Saturday, December 20, 2014

Jacques Bertin - Novel


Original Title: "Roman"
He was coming down the mountain and the silence and in front of him men
Up there he was alone; one cannot hear anything but the wind
He was coming down, in his head he was looking for the implacable word
That would bind him to the world, to men and to himself for ever

Toward him you were moving forward barded with objects, small, puny,
History closed on you like a wicket that is being brought down
We were only saying a few words, only a few words, always the same ones
You didn't know who you were, earth was rolling under your steps

He was coming down, you told him, "You come, your are one of us"
You told him "You are a part of ourselves", he didn't like you
He was young, he was looking for God, he was only looking for the word
Like a broad and luminious belly where everything is getting calm and the wind falls down

But he was gliding toward you and he smelled the smell of men
He felt himself sinking, he didn't like you
You were holding your hands out to him, the hands gnawed, the bones: look!
He saw that he had the same hands, the same death stuck at the fingertips

He heard your complaint about the city and it was coming out of his mouth
He saw you the throat slit in the gullies of Algeria
He heard his own groan that was going up from the metro Charonne
In the Vercors he was getting up with the shadows beating the air on the crosses

Near Chateaubriant in the hedges the executed soldiers sing
At night in the suburbs the posters peel to the wind
It's always the same words on the ground simply asking to be picked up
And to be carried from hand to hand, most of all that we do not forget

The same words always at night, alike and the day before
The same song, the same groan, not much, hurt words
May it be that we haven't lived for nothing. It's simple
And that song will last like Earth will.

The enemy is stronger than ever now that our song is weak
The same words come from Billancourt, from Prague and from Madrid
It's always the time to put up barricades of words
It's always today that we have to defend that inferno there

A woman was passing with in the eyes the same tear
The same crushed dream at the bottom of the eyes. They recognized each other’s
A few moments and a door that is being closed already
Without lying he had had the time to tell her he loved her

He was betting every moment, he was talking of present things
He was of every fight systematically
He had no hope, no future, he was drunk
He was standing in History like the stopped sob of a child.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Jacques Bertin - Lovers


Original Title: "Amants"
Lovers who glide in the streets, the passer-bys are like a cloud
Lovers all bathed in tenderness
Who land on our sidewalks before the start of the seasons
And who flap while pecking the sorry bread of the low autumns avenues
Are making a dream journey after their wedding at the poplar trees
Toward countries of winds and seaweeds where the seasons would stop

I know that the seasons stop at the first look of the lovers
I know that I will see there all my scandals over death and the living
dissolve with our twenties
I know that lumps, droppings and white marble
Entire lives have been seen there be dissolved into sand and wind
That sparrows burnt to a cinder have been seen revived there
And that dungeons have been seen there letting themselves be converted into moss
That as many fires of blond heads are being lit at the eyes of the Saint-Jean

I know that seasons stop between the lips of the lovers
I know that here is a pond where drowning is deliverance
And that it's well the only pond where which bottom isn't looked for
That only drowning is expected from it at the beginning of God and time
Because everything becomes eternity and every moment becomes vapour
Inflexible grass, air and grape, words hang on to nothing
And of our wet flight immensely the words are amazed
Grass, woman, flesh and grape, the words mean nothing no more
Our eyes do not mean anything no more and everything merges and everything is vain

Then the sun regains his good and proud place
Like he was at the first morning
I know that the seasons start
And him, the poor, the recovered, him I hear him whisper
Cry of joy my vivacious, my daffodil by that look that was calling me,
You know, you resuscitated me, my old canal flew out
The world becomes certain to me and me, I become tribune
And there is lightness in the air

Lovers flapping in the streets, the time won.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jacques Brel - Tomorrow we are getting married


Original Title: "Demain l'on se marie"
Female singer for the chorus: Janine de Waleyne
As we get married tomorrow
Let's learn the same song
As life opens tomorrow
Tell me what we will sing

We will force love
To rock our life
Of a pretty song
That we will sing together

We will force love
If you want my beloved
To only be of our life
nothing but the humble smith

As we get married tomorrow
Let's learn the same song
As life opens tomorrow
Tell me what we will see there

We will force our eyes
To see nothing else
but the pretty thing
That lives in every thing

We will force our eyes
To be nothing else but one hope
That we will both offer
Like one offers a rose

As we get married tomorrow
Let's learn the same song
As life opens tomorrow
Tell me again where we will go

We will force the doors
Of the Oriental countries
To open in front of us
In front of our smile

We will force, my beloved
The smile of the people
To be never be again
A joy that sighs

As we get married tomorrow
Let's open the door to those songs
As we get married tomorrow
Let's learn the same song

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Jacques Bertin - Words ans colors

Original Title: "Les Mots et les Couleurs"
I go fishing the bleak in the holes of Loire
I do not stop. I am at Montaigu
I am looking for the lost handkerchief
Of my grand mother.

The rain gives its languidness back to the golden beach
A wedding goes down to Saint-Paul by the strands
It's midnight, the moor is full of rabbits sat in circle
Around a very pale korrigan who speaks about death and sailors

I hunt the heather and the thyme in Sologne
Fascinated by the water that boils in the marshes
I run after the trains that roam on the moor
I look for the tracks of the basque hermit
Who let the horses pass the border

France, that sea where I sail as I like
Alone facing the wind and the silence in me
Around me laying down
Like a long white dog raised with an order
I rock the sleep of the pounds
The secret in the hidden yards
The capital of the good Lord lost in the eyes of our women
The wet sun of the mornings where a drown girl sinks

The world is a weird kingdom
Which mad prince is curious.
It's an old prince without children
Who wanders and struts about
In a long curtain grey and red.
So I go like the wind
I go along grey boardings
Look for the sun of the children

I do not know anything about myself,
about the world that is calling me
I bring the wide open words
Of my roads, of my insanities
Here and there the burnt words in the gazes
Spread on the brown tables.
The flesh, the blood, the juice and that animal world.

The words run under the things
Pubescent, warm, sweaty and vermilion
Runing along the trains, along the roads.
The words hung to the trees
and going through the hedges
Unknown, whispered, noticed, guessed,
And those that cracks in the morning

When floats some marine songs
Linen of women under the sun
Sitting on the embankments,
the words and the hanging legs
And that many-coloured universe
that is looking for its female
and doesn't know why.
I leave, I only like the words and the colors.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Malicorne - The Deserter - The Leave


Traditional song
Original Title: "Le Congé (Le Déserteur)"
It's been eight years that I am in the army
Without ever having my leave
It's been eight years I am in the army
Without ever having my leave

The desire took hold of me
to come back to the country without leave
to come back to the country without leave

On my way, made a sad encounter
Three grenadiers captured me and took me away
On my way, made a sad meeting
Three grenadiers captured me and took me away

Have attached my handcuffs nastily
Right to Bordeaux in prison lead me
Right to Bordeaux in prison lead me

Ah, does one have for the love of a brunette
To be reduced to those cursed dungeons!
Ah, does one have for the love of a brunette
To be reduced to those cursed dungeons!

To be reduced to sleeping on straw
To eat black bread and drink nothing else but water
To eat black bread and drink nothing else but water

But when the beauty heard those words
But nights and days goes find her lover
But when the beauty heard those words
But nights and days goes find her lover

Telling him "My lover, take courage"
She will save you, the one who loves you so much
She will save you, the one who loves you so much

I will go talk, to your Captain
Your captain, your commandant as well
I will go talk, to your Captain
Your captain, your commandant as well

While telling them to soften your sentence
To pay some money, give me back my lover
To pay some money, give me back my lover

Keep, beauty, your gold and your money
To make war have it at their leisure
Keep, beauty, your gold and your money
To make war have it at their leasure

I have to be court-martialled
And then after, will make me die
And then after, will make me die

The one who will kill me, it'll be my comrade
The one who will kill me, it'll be my comrade
He will blindfold me with a blue handkerchief
He will make me die without making me suffer too much

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jacques Bertin - Very far, offered, perfumed


Original Title: "Très loin, offerte, parfumée"
Very far, offered, perfumed
And in the loop of the dews
A spilled orangeade

Came, came her foot putting down
Unlaced, perfumed, dreaming
The hand holding a pebble

That one, wet grain, face
And among, always rising up
The bycicles of sun

She, every step laying,
Opened and you are like
The grass avenues of the sea

Monday, December 1, 2014

Léo Ferré - Arthur Rimbaud - The Crows


Original Title: "Les Corbeaux"
Text: Arthur Rimbaud
Lord, when cold is the meadow,
When in the knocked down hamlets,
The long angels went quiet...
on the nature whose flowers were shed
Make swoop down from the big skies
The dear delicious crows
The dear delicious crows

Strange army with severe shouts
The cold winds attack your nests!
You, along the yellowed rivers,
On the roads with old ordeals
On the ditches and, on the holes.
Disperse, rally!
Disperse, rally!

By the thousands, on the fields of France,
Where sleep deads of the day before yesterday
Circle, won't you, during the winter,
So that every passer-by think again!
Be then the crier of duty,
Oh our funereal black bird!
Oh our funereal black bird!

But, saints of the sky, on top of the oak tree,
Lost mast in the charmed evening,
Leave the warblers of May
To those who are chained deep in the woods
In the grass where none can flee,
The defeat without future
The defeat without future

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Yves Jamait - What the hell are you doing?


Original Title: "Qu'est-ce que tu fous?"
What the hell are you doing without me?
What the hell are you doing there?
You must have, I imagine,
A reason that is yours
for not being here
I am sure he gets round you

I am sure he looks at you
With, at the deep of the eyes,
Promises of love
No matter the pledge he disguises
You do not notice a thing
in this farmyard.

Of course he must be sweet
And charming and amiable
And flatter your attire
When I, I am here pitiful
Imbecile and envious
Hoping your come back

What the hell are you doing without me?
What the hell are you doing there?
You must have, I imagine,
A reason that is yours
for not being here
I am sure he gets round you

It's not something to do
to put one's behind
on soft cushions
When I am here
Ass on the ground
Chanting prayers
To I do not know which god

You who never have a drink
The cocktail he is serving you
Is making your eyes shine
I, I vomit my anger
And drown it in beer
Making dark wishes

What the hell are you doing without me?
What the hell are you doing there?
You must have, I imagine,
A reason that is yours
for not being here
I am sure he gets round you

I remember yet of the time
when we were happy
When we were lovers
Everyday, both
Inseparable
But how far it's that time
I am not happy anymore
I am not your lover anymore
I am alone and shitty
Beyond repair

It's a bouquet of words in flower
that will come to caress the curves of your body
But devoid of any decency, his hands to confirm
And with your consent

What the hell are you doing without me?
What the hell are you doing there?
You must have, I imagine,
A reason that is yours
for not being here
I am sure he gets round you

What the hell are you doing without me?
What the hell are you doing there?
You must have, I imagine,
A reason that is yours
for not being here
I am sure he gets round you

What the hell are you doing without me?
What the hell are you doing there?
You must have, I imagine,
A reason that is yours
for not being here

What the hell are you doing without me?
What the hell are you doing there?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jacques Brel - I am a summer evening


Jacques Brel - Je suis un soir d'été
Original Title: "Je suis un soir d'été"
And the sub-prefecture
Celebrates the sub-prefect's wife
Under the faceted chandelier
Orange squashes are raining
And lukewarm champagnes
And icy remarks
Of glum females
of those who are made employees of the state

I am a summer evening

At the open windows
The diners of the families
Push back their plates
And say that it's hot
The men throw belches
of Teutonic knights
The tablecloths fall into crumbs
over the balconies

I am a summer evening

At the blurred terraces
A few damp drinkers
Talk of nags
And of old perfidious women
It's the time when the suspenders
Hold the present
of the spilled passers-by
And of the alcoholised ones.

I am a summer evening

Heavy lover women
With smell of kitchen
Wander their bosoms
On the sides of the Meuse
They are missing a soldier
For summer to feast
And climbs somehow
To the top of their stockings²

I am a summer evening

At the fountains the old men
bedecked with references
Turn back their childhood
with small rainy steps
They laugh of a whole tooth
To bite into the silence
Around the girls who dance
To the death of a spring

I am a summer evening

Heat is vertebrating
It rivers drunkenness's
Summer has its big masses
And the night celebrates them
The city to the four winds
Twinkles the remorse,
Useless and passing,
Of not being an harbour.

I am a summer evening

²In French "Low" and "Stockings" are said the exact same way (to the top of their lows)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jacques Bertin - Luc Bérimont - I wait for you at the gates of the roads


Original Title: "Je t'attends aux grilles des routes"
Text: Luc Bérimont
I wait for you at the gates of the roads
At the crossroads of the wind of the sleep
I shout your name from the bottom of the holds
From the birdless marshes
From the bottom of that cast iron desert
Where I lay one by one my steps
I wait for the source of your arms
Of your hair of your breath

I wait for the source of your arms
Of your hair of your breath
You are terrible You chain me up
You devastate me You make me

I wait for you like the forest
Inextricable entangled
Wooven with foxes and jays
But which the morning makes sing.

I wait for you at the gates of the roads
At the crossroads of the wind of the sleep
I shout your name from the bottom of the holds
From the birdless marshes
From the bottom of that cast iron desert
Where I lay one by one my steps
I wait for the source of your arms
Of your hair of your breath

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monique Morelli - Louis Aragon - Paris 42


Text: Louis Aragon
A song that speaks of an incurable ill
Sadder than at midnight the plaza of Italy
Alike to Point-du-Jour for the melancholy
More dreams at the fingers than the sandman
Announcing pleasure like a merchant of oblivion

A vulgar and sweet song where the voice lowers
Like a one night love doubting of the next day
A song that takes women by the hand
A song that is being said under the Barbès metro
And that changes at Etoile and goes down at Jasmin²

It's Paris that shadow theater that I carry
My Paris that couldn't completely be taken away from me
Not more than one could take to lips their shout
What had been required to threw me out of it
Tear me the heart and you will see Paris in it.

It's of that Paris that I made my poems
My words are of the weird colour of those roofs
The throat of the pigeons are cooing and glistening there
I have written more of you Paris than of myself
And more than of growing old suffered to be without you

Who hasn't seen the day rising up on the Seine
Ignores what is that heartbreak
When caught in the act the night fails itself
Defends itself, comes undone the red eyes obscene
And Notre-Dame comes out of the waters like a magnet

The aorta of the Pont Neuf shivers like an orchestra
Where I hear beginning the wine of my twenties
There blows here a wind that comes from the times of yesteryear
To die in the hair of the equestrian statue
The city like an heart opens itself double-doors.

The wind will whisper my verses to the waste grounds
It will brush against the benches where no one sat
We will hear it cry on the quays of Passy
And the bridges repeating the promise of the rings
will go away engaged to the following rhymes

Paris wakes up and I to find those myths back
That were burning our blood in our obscurity
I will put in my hands my irritated face
Let the song be reborn that the birds imitate
And which answers Paris when one says liberty

² Parisian metro stations

Jacques Marchais' version:

All poems written by Louis Aragon

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Jacques Brel - The flat land



Original Title: "Le plat pays"
With the North Sea for last wasteland
And waves of dunes to stop the waves
And vague rocks which the tides go past
And which have forever the heart at low tide
With an infinite amount of mist to come
With the east wind listen to it hold
The flat land which is mine.

With cathedrals for only mountains
And black church towers for greasy poles
Where stone devils take down the clouds
With the passing days as only journey
And paths of rain for only goodbye
With the west wind listen to it want
The flat land which is mine.

With a sky so low that a canal got lost
With a sky so low that it makes humility
With a sky so grey that a canal hanged itself
With a sky so grey that it has to be forgotten
With the north wind that comes to tear itself apart
With the north wind listen to it creak
The flat land which is mine.

With a little bit of Italy that would come down the Scheldt
With Frida the blond when she becomes Margot
When the sons of November comes back to us in May
When the plain is smoking and trembles under July.
When the wind is at laughing,
When the wind is at the wheat,
When the wind is from the south, listen to it sing
The flat land which is mine.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Serge Reggiani - Paris my rose


Original Title: "Paris ma rose"
Pass the days and pass the weeks
Nor the time gone by nor the loves come back
Under the Mirabeau bridge runs the Seine.

Where has Paris my rose gone?
Paris over Seine the curly?
Are gone taking the key away.
The nonchalants along the quays.
Paris my rose.

Where are they gone Villon and his girls?
Where is he gone Jenin the Void²
And the green path, what has become of it.
It that snaked near the Bastille?
Where is Paris the grey gone?
Paris over mist, the wet ?

It's gone Paris the forgotten.
Gone on tiptoe.
Paris the grey.

Where are they gone those who fraternize.
With the high walls and the graffitis?
Those suns of chalk where are they gone?
Which were making love to the walls of the churches?

Where is it gone Paris the red?
The commune of the barefeet
Got lost toward Aubervilliers
Or toward Nanterre, stuck in the mud.
Paris the red.

Where is he gone Clement of the cherries?
Is it closed the long pain.
Of the time when the guys had such a big heart
That one could only see him at the holes of the shirts?
Where is gone Paris I love?
Paris I love and which is no more.


²Jenin L'Avenu (character of poetry of Villon)

All songs by Reggiani.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Jean Ferrat - My beautiful love


Original Title: "Mon bel amour"
My beautiful solemn love
My beautiful play love
My beautiful well-behaved love
As you want it.
My beautiful flame love.
My beautiful fire love.
My beautiful woman love
My beautiful God love
My beautiful love of hurt of living
Between my hands only surprised
To be at the moment where you surrender
Like those pages of those books
That we never finish cutting.
My beautiful feast love
My beautiful mourning love
My beautiful great love
Lionness and roe deer.
My beautiful dream love.
My beautiful watch love.
Your love gnaws at me
Like it fills me with wonder
My beautiful love of dark flamev The moment after destroyed
Just at your eyelid that shadow
and here I am figure without number
And like a stone without the fruit.
My beautiful mauve love
My beautiful blue love
My beautiful fawn love
As much as you want it.
My beautiful drama love
My beautiful play love
My beautiful woman love
My beautiful God love.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Charles Aznavour - And yet


Original Title: "Et pourtant"
One fine morning, I know that I will wake up
Differently than any other day
And my heart freed finally from our love
And yet, And yet

Without a remorse, without a regret
I will leave, straight in front of me
Without hope of return
Far from the eyes, far from the heart
I will forget forever
And your body, and your arms and your voice,
My love

And yet, yet
You are the only one I love
And yet, yet
You are the only one I love
And yet, yet
You are the only one I love
And yet

I will tear, without a tear, without a shout
The secret links that are tearing my skin
Freeing me from you to find rest
And yet, And yet

I will walk toward other skies, other countries
While forgetting your cruel coldness
The hands full of love, I will offer to happiness
And the days, and the nights, and the life
Of my heart

And yet, yet
You are the only one I love
And yet, yet
You are the only one I love
And yet, yet
You are the only one I love
And yet

I will eventually have to find my reason back,
my lack of concern and my fits of joy
To leave forever to escape from you
And yet, And yet

In other arms, when I will forget up to your name
When I will be able to rethink the future
You will become for me just a distant memory
When my sorrow, and my fear and my cries
Will end

And yet, yet
You are the only one I love
And yet, yet
You are the only one I love
And yet, yet
You are the only one I love
And yet

Friday, November 7, 2014

Jacques Brel - The port of Amsterdam


The song has already been translated, even sung in English by David Bowie (you can find Bowie's version here) but the lyrics differs for the sake of the song. It's a very powerful song so I am trying to give the most colourful yet literal translation.
Original title: "Amsterdam"

In the port of Amsterdam
There are the sailors who sing
The dreams that haunt them
Off Amsterdam
In the port of Amsterdam
There are the sailors who sleep
Like oriflammes along the bleak banks

In the port of Amsterdam
There are the sailors who die
Full of beer and of tragedies
At first lights
In the port of Amsterdam
There are the sailors who are born
In the thick warmth
Of the ocean languors

In the port of Amsterdam
There are the sailors who eat,
On too white tablecloths,
Dripping fishes.
They show you teeth
to bite into the fortune,
To wane the moon,
To gobble up shrouds.

And it smells of cod
even in the heart of the fries
That their big hands invite
To come back in extra
Then get up while laughing
In a sound of tempest
shut their flies again
And go out while belching

In the port of Amsterdam
There are sailors who dance
While rubbing their paunch
on the paunch of the women
And they turn and they dance
Like spit out suns
In the torn up sound
Of a rancid accordion

They twist round their neck
So they can better hear themselves laugh
Until all of a sudden the accordion exhales
Then, of a solemn gesture
Then, the gaze proud
They bring back their Batavians
under the bright light

In the port of Amsterdam
There are sailors who drink
And who drink and drink again
And who drink once more
And they drink to the health
Of the whores of Amsterdam
whom there are many moreover
In short, they drink to the ladies
Who give them their pretty body
Who give them their virtue
For one gold coin
And when they have well drunk
Stick their nose to the sky
Blow their nose in the stars
And they piss like I cry
On the unfaithful women

In the port of Amsterdam
In the port of Amsterdam
another version here

Gabriel Yacoub - The rewarded wooer - How could you want for a person to sing?


Traditional song (1555)
Original Title: "Le soupirant recompensé/Comment vouloir qu'une personne chante?"
Text: Roland de Lassus
How could you want for a person to sing
When he does not have his heart free?
Let sing those whom are content with love
And leave me, and leave me in my misfortune cry!
And leave me, and leave me in my misfortune cry!

Cry my eyes, cry my fatal fate
I lost everything when losing my Iris
Cruel destiny take what I have left
And give me back, and give me back what you took from me
And give me back, and give me back what you took from me

Take my heart and give me yours:
It's yours, I do not claim anything no more;
But if I learn that you love another
Straight away, straight away, I will take mine back
Straight away, straight away, I will take mine back

What will be required, beautiful Iris, to please you?
Is my blood required? It's ready to flow.
But if my blood can not satisfy you,
Is my death required? Is my death required? You only have to speak
Is my death required? Is my death required? You only have to speak

After death, you will cry, I swear;
You will love me, it won't be time anymore.
You will walk over my grave
While regretting, while regretting the most faithful lover.
While regretting, while regretting the most faithful lover.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Jacques Bertin - A Barn



Original Title: "Une Grange"
Maybe, through the songs
like through the holes in the roof
Of that old collapsed barn
Calling for the coolness of the fingers

Of the thunderstorm or love, we see
Maybe my life which is calling
Oh you know how beautiful she was
Former companions of my joy

Seeing that it's true, everything is image.
We are the image of ourselves
And in the palm of the message
You see the mark of the nails.

Oh the lit up fires of the age!
Do not get ill, most of all.
And come back, get dry, behave
Death is raining everywhere.

Killed horses, shadow of the disasters
Future with broken legs
Eternity fallen from the stars
With forms of burnt chinese lanterns

Oh the bombs on the abbey!
Oh the fire in the orchard!
The earth is that dirty apron
And the colors took their revenge

Seeing that it's true, everything is lies
The frank gaze most of all
And a silver cancer is gnawing at me
Since death is roaming everywhere

Let me be that ancient barn
Without pain at the bottom of the summers
And of which a little bit of song leans
And I do not suffer from loving anymore!

Short summer and bad deal
Burning fast, she was in a hurry!
Then you see the roof that shivers
And the old soul moving a little.

Monique Morelli - Villon - Ballad to pray Our Lady


Original Title: "Ballade pour prier Notre Dame"
Text: François Villon (written for his mother)
Lady of the sky, landed regent,
Empress of the infernal swamps
Receive me, your humble Christian,
Let me be contained among your chosen
Even though I had never any worth
The goods from you, my Lady and my Mistress
Are way bigger than I am sinner
Without those goods soul can not be rewarded
with the heavens. I am not talkative about it:
In this faith I want to live and die.

To your Son say that I am his;
From him let my sin be abolished
Forgive me like you did to the Egyptian
Or like he did to the cleric Theophilus,
who by you was quits and absolved
No matter how many promised he had made to the devil
Preserve me to ever do that
Virgin carrying, without incurring rupture of
The sacrament that is celebrated during the mass:
In this faith I want to live and die.

Woman, I am poor and ancient,
Who nothing knows; never letters have read.
See at the monastery, of which I am parishioner
Painted paradise, where are harps and lutes,
And one hell where damned are boiled
One scares me, the other joy and jubilation
To have the joy makes me, high Goddess,
To whom sinners must all appeal to,
Filled with faith, without feint nor laziness:
In this faith I want to live and die.

You carried, worthy Virgin, princess,
Jesus ruling who has no end nor rest.
The All-Mighty, taking our weakness,
left the heavens and cam to rescue us,
Offered to death his dear youth;
Our Lord is such, I confess it so:
In this faith I want to live and die.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jacques Brel - The song of the old lovers


Original Title: "La chanson des vieux amants"
Of course, we had thunderstorms
Twenty years of love, it's the mad love
A thousand times you took your luggage
A thousand times I took flight
And every furniture remembers
In this bedroom without cradle
Of the splinters of old tempests
Nothing resembled to anything no more
You had lost the taste of water
And I the one of conquest

But my love
My sweet, my tender, my marvellous love
From the clear dawn until the end of the day
I love you still, you know, I love you

I, I know all your spells
You know all my bewitchment
You kept me from trap to trap
I have lost you time to time
Of course you took a few lovers
The time had well to be passed
The body well has to exult
But finally, finally
It required us quite a lot of talent
To be old without being adult

But my love
My sweet, my tender, my marvellous love
From the clear dawn until the end of the day
I love you still, you know, I love you

And more time makes us a procession
And more time makes us torment
But isn't it the worst trap
To live in peace for lovers
Of course you cry a bit less early
I tear myself up a bit later
We protect our mysteries less
We trust luck less
We are wary of the current
But it's still the tender war

But my love
My sweet, my tender, my marvellous love
From the clear dawn until the end of the day
I love you still, you know, I love you

Monday, October 27, 2014

Yves Jamait - I happened to be passing by


Original Title: "Je passais par hasard"
I happened to be passing by
I was passing by to see you
To find back a little
of those rare friendships
which found the hopes
of a "it's possible as a couple"

I happened to be passing by
I was passing by to see you
To find back a little
of those rare friendships
which found the hopes
of a "it's possible as a couple"

And I found charming,
Ideal and impressive
To see you in love
Even though every now and then
it was almost bloody²
to feel you both happy

It's in that spirit
That I went through the doorstep
Of that pretty house
born from a nuptial desire
But there, I remain silent
Dumbfounded on the reef
that breaks passion into conjugal horror

Here we are both
Overwhelmed with silence
I look in vain for the words
that could carry you
Erase all those bruises
In short, words that dress the wounds
And slip on your skin with terrorised edges

My hands of shameful male
are terrified to touch you
I approach anyway
and take you in my arms
You flee in the hollow of my neck to cry
You say "It's the umpteenth time that he does this to me"

I happened to be passing by
I was passing by to see you
To find back a little
of those rare friendships
which found the hopes
of a "it's possible as a couple"

And I found charming,
Ideal and impressive
To see you in love
Even though every now and then
it was almost bloody
to feel you both happy

And it's been a while already
That he gives you a thrashing
When he is persuaded
That you pick up in passing
And his insane look
makes you scared to death
When he comes to relieve
With his fists his rage

If his fists aren't enough
He strikes with his feet
When fallen on the ground
like an inert beast
You hide with your arms
Your swollen face
Then the blow of the shoe
Is only more agile
Then the blow of the shoe
Is only more agile

I happened to be passing by
I was passing by to see you
To find back a little
of those rare friendships
which found the hopes
of a "it's possible as a couple"

And I found charming,
Ideal and impressive
To see you in love
Even though every now and then
it was almost bloody
to feel you both happy

I do not recognise
Through that bastard
The one I used to love
Whom today I loathe
He wasn't like that
Well I am not sure anymore
One must have been so before
To be that rotten

I happened to be passing by
I was passing by to see you
To find back a little
of those rare friendships
which found the hopes
of a "it's possible as a couple"

Come, I only have my tenderness
Come, Come, Come
Here against me
Come, And for all this to end
Come, I take you away with me.

I happened to be passing by
I was passing by to see you
To find back a little
of those rare friendships

²very boring

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jacques Bertin - Landscape


Original Title: "Paysage"
We won't go further together apparently
We love each others so well, though, and it is futile
This separtion; the water of the Loire as well
Divide itself, further, having left islands.
Sorry, with their weight of dead wood toward oblivion,

Like major arguments swollen with boredom.
The river with forms more subtle from memory
Joins and of a new appetite to drink itself.
We will find each other again, I believe.
For you the doubt was stronger and the pain for a while shook you
You were right, then you are wrong. I dread
Less the future than those few memories.
There is the valley after the swirls, the slow waters.

The river takes there the form of an open hand.
In the grass and what's left of the violent hours
That's it: the giving up, the stream, the path
Untied or like two bodies united in a bed,
The writing of a simple word. Everything gathers us.

Then again this crazy joy of being together.
I take again the herbarium of the dazzled smiles.
You do not believe in it, you say "Too late", you say "Never"
I will keep quiet, I am patient like the river
Yesterday, tomorow, for me everything moves alltogether
The hope is the water itself; I love you, I loved you.
I will love you, I love you. What do I have left?
Except this large passion donning the plain.
This stubborn song that goes up in your breath
To the erected wall of stilled time, throwing challenges.
Around the setting sun the perspective wings.
In the bottoms of the painting where glides the years.
The parallels far away in the infinite joins.
And for ever; we can't miss one another.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Barbara - Because (I love you)


Original Title: "Parce que (je t'aime)"
It's because your shoulder to my shoulder
Your mouth to my hair
And your hand on my neck,
It's because on my waist,
When your breath brushes against me
It's because your hands,
It's because cheek to cheek,
It's because in the morning,
It's because at night,
When you say "come", I come
You smile, I smile.
It's because here or there,
In another country,
As long as you are there,
It is always my country,
It's because I love you
That I prefer to go away.
It's better, much better, to leave one another
Before dies the time to love.

It's because I fear to see plunge into grief
the minutes, the hours, the seconds passed,
It's because I know that there needs an almost nothing
To undo one night and be lost in the morning.
I won't let leaning over our bed
Nor the shadow of a regret, nor the shadow of a boredom.
I won't let die with the passing days
What was you and me, what was our love.
It will never be carried away by time,
I carry it away myself. It will remain alive.

Oh leave me alone, yes I love you.
But I prefer to go away.
Because one has to be able to part
Before dies the time to love.

I have seen some, like us, who were going at slow steps
And carried their love like ones carries a child.
I have seen some, like us, who were going at slow steps
And feel on their knees, in the declining evening.
I found them back, furious and fighting
Like two wounded wolves. What are they now?

That, I do not want. I love you.
I do not want to tear ourselves up
It's better, believe me, to part
Before dies the time to love.
It's better, much better, to part
Before dies the time to love...

Jean Ferrat - Aragon - The poets


Original Title: "Les poètes"
Text: Louis Aragon

I do not know what possesses me
And pushes me to say out loud,
Nor for the pity nor for the help
Nor like one would confess one's faults,
What inhabits me and what obsesses me
What inhabits me and what obsesses me

The one who sings tortures himself
Which shouts in me, which animal
I kill or which creature,
In the name of good in the name of evil,
Only know those who remained silent.
Only know those who remained silent.

Machado sleeps in Collioure
Three steps were enough out of Spain
For the sky for him to become heavy
He sat in this countryside
And closed his eyes for ever
And closed his eyes for ever

Above the waters and the plains
Above the roofs of the hills
A plainchant rises at the top of the voice²
Is it toward the star Hölderlin?
Is it toward the star Verlaine?
Is it toward the star Verlaine?

Marlowe you need the tavern
Not for Faust but to die there
Between the killers surrounding you
with their daggers and their laughs
By the glimmer of a lantern.
By the glimmer of a lantern.

Stars, dusts of flames,
In august which fall on the ground
All the sky, this night, proclaims
The slaughter of the nightingales
But what does the universe know of the tragedy.
But what does the universe know of the tragedy.

The suffering gives birth to the dreams
Like a hive its bees
The man shouts where his iron gnaws him
And his wound fathers a sun
More beautiful than the ancient lies.
More beautiful than the ancient lies.

I do not know what possesses me
And pushes me to say out loud,
Nor for the pity nor for the help
Nor like one would confess one's faults,
What inhabits me and what obsesses me
What inhabits me and what obsesses me

²at full throat
All poems written by Louis Aragon

Jacques Brel - The Bourgeois


Original Title: "Les Bourgeois"
The heart well in the warm
The eyes in the beer
At the fat Adrienne from Montalant
With friend Jojo
And with friend Peter*
We were going to drink our twenty years old
Jojo took himself for Voltaire
And Peter for Casanova
And me, I who was the proudest
Me, I took myself for myself
And when around midnight were passing the notaries
who were coming out of the "Three pheasant" Hotel
We showed them our ass and our good manners
By singing to them:

"The bourgeois they are like pigs
Older they get, more they become stupid²
The bourgeois they are like pigs
Older they get, more they become ...

The heart well in the warm
The eyes in the beer
At the fat Adrienne from Montalant
With friend Jojo
And with friend Peter
We were going to burn our twenties
Voltaire was dancing like a curate
And Casanova didn't dare
And me, I who remained the proudest
Me, I was almost as drunk as myself
And when around midnight were passing the notaries
who were coming out of the "Three Pheasant" Hotel
We showed them our ass and our good manners
By singing to them:

"The bourgeois they are like pigs
Older they get, more they become stupid
The bourgeois they are like pigs
Older they get, more they become ...

The heart at rest
The eyes well down to earth
At the bar of the "Three Pheasants" Hotel
With Mister Jojo
And with Master Peter
Between notaries we were passing time
Jojo speaks about Voltaire
And Peter about Casanova
And me, I who had remained the proudest
Me, I still talk about myself
And it's when going out around midnight, Mister the superintendent
That every evening from the Montalant
Young "yobs" are showing us their behinds
While singing to us
"The bourgeois they are like pigs
Older they get, more they become stupid
do they say Mister the superintendent
The bourgeois they are like pigs
Older they get, more they become ..."

*translated Pierre to Peter and L'hôtel "Des trois faisans" to "Three Pheasants" Hotel

²The paragraph should be
"Older they become, dumber they become
The bourgeois they are like pigs
Older they get, ...they become"
I switched the order to a less grammatically correct sentence to show that there was something left hanging in the song
The ... could be replaced by a more offensive word than stupid/idiot. (in French the rhyme suggests "cons")

Friday, October 24, 2014

Barbara - Perlimpinpin


For whom, how, when and why?
Against whom? How? Against what?
Enough with your violences.

Where do you come from?
Where are you going?
Who are you?
Who do you pray?
I ask you to be silent.

For whom, how, when and why?
If it's absolutely necessary for us to be
Against someone or something.

I am for the setting sun
At the top of the deserted hills.
I am for the deep forests.

Because a child who cries,
No matter where he is from,
Is a child who cries.
Because a child who dies,
At the end of your rifles,
Is a child who dies.

How appalling it is to have to choose
Between two innocences.
How appalling it's to have for enemies
The laughs of childhood!

For whom, how, when and how much?
Against whom? How and how much?
To the point of losing the taste of living

The taste of water, the taste of bread
And the one of the Perlimpinpin²
In the Square des Batignolles

But for nothing, but for almost nothing,
To be with you and that's fine!
And for an half-open rose,

And for a breathing,
And for a breeze of abandon,
And for a shivering garden!

Having nothing, but passionately,
Frantically not saying anything to one another
But give everything ecstatically

And wealthy with deprivation
Only have one's own truth,
Own all the wealths.

Not speaking of poetry
While trampling down wild flowers.
And invoke transparence,
At the back of a yard with grey walls
Where dawn never stands a chance.

Against whom, how, against what?
For whom, how, when and why?
To find back the taste of living,

The taste of water, the taste of bread
And the one of Perlimpinin
In the Square des Batignolles

Against noone and against nothing,
But for all the open flowers,
But for a breathing,
But for a breeze of abandon
And for that shivering garden!

And to live passionately
And to fight only
with the fires of the tenderness

And wealthy with deprivation
Only have one's own truth,
Own all the wealths

Not speaking of poetry anymore
But let the wild flowers live

And invoke transparence
At the back of a yard with grey walls
Where dawn would finally stand a chance

To live,
To live,

And to live passionately
And fight only
with the fires of the tenderness

And wealthy with deprivation
Only have one's own truth
Own all the wealths

Nothing else but tenderness as only wealth

And to give,
But to give,
ecstatically!

To live,
To live,
With tenderness,
To live,
To live,
ecstatically!

Nothing else but tenderness as only wealth

And to give,
But to give,
ecstatically!

²Perlimpinpin powder is alike to "Snake Oil".
Live version:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Jacques Brel - The Fanette


Original Title: "La Fanette"
We were two friends and Fanette loved me
The beach was deserted and was asleep under july
If they remember it the waves will tell you
How many songs I have sung for the Fanette .

Have to say
Have to say that she was beautiful
Like a water pearl
Have to say that she was beautiful
And I am not beautiful
Have to say
Have to say that she had brown hair
As much as the dune was blond
And helding one and the other
I, I held the world
Have to say
Have to say that I was crazy
To believe in all that
I believed him ours
I believed her mind
Have to say
That we aren't taught
to mistrust everything

We were two friends and Fanette loved me
The beach was deserted and was deceptive under july
If they remember it the waves will tell you
How the song stopped for the Fanette

Have to say
Have to say
While coming out
Of a dying wave
I saw them going away
like lovers
Have to say
Have to say that they laughed
When they saw me cry
Have to say that they sung
When I cursed them
Have to say
That it's well that day
That they swum so far
That they swum so well
That they haven't been seen again
Have to say
That we aren't taught
But let's talk about something else

We were two friends and Fanette loved him
The beach was deserted and cries under july
And the evening sometimes
When the waves stop
I hear like a voice
I hear... it's the Fanette

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Yves Montand - Prévert - The dead leaves


This is a very famous song (sung by many) that has already been translated several times (for example here). Even Yves Montand recited the first part in English here but you will find here a literal one (without the extra paragraph of the original poem):

Original Title: "Les feuilles mortes"
Text: "Jacques Prévert"
Music: "Joseph Kosma"

Oh I would like so much for you to remember
the happy days of when we were friends
In that time, life was more beautiful
And the sun more burning than today
Dead leaves are shovelled up
You see, I did not forget
Dead leaves are shovelled up
Memories and regrets as well

And the north wind carries them away
In the dark night of oblivion
You see, I did not forget
The song you sang to me

It's a song that resembles us
You, you loved me and I loved you
And we were living both together
You who loved me, I who loved you
But life parts those who love each other
Slowly without making noise
And the sea erases on the sand
The steps of the disunited lovers

But life parts those who love each other
Slowly without making noise
And the sea erases on the sand
The steps of the disunited lovers
Another version:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Catherine Le Forestier - The red bedroom


Original Title: "La Chambre Rouge"
I remember that the bedroom was red
Like a mouth, like a sun
And that you were the first one, mister the thief
Velvet Mister, Mister my love
And that you were the first one, mister the stranger
Do you remember?

Pass the days, my loves grow weary of them
Pass the nights, my loves are bored
without you

I remember that the bedroom was red
The lamp sweet, the bed deep
And that you were the first one to have carried me
At the hollow of your hands
At the edge of the morning
And that you were the first one, mister the stranger
Do you remember?

Pass the days, my loves grow weary of them
Pass the nights, my loves are bored
without you

I remember that the bedroom was red
The lamp turned off, the bed stripped
And that the door closed, I didn't know the words that had to be said
And that the door closed, if I cried from it
I can well laugh of it

Pass the days, my loves grow weary of them
Pass the nights, my loves are bored
without you

Jacques Bertin - To sing


Original Title: "Chanter"
To sing just for the pleasure
To put the color to the world
To sing to calm the silence
Wanting to only be the color
It's sunday, the streets are empty
I am not from nowhere nomore
Farewell my grey and white city
Below my loves
And my friends where are you?
What have you done of your generosities
In the spring our opened city
Twelve abreast right in the sun

All my friends vanished
Poverty of the slightly dirty saints is giving me the eye
And my loves still have that knot in the throat
And the good lord who has the leper
And who makes fun of us all
To sing to forget about the fear
And to live glued to our own body
With a big voluptuous laugh
And then to learn the sweetness
Becoming the children's friend

To sing, to not be the pain anymore
Only be its moaning
Be the foam against the water
Be the frost against the winter
And the horse's mane
Be the breath of the horses
And not the running in the winter

Oh my soul, Oh my elder sister
Teach me the tranquil song
The words are only their color
The words are only their music
To sing to forget about the fear
As if it was already the hour
And in the evening peacefulness and singing
With the sky laying in the air
And my child who plays outside
And the good lord who plays marbles with a crystal laugh

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Georges Brassens - The passing birds


Original Title: "Les oiseaux de passage"
Text: poem by Jean Richepin adapted by G. Brassens

Oh happy life of the bourgeois
Be it that april buds
Or december freezes,
They are proud and happy.

That pigeon* is loved,
Three days by his hen-pigeon
It's enough for him, he knows
that love doesn't last

This turkey has always
blessed his destiny
and when the time comes
to die, one must see

This young goose in tears
"It's here I am born
I die near my mother
And I do my duty".

She has done her duty
This means that never
did she have impossible
wishes. That she had

No dreams of moon
No desire of junk
carrying her without rower
On an unknown river.

And all are made so
Live the same life
Always for those people
This is not hideous.

That duck only has one beak
And never felt the desire
Or to have none anymore
Or to have two.

They have no need
of kisses on their lips
And far away from the vain dreams
Far away from bitter worries

Own for only heart
An organ without fever
A regular cuckoo clock
And guaranteed for ten years.

Oh the perfectly happy people.
Suddenly in space
So high that they seem to go
Slowly in great flight

In the shape of a triangle
Arrive glide and pass
Where are they going?...who are they?
How far away from the ground they are

Look at them pass, them
those are the savages
They go where their desire
Wants above mountains

And woods, and seas, and winds
And far from slaveries
The air they drink
Would make your lungs burst

Look at them, before
reaching for their wild dreams
More than one, the wing broken
And blood full their eyes,

Will die. Those poor people
Also have woman and mother
And know to love them
As well as you, better.

To cherish this woman
And feed this mother
They could become
Poultry like you

But they are first of all
Sons of the chimera
Azure thirsty ones
Poets and crazies.

Look at the old cocks
Young edifying goose
Nothing of you will be able to
Climb as high as them

And the little that will come
from them to you
It's their droppings
The bourgeois are troubled
To see the beggars pass

Look at the old cocks
Young edifying goose
Nothing of you will be able to
Climb as high as them

And the little that will come
from them to you
It's their droppings
The bourgeois are troubled
To see the beggars pass

*mug/stupid person

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jean Ferrat - Pierre Louki - Would there be?


Original Title: "Y aurait-il"
Text: Pierre Louki

Would there be dense suns
of twelve months
Winter, Summer leading the dance
Siamese brothers?
Would there be seasons even out of season?
If you weren't yourself, you whom I love
in my house?

Would there be tender mornings
to wake up to
Mornings that we make wait
on the pillow
With agitations of baptism
Theme of agitation
If you weren't yourself, you whom I love
in my home?

Would there be fruits to the branches
of our desserts
And bursts of laughter to the hips
of our concerts?
Would I have tastes of poems
at your knees
If you weren't yourself, you whom I love
In our home

Would there be words without continuation
Without continuation finally
With so much happiness afterwards
endless sequel
So much, yes, so much happiness that even
Our bodies join together
If we weren't you, me who love one another
Both in ourselves?

All songs sung by Jean Ferrat.

Jacques Brel - The drunkard


Original Title: "L'ivrogne"
Friend, fill in my drink
One more and I go
One more and I am going
No, I am not crying
I sing and I am joyfull
But it hurts to be me
Friend, fill in my drink
Friend, fill in my drink

Let's drink to you
You who can say so well
That everything can be fixed
That she will come back
No matter if you are a liar
Innkeeper without tendernes
I will be drunk in an hour
I will be without sadness

Let's drink to
The friends and laughs
That I will find back
Who will come back to me
No matter if those lords
leave me on the floor
I will be drunk in an hour
I will be without anger

Friend, fill in my drink
One more and I go
One more and I am going
No, I am not crying
I sing and I am joyfull
But it hurts to be me
Friend, fill in my drink
Friend, fill in my drink

Let's drink to me
That people drink with me
That people come to dance
That people share my joy
No matter if the dancers
Leave me under the moon
I will be drunk in one hour
I will be without grudge

Let's drink to the young girls
Who remain for me to love
Let's drink already to the girls
Whom I will make cry
And no matter for the flowers
That they will refuse me
I will be drunk in an hour
I will be without passion

Friend, fill in my drink
One more and I go
One more and I am going
No, I am not crying
I sing and I am joyfull
But it hurts to be me
Friend, fill in my drink
Friend, fill in my drink

Let's drink to the whore
Who wrung my heart
Let's drink full with sorrow
Let's drink full with tears
And no matter for the tears
That rain from me tonight
I will be drunk in an hour
I will be without memory
Let's drink night after night
As I will be too ugly
For the slightest Sylvie
For the slightest regret
Let's drink as it's time
Let's drink just to drink
I will fine in an hour
I will be without hope

Friend, fill in my drink
One more and I go
One more and I am going
No, I am not crying
I sing and I am joyfull
Everything is getting better already
Friend, fill in my drink

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jean Ferrat - Aragon - The misfortune of loving


Original Title: "Le malheur d'aimer"
What do you know of the most simple things
The days are made up suns
Of which at night dream the roses
All the fires go away in smoke
What do you know of the misfortune of loving

I have looked for you at the back of the bedrooms
Where the lamp was lit up
Our steps did not ring there together
Nor our arms on us closed up
What do you know of the misfortune of loving

I have looked for you at the window
The parks in vain are perfumed
Where can you, where can you well be
What's the point to live during the month of may
What do you know of the misfortune of loving

What do you know of the long wait
And of living only to name you
God, always the same and different
And of you, I only to blame
What do you know of the misfortune of loving

That I forget myself and I remain
Like the rower without rowing
Do you know how long it's to die
While listening to yourself being consumed
Do you know the misfortune of loving?

All poems written by Louis Aragon

Monday, October 6, 2014

Gribouille - Mathias


It's not the cross, not the banner*
To greet all the friends
And to carve on a stone
May the buddies remain here
Come on, Mathias, we have to go home
That time Mathias is the last
Stop, Mathias, crying so much
For three buddies dead at the war

It's not the cross, not the banner*
A pretty kid who gets married
And even if last year
It's to you she was saying "yes"
Come on, Mathias, we have to go home
That time Mathias is the last
Stop, Mathis, crying so much
It's only a love that is being lost

You speak too much, Mathias
You have to sing
You bore us, Mathias
You have to dance
We, we don't care, Mathias,
Of your past
And your sorrows, Mathias
Are old-fashioned, Mathias

It's not the cross, not the banner*
To feel his heart scratched
By too many thorns and too many stones
There is beer to warm yourself up
Come on, Mathias, we have to go home
That time Mathias is the last
Stop, Mathias, crying so much
What's the point of being sincere

You speak too much, Mathias
You have to sing
You bore us, Mathias
You have to dance
We, we don't care, Mathias,
Of your past
One more drink, Mathias
And go dance, dance, dance


*It's not the devil's own job
Other version:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Jacques Bertin - Ballad of the visit to the end of the world


Original Title: "Ballade de la visite au bout du monde"

An evening of weariness and of lost roads
Coming from far as always and without ulterior motive
Left too late as always for the trip to the end of the world
Where we go looking for the improbable gold of the seven cities
I have left the lukewarm car on the square
The village is a black rose at the sea shore thrown
Through the alleys in the black rose I climbed
Right to your home without knowing if I would dare to knock
A silhouette in the square of light, beloved woman
I am insane! I come to bump against the end of the world
- Who is it at this time? The children are in bed!
Answer me, answer me, I am hunted down!

The door that seems to be closed for a hundred years
Opens and the threat of the dogs comes loose
You look for me, you ask, I come out of the shadow
You scream, you give your arms, you laugh, I am saved
We sit down around the hour that beats as if nothing had happened
We question, we make the inventory, we are surprised
The heart is wide offered on the polished tablecloth
We talk about nothing and without expecting an answer
I ask you without decency: Are you happy? and you say: - yes
You laugh at the question, we are at the end of the world
We take away from the table a glare of the sun
And I tell you that you are beautiful and that I always loved you

Jacques takes me to see the new house at the end of the garden
In the pitch black of the night it's madness, we can't see a thing
But in the blackest of the night you know your way
Every wall, every stone, every shadow
The house is planted in front of the marsh and the sea
You are arrived, for you the road does not go further
You have to fight for your place, life is not for tomorrow anymore
You can't change the subject anymore, it's good
And I already I run away on the road that flies toward Royan
The car dreams, it doesn't need its master
But barely am I alone again, I feel bad
I waste time and words, I am scared of happiness and of roses
Happiness, is it really nothing much?
If the rythm of the heart is so slow...what do I know...
Caught in that loneliness like in the mirrors, we stop
we smother, we are unable to move forward or backward, we die...
I come in the first hotel; people think I am crazy
Me too, I know my way! In the bed I roll myself up into a ball
I forget about everything.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Malicorne - Victor Hugo - The Timpanist's Bride


Original Title: "La fiancée du timbalier"
Text: Victor Hugo

My Lord the duke of Brittany
Has, for the murderous combats,
Summoned from Nantes to Mortagne
In the plain and on the mountain
All of his barrons and vassals' warriors.

Those are barrons whose arms
deck out forts encircled with a pit
Valiant knights aged in the alarms
Squires, men at arms;
One of them is my fiancé

He has left for Aquitaine
As a timpanist and yet
He is taken for a captain
Just seeing his haughty look
and his pourpoint of dazzling gold!

I have told to our abbot: - Your grace,
Pray well for all our soldiers!
And, like it's known he wants it,
I have burned three candles of wax
On the shrine of Saint Gildas.

He is due today from the war
to come back with my lord;
It's not a common lover anymore
I raise a forehead formerly lowered
And my pride is happiness!

The triumphant duke brings us back
His flag in the camps crumpled
Come all under the old gate
To see the sparkling escort go through
And the prince and my fiancé!

My sisters, so slow to attire yourself in
Come see near my victor
Those gleaming kettledrums
Those under his always trembling hand
Ring and make the heart spring up!

Come most of all to see himself
Under the coat I have embroidered.
How beautiful he will be! It's him I love!
He wears like a diadem
His helmet flooded with horse hair!

On two ranks the procession ripples
First the pikemen marching heavily
Then, under the banner being unfurled
The barrons, in silk robe,
With their velvet hats

Here comes the chasubles of the priests
The heralds on a white steed.
All of them, in memory of the ancesters,
Bear the escutcheon of their masters
Painted on their steel corselet

Admire the persian armor
Of the templars, feared by hell;
And, under the lengthy partisan
The archers arrived from Lausanne
Dressed with buffalo, armed with iron.

The duke is not far, his banners
floats among the knights;
A few captive ensigns
Shameful, pass the last ones...
My sisters! Here comes the timpanists...

She says and her wandering sight
Plunges in the squeezed ranks
Then in the indifferent crowd
She fell cold and dieing...
The timpanists were gone past.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Jacques Bertin - Leave an open window


Original Title: "Laissez une fenêtre ouverte"
Leave an open window to your house
Between the railway and the river
I hear you, I hear the noises of the meal,
Your child, I hear you whisper in your first sleep,

I shall come later lurk in the courtyard
The dogs will be calm, they will come at my feet
Your dreams come past with scattered words
They are going in the river escorted with torches

I shall watch over you in the pelisse of the night
And the muzzle of the dogs, at the first noise of dawn I will go away
You will push the shutter open, you will never know
I was so close to you.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jacques Dutronc - It's five o'clock, Paris is waking up


Original Title: "Il est cinq heures, Paris s'éveille"
I am the Dauphin* of place Dauphine
And the Place Blanche looks unwell
The trucks are full of milk
The roadsweepers are full of brooms

It's five o'clock
Paris is waking up
Paris is waking up

The transvestites are going to shave
The stripers are dressed back up
The bolsters are crushed
The lovers are tired

It's five o'clock
Paris is waking up
Paris is waking up

Coffee is in the cups
Cafés clean their windows
And on the Montparnasse boulevard
The station is nothing much but a carcass

It's five o'clock
Paris is waking up
Paris is waking up

The commuters are in the stations
In La Vilette Bacon is sliced
Paris by night, is going back to the buses
The bakers are acting like bastards

It's five o'clock
Paris is waking up
Paris is waking up

The Eiffel toward has cold feet
The Arc de Triomphe is revived
And the Obelisk is put well up
Between night and day

It's five o'clock
Paris is waking up
Paris is waking up

The newspapers are being printer
The workers are depressed
People are waking up, they are being done down
It's the time when I go to sleep

It's five o'clock
Paris is getting up
It's five o'clock
I am not tired
*(nobility title) could also mean "dolphin" (animal)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Jacques Brel - Do not leave me


Original Title: "Ne me quitte pas"
Do not leave me
We have to forget
Everything can be forgotten
That escapes already
Forgetting the time
Of the misunderstandings
And the lost time
Namely how to
Forget those hours
Which killed sometimes
through why's
The heart of happiness
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me

I, I'll offer youv Pearls of rain
That came from countries
where rain never falls
I would dig the earth
Until after my death
To cover your body
with gold and light
I'll make a domain
Where love will be king
Where love will be law
Where you will be queen
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me

Do not leave me
I'll make up for you
insane words
That you'll understand
I'll talk to you
about those lovers there
Who have seen twice
their hearts flare up
I will tell you
The story of that king
Dead for not having been able
to meet you
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me

We have often seen
the fire spurting out again
from the ancient volcano
That we thought too old
There are, apparently
Some scorched fields
Yielding more wheat
Than a better April
And when evening comes
For the sky to blaze
The black and the red
aren't they wedding?
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me

Do not leave me
I'll no longer cry
I'll no longer speak
I'll hide there
Looking at you
dance and smile
And listening to you
sing and then laugh
Let me become
The shadow of your shadow
The shadow of your hand
The shadow of your dog
But
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me

Friday, September 19, 2014

Jacques Bertin - Notebook


Original Title: "Carnet"
There are many deads in yesterday's newspaper
And a lot of misery but everywhere
Lots of people who remain indifferent
The next day everything seems already less serious

I wouldn't like that you grow old too fast
Before we would have had the time to stop
And to tell each each other: we are happy
that we would look at each other one more time
In the mirror in love with smiles
That I find you beautiful one more time
I still want time to offer
your body to passing gazes
People in passing take this woman
Own her. One day she won't be anything no more
Show yourself naked, dance for them
Own her so that she remains
And remains the print of her fingers in the ground

I feel now that everything is going a bit faster
Yet we were barely thirty year old
I stop and I look at you
Have I enjoyed you enough?
I stop the world and I look
Because it's more than ever time today to live
I look for to writing more and more simply
I am less concerned with rhymes and rythms
Because it's more than ever time today to live
To repulse the door that someone is closing on us
ineluctably

In yesterday's newspaper many dead
And then everywhere many indifferent people
We are too few to watch
We hold the lamp turned on
We push the sleep back with all our strength
And the lamp makes our eyes bright

We hold the lamp turned on
We do not grow old.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jacques Bertin - Return to Chalonnes


Original Title: "Retour à Chalonnes"
There is an obvious link between "even" and "loves me" in the way they sound

All the villages arranged like pearls
On the Loire sweet on my neck perfectly
I am well aware that here is my place, everything reminds me
Subsidence of the ground in the heart really
Really here, old feelings, everything brings me back
Trees in bloom, florid head, drying linen,
Garlands on the loose bas-reflief of time,
Here finally is my place and from now on even

Even
If I look for you here, even
So infinitely
Something here loves me
And make me lose my fondness

I know well that one had to leave far away to understand
The geometry of those roads in my hand
Absolve the horizons as well, make some ashes,
Bury names in the ground of the clouds far away
Run with the lie and go hang oneself
See in the window too many houses passing by
And not forgetting anything. Here I think I hear
the ground water of songs spring up

Even
If I look for you here, even
So infinitely
Something here loves me
And make me lose my fondness

The very slow work of sand of words torments
My table, that river, that mirror of the drowned
I am alone, therr is my patient wound
It's here the pain in the side wants to bleed
Then that breath on the slope or on your temple
That breath like a golden hair the summer evenings
Then dusk where you come in the white grass
to sit, then as if night was your hip
As if you were going to come
Everything that leans
Then if you came
carrying a lamp
Then if you loved me
Like slowly
starts here
the dreamed life

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Jacques Brel - I'm coming


Original Title: "J'arrive"
From chrysanthemums to chrysanthemums
Our friendships are on the leave
From chrysanthemums to chrysanthemums
Death gallows our beloved
From chrysanthemums to chrysanthemums
The other flowers do what they can
From chrysanthemums to chrysanthemums
Men cry, women rain

I'm coming, I'm coming
But how I would have liked
One more time to drag my bones
Up to the sun, up to summer
Up to spring, up to tomorrow

I'm coming, I'm coming
But how I would have liked
One more time to see if the river
Is still a river, to see if the port
Is still a port, to see myself there again

I'm coming, I'm coming
But why me? Why now?
Why already? And where to go?
I'm coming. Of course, I'm coming
Have I ever done anything else but to come

From chrysanthemums to chrysanthemums
Each time more solitary
From chrysanthemums to chrysanthemums
Each time supernumerary

I'm coming, I'm coming
But how I would have liked
One more time to take love
Like one takes the train to not be alone anymore
To be elsewhere. To be content.

I'm coming, I'm coming
But how I would have liked
One more time to fill with stars a body
Which trembles and to fall dead
consumed by love, the heart in ashes.

I'm coming, I'm coming
It’s not even you who is early
It’s already me who is late
I'm coming. Of course, I'm coming
Have I ever done anything else but to come

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Serge Reggiani - Prévert - Barbara


Text: Jacques Prévert
Slightly modified translation from: http://parolesinenglish.wordpress.com/

Remember Barbara
It was raining ceaselessly on Brest that day
And you were walking smiling
Beaming, delighted, dripping
Under the rain
Remember Barbara
It was raining ceaselessly on Brest
And I passed you in the rue de Siam
You were smiling
And me I was smiling the same smile
Remember Barbara
You who I didn’t know
You who didn’t know me
Remember
Remember that day anyway
Don’t forget
A man under an overhang was taking shelter
And he yelled your name
Barbara
And you ran to him under the rain
Dripping delighted beaming
And you threw yourself in his arms
Remember that Barbara
And don’t be mad if I speak to you familiarly
I speak familiarly to everyone I love
Even if I’ve only seen them once
I speak familiarly to everyone in love
Even if I don’t know them
Remember Barbara
Don’t forget
This good and happy rain
On your happy face
On this happy city
This rain on the sea
On the naval arsenal
On the boat from Ouessant
Oh Barbara
What a bullshit, war
What’s become of you now
Under this rain of iron
Of fire of steel of blood
And the one who took you in his arms
Lovingly
Is he dead, disappeared or yet still living
Oh Barbara
It’s raining ceaselessly on Brest
Like it rained before
But it’s no longer the same and everything’s damaged
It’s a rain of mourning terrible and desolate
It's not even a storm
Of iron of steel of blood anymore
Simply some clouds
That die like dogs
Dogs who disappear
Along the water over Brest
And go to rot far away
Far away very far away from Brest
Of which nothing remains.

Mouloudji's version:

Yves Montand's version:

Les Frères Jacques's version:

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Dominique A - The Convoy


Original Title: "Le Convoi"

They are going forward heavily in the morning that appears suddenly
The road opens up like a wound
that closes up again in their path
And that they open up like a wound

At the foot of big dams, they stop and fall asleep
They dream of fruits and berries
Of coal laid under open-air fire
They dream of fruits and berries.

Soon, soon, you will see them
Like a river birthing to the bright day
Soon, you will see the convoy
And you will be scared of love.

They exchange signs
Like words in an unknown language
From a country that meants nothing
And whose history got lost.

They walk on the corridor
Of a long-term time
They do not flee but they train themselves
to hold the reins of that time

Soon, soon, you will see them
Like a river birthing to the bright day
Soon, you will see the convoy
And you will be scared of love.

People say "The tiredness will kill them, death
is nothing else but the other name of the path they took"
But nothing says, no, nothing says
by looking at them, that they are still alive

Even if they walk and smile at each other
Even if they dream of fruits and berries
That they open the road like a wound
Nothing tell us, no, that they are still alive.

Soon, soon, you will see them
Like a river birthing to the bright day
Soon, you will see the convoy
And you will be scared of love.

Love is the big uncle that leads the convoy
It's the untenable promise, the absolute uncertainty
It's the miracle of a sleep bound to the miracle of the streets
That, inflamed with the same momentum are rising;

A sole hand for guide, the road does not lie
The road will never lie
Wherever she leads, to those who joined the convoy
The road tells everything it knows.

Soon, soon, you will see them
Like a river birthing to the bright day
Soon, you will see the convoy
And you will be scared of love.

It's an immense strength, it's irrigation itself
The flow of blood of the deads that reopens the fountains
The valves that turned, the canals that let everything go through
The most turbid fluids, the saltiest waters.

It's that dreamed burden that leads them and that slows down
The advance of the convoy, the steps are so loaded:
So many efforts to feel flow in ones veins
the flow of blood of the deads reviving the fountains.

Some give way on the way; the road closes back
on them, made up with grass and night;
They dream again and the dream preserves them
They are nor alive nor dead
They are of the shadow that goes pale

Because outside of the convoy
There is no hope to lose
No gaze to capture
No alveolus bathed with light

Out of the convoy
Time is a crumpled note
A bank with frozen assets
A sedentary journey

And there, now, you see them
Like a river birthing to the bright day
And you slip into the convoy
Scared to die from love.

And you slip into the convoy
In the river that carries everything away
A road opens up in front of you
That will close up behind us

Friday, September 5, 2014

Jacques Bertin - Mario



It's the heart which is hurting,
I think, Mario,
It's simply the heart
But of a so infinitely
tiny sorrow that a violin
wouldn't be able, even at the thinest
of its register, to appease it.
Mario, barely in the distance,
the rainy days, a smoke.

Like the invisible drawing
of a bird's flight in the limpid air
A sorrow but everything is calm
None of those sharp pains.
Blood. And none of those masses
in the sky threatening with clouds
Like a destruction. It's the heart.

Simply pinned, Mario,
The heart nailed like an image
On a water coloured life
On a decor with dead colors
Or like a poster, Mario,
Dried up on a door
And of which a scrap moves under the light air.

The heart that says of a so timid
way that it can not
go further in this life
destined nevertheless to the high seas.
And yet the universe inflexible
Creaks under the horn and is taking
care of us, like the implacable eye of the people.

Am I so old? I who talked
to this weather like a prophet
To the religion good and cheerful
Every battle was feast to me.
I am as if a bailiff
carrying high the candelabra
In full daylight, in my own heart,
among the dunes was taking me away.

Where I sink with every step
Losing my breath under the mask.
Unless it's my heart,
my old Mario, there, this small boat
Burried in the sand tide
And with a grass sweet to the feet
is covered and held by the lifeless
line of the poplar trees.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Jean Ferrat - Two children under the sun


Deux enfants au soleil jean ferrat
Original Title: "Deux enfants au soleil"
Text: Claude Delécluse

The sea constantly rolled its pebbles
The hair undone, they looked at each other.
In the smell of pine trees, sand and thyme
that bathed the beach.
They looked at each other. Both without talking.
As if they were drinking the water from their faces
And it was as if everything started again.
The same innocence made them tremble.
In front of the marvellous, the miraculous
Journey of love.

Outside they spent the night
One against the other they slept.
The sea rocked them for a long time.
And when they woke up.
It was as if they were born
In the first morning of the world.
The sea constantly rolled its pebbles.
When they ran. In the water bare feet.
Under the shadow of the pine trees. They held hands.
And without defending themselves. They fell in the water.
Like two birds.
Under the warm kiss of their tender mouth.
Life, hope and freedom
With the marvellous, the miraculous
Journey of love.
Isabelle Aubret's version:
http://www.ina.fr/video/I05061305

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Jean Ferrat - Aragon - We will sleep together


Original Title: "Nous dormirons ensemble"
Text: Louis Aragon

Be it sunday or monday
Evening or morning, midnight midday
In hell or paradise
Loves to loves ressemble
It was yesterday that I told you
We will sleep together

It was yesterday and it is tomorrow
I only have you left as path
I put my heart between your hands
With yours how it beats the amble
All the human time it has
We will sleep together

My love, what has been, will be
The sky is over us like a sheet
I closed my arms up on you
And I love you so much that I tremble
As long as you will want
We will sleep together

another version:


All poems written by Louis Aragon

Friday, August 29, 2014

Serge Reggiani - The absence


Original Title: "L'absence"

It's a shutter beating
It's a a light tear
On the sheet where recently
You laid your arm
While downstairs
The street talks alone
Someone is selling mandarins
A marine blue lady
Takes her goddaughter for a walk
The absence, here it is

The absence
Of a child, of a love
The absence is the same
When we have said "I love you"
One day...
The silence is the same

It's a night falling
It's a poetry as well
Where the doves were passing
One night of jealousy
A book is open
You touched that page
You cracked that glass
When you got back from a long trip
The luggages are remaining
The absence, here it is

The absence
Of a child, of a love
The absence is the same
When we have said "I love you"
One day...
The silence is the same

It's a shutter beating
It's, on a calendar, the cross
Of an old date
Where we were saying you to one another
The vases are empty
Where we would have put the bouquets
And the miror is getting wrinkles
Where the past is on the lookout
I hear one footstep
The absence, here it is

The absence
Of a child, of a love
The absence is the same
When we have said "I love you"
One day...
The silence is the same

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Léo Ferré - Verlaine - I still see you


Original Title: "Je vous vois encore"
Text: Paul Verlaine

I still see you! In a summer dress
white and yellow with curtain's flowers.
But you didn't have anymore the wet cheerfulness
Of the most delirious of our short futures.

The small bride and the elder girl
Had reappeared with the clothes
And it was already our fate
That looked at me under your veil

Be forgiven! And it's the reason why,
I keep, alas! with some pride,
In my memory, which cuddled you,
the side lightning that flew from your eye.

Slightly different version:

Je vous vois encore/ leo ferre paul verlaine

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...