Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Boris Vian - The Deserter


Original Title: "Le Déserteur"
Mister the President
I am writing you a letter
That you will maybe read
If you have the time

I just received
My military papers
To go to war
Before wedsneday evening

Mister the President
I don't want to do it
I am not on earth
To kill poor people

It's not to make you mad
I have to tell you
I have made my decision
I am going to desert

Since I am born
I have seen my dad die
I have seen my brothers go away
And cry my children

My mother suffered so much
That she is in her grave
And does not care of the bombs
And does not care of the worms

When I was a prisonner
I have been robbed of my wife
I have been robbed of my soul
And of all my dear past

Tomorrow early morning
I will close my door
At the nose of the years bygone
I will go on the roads

I will beg my life
On the roads of France
From Britany to Provence
And I will tell people

Refuse to obey
Refuse to do it
Don't go to war
Refuse to go away

If one has to give his blood
Go give yours
You have an holier-than-thou attitude*
Mister the President

If you pursue me
Warn your gendarmes²
That I won't have any weapon
And that they will be able to shoot

*You are a good apostle is the word by word translation
²gendarmes are policemen belonging to the army branch

Serge Reggiani's version:

Marcel Mouloudji's version:

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