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
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

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

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

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:

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 that day anyway
Don’t forget
A man under an overhang was taking shelter
And he yelled your name
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
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:

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 ressemble to loves
It was yesterday I told you:
"We will sleep together"

It was yesterday and it is tomorrow
You are the only path left for me
I put my heart between your hands
With yours how it beats the amble
All it has of human time
We will sleep together

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

another version:

All poems written by Louis Aragon

Jean-Roger Caussimon - On a wish of Paul Elouard

Original Title: " Sur un voeu " Any caress, any trust survive themselves Those words so simple with light Were written by Paul...