Saturday, August 2, 2014

Jacques Brel - Jaurès


Translated for the 100th year of the assassination of Jean Jaurès.

They were worn up at fifteen years old
They were finishing while beginning
The twelve months were named december
What kind of life did our grand parents have?
Between the absinth and the high masses
They were old before being,
Fifteen hours a day, the body on a leash,
Leaves to the face an ash like complexion.
Yes our Sir, yes our kind Master

Why did they kill Jaurès?
Why did they kill Jaurès?

One can not say they were slaves
But to say that they have lived
When you start defeated like that
It's hard to come out of the enclave
And though hope florished
In the dreams which were going up to the eyes
Of the few who were refusing
to crawl until old age
Yes our kind Master, yes our Sir

Why did they kill Jaurès?
Why did they kill Jaurès?

If by misfortune they survived
It was to go to war
It was to end at war
Under the orders of some swordsman
Who was demanding half-heartedly
That they go open in the field of honour
Their twenty year old which didn't have the chance to be born
And they died in full fear
All miserable, yes our kind Master
Covered with field horsetails, yes our Sir.
Ask yourself pretty youth,
The time of the shadow of a memory,
The time of the blow of a sigh,

Why did they kill Jaurès?
Why did they kill Jaurès?

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Surely not perfect and it's deliberately litteral. However still faithful to the original meaning

      Delete

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