Saturday, November 17, 2012

Jacques Bertin - Baudelaire - Invitation to travel


Sang by J. Bertin
Text: Charles Baudelaire

Keith Waldrop's translation (not mine)
Child, Sister, think how sweet to go out there and live together! To love at leisure, love and die in that land that resembles you! For me, damp suns in disturbed skies share mysterious charms with your treacherous eyes as they shine through tears.

There, there’s only order, beauty: abundant, calm, voluptuous.

Gleaming furniture, polished by years passing, would ornate our bedroom; rarest flowers, their odors vaguely mixed with amber; rich ceilings; deep mirrors; an Oriental splendor—everything there would address our souls, privately, in their sweet native tongue.

There, there’s only order, beauty: abundant, calm, voluptuous.

See on these canals those sleeping boats whose mood is vagabond; it’s to satisfy your every desires that they come from the world’s end. —Setting suns reclothe fields, the canals, the whole town, in hyacinth and gold; the world falling asleep in a warm light.

There, there’s only order, beauty: abundant, calm, voluptuous.
My translation:

My child, my sister, think about the sweetness of going out there and live together!
To love at leisure, to love and die in that land that resembles you!
The wet suns of those scrambled skies for my mind have the charms
So mysterious of your treacherous eyes shining through their tears.

There, everything is nothing else but order and beauty: luxury, calm and delight

Gleaming furniture, polished by the years, would ornate our bedroom;
the rarest flowers, mixing their odors with the vague scents of the amber
The rich ceilings; the deep mirrors; the Oriental splendor
everything there would speak to the soul, in secret, in their sweet native tongue.

There, everything is nothing else but order and beauty: luxury, calm and delight

See on these canals sleeping those boats whose mood is vagabond;
it’s to satisfy your every desires that they come from the world’s end.
—Setting suns embellish the fields, the canals, the whole town,
in hyacinth and gold; the world is falling asleep in a warm light.
There, everything is nothing else but order and beauty: luxury, calm and delight

Léo Ferré's version:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Barbara - The hurt of living


Original Title: "Le Mal de Vivre".
It doesn't warn when it arrives
It comes from far
It walked from shore to shore
The mug wedge-shaped
And then one morning, on waking
It's almost nothing
But it's there, it makes you sleepy
At the small of the back

The hurt of living
The hurt of living
That you have to live
Live what may

We can carry it accross our shoulder
Or like a jewel on the hand
Like a flower at the buttonhole
Or just at the tip of the breast
It's not necessarily misery
It's not Valmy, It's not Verdun
But it's tears at the eyelids
For the day that dies, the day that comes

The hurt of living
The hurt of living
That you have to live
Live what may

Whether you are from Rome or America
Whether you are from London or Peking
Whether you are from Egypt or Africa
Or from the Porte Saint-Martin
We all make the same prayer
We all go the same way
How long it's when you have to do it
with your hurt at the small of the back

As hard as they want to understand us
Those who came to us empty handed
We do not want to hear them anymore
We can't, we can't take it anymore
And all alone in the silence
Of a night that doesn't end anymore
Here we are suddenly thinking about
Those who never came back

From the hurt of living
Their hurt of living
They had to live
Live what may

And without warning, it arrives
It comes from far
It walks from shore to shore
The laugh on the corner
And then one morning, on waking up
It's almost nothing
But it's there, it amazes you
At the small of the back

The joy of living
The joy of living
Oh, come live it
Your joy of living

Friday, November 9, 2012

Jacques Brel - That lot there


Original Title: "Ces gens-là"

At first, at first
There is the eldest
He who is like a melon
He who has a big nose
He who doesn't remember his name, Mister
So much he drinks
or so much he has drunk
Who does nothing of his ten fingers
but he who is worn out
He who has had it
and thinks himself the king

Who gets drunk every night
With bad wine
but who you find back in the morning
In the church kipping
Stiff like a protrusion
White like an Easter's candle
And then who stammers
And who has the eye that strays

Have to tell you, Mister,
that in that family you don't think, Mister
you don't think
you pray

And then, there is the other one
Carrots in his hair
Who has never seen a comb
Who is as nasty as he comes
What's more he'd give his shirt
to poor happy people
Who married the Denise
A girl from the town
Well, from another town

And it's not over
Who makes his small businesses
With his small hat, 
with his small coat,
with his small car
Who would like to look much
But who doesn't look much at all
You should not play the rich
when you do not have a coin

Have to tell you, Mister,
that in that family you don't live, Mister
you don't live
you cheat

And then, there are the others
The mother who says nothing or nonsense
And from the evening to the morning
Under his nice apostle face
And in his wooden frame
There is the father's mustache
Who died from a "sliding"
And who looks at his herd
Eating the cold soup
And it makes big "slurps"
And it makes big "slurps"

And then, there is the so old one
Who never ends vibrating
And we wait for her to kick the bucket
As she is the one with the dough
And we don't even listen
what her poor hands tells

Have to tell you, Mister,
that in that family you don't talk, Mister
you don't talk
you count

And then, and then, and then
There is Frieda who is beautiful like a sun
And who loves me the same as I love Frieda
Even that we often tell eachothers
that we'll have an house
with plenty of windows
with almost no walls
and that we'll live in it
and it'll be pleasant to be there
And if it's not sure
It's still "maybe"
Because the others do not want
Because the others do not want

The others they say like that:
That she is too beautiful for me
That I'm barely good to cut cats throats
I've never killed cats
Or it's been a while
Or I've forgotten
Or they stank
Anyway they do not want
Anyway they do not want

Sometimes, when we see each others
I swear, it's not on purpose
With her wetting eyes
She says she'll leave
She says she'll follow me
Then for a moment
For a moment only
then, me, I believe her, Mister
For a moment
For a moment only
Because in that family, Mister
You don't go away
You don't go away, Mister
You don't go away

But it is late, Mister
I have to go,
Home
Other version:

Mouloudji - We have to live

Original Title: " Faut vivre " Despite the big eyes of the void "It's to better eat you, child" And the silence...