's life in one's pipe
For default of another tobacco

Buddies pretend that those are drunken words
But they look at you with terror
Like you they see the truth about the state of the sick one
And the weird color of the sheets

The wife, one has chosen
Whom we do not love anymore
Whom we still love
On whom young people turn round in town
Without her believing in it
She listens and pushes back as much as she can
The door on that cold
Because for that business she is more advanced than you

She doesn't know if she still loves you
It does not matter
One has to put the machine back in one's old way
And start off again

Oh woman, Oh woman
Do not turn away from that man please
Let's go inside, Doctor
Let's go inside that house
Which will never be our house

Stop the car
I do not know where
But I hurt
Breathe the air coming from the native country

Vehicle stopped on the side of the road
Do you need help comrade
I have seen too many tired men
If I tell you: I am happy
Ah believe me
Would you have a grudge against me, Comrade
If I do not stop
I pass at top speed well protected by my young age
Doctor, hold the hand of that incomporable companion you have
Start the engine again, it'll be fine by driving quietly