Monday, March 30, 2015

Jacques Bertin - In Paris in every suburb

Original Title: "A Paris dans chaque faubourg"
Text: René Clair
Music: Maurice Jaubert

They lived in the same suburb
The same street and the same courtyard
He was throwing smiles at her
She loved him without telling him
But one day that a kiss united them
In the sky she thought she read
Like an infinite hope

In Paris in every suburb
The sun of each day
Makes in some destiny
Hatch a dream of love
Among the crowd a love lands
On a twenty year old soul
For her everything is metamorphosed
Everything is the color of spring
In Paris when the day breaks
In Paris in every suburb
When you are twenty you make dreams
All in the color of love

In a minute the spell can break
The tender hope born in a kiss
A reproach, a quarrel
He went away far from her
Another girl is between his arms
Did he know what conceals
Love which does not talk

In Paris in every suburb
Every time the day ends
At the time when dreams are born
Shatters a dream of love
Farewell happiness
Farewell poor story
Memories always so strong
Everything is parting us
And in the memory
Everything is of the color of death
In Paris when the day ends
In Paris in every suburb
At the time when dreams are born
Dies a dream of love

After days without hope
Both met one evening
They did not dare to smile
But their eyes managed to read
That soon they could be happy
And if they could not say anything to each other’s
Their eyes talked for them

In Paris in every suburb
When the dreaming night came
At any time a moved soul
Evokes a dream of love
Of the happy days there are no trace left
Everything has the color of the night
But when you are twenty the future erases
The past when hope shines
In Paris as soon as the night came
In Paris in every suburb
At any time a moved soul
Still dreams about love

Georges Brassens' version:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Les Frères Jacques - General for sale

Original Title: "Général à vendre"
Early morning I got up it was Sunday
To the old cart I hitched up the white mare
To go to the market
In the chief town of the country
Apparently there were generals for sale

But the sun crushed the white road so much
The mare stopped so often under the branches
That when I was there
No one had waited for me
And all the generals had been sold

Although over there at the very bottom of the fair's field
By a stroke of luck one was remaining
He wasn't covered with glory
But with a little bit of Ripolin²
He could still look very well

I traded him against a crate of unripe apples
Four cauliflowers and a slice of bread with jam
All this for a general
It was really not that bad
And then I loaded him in the cart

At home I received bitter reproaches
One more apparently I had let myself be pushed around
A General in that state
Was worth much less than that
But as it was done too bad for me

And then the kids got scared of his mustache
It was red and it made them cry
We cut him one side of it
But the dog started to bark
So we left the other half

He did nothing so to not stain his beautiful suit
Time to time he peeled a few vegetables
Or repaired the stepladder
Or unblocked the washbasin
But he wasn't even able to play piano

Yet some evening, some summer evenings
The General sat down on the straw
And the eyes lost in the vastness
He told us about his battles

He told us about the Dardanelles
When he was only a Colonel
And the campaign of Orient
When he was only a Major
The Napoleonian epic
When he was only a Captain
And then the hundred years war
When he was just a lieutenant
The Crusades and Pepin the Short
When he was just a chief-sergeant
And the elephants of Hannibal
When he was just a corporal
The Thermopylae, Leonidas
When he was just a second class
And Ramses II, the first was
When his mother was canteen manageress

Then the General until the early morning
Unwound the thread of his vast story
Then he fell asleep on his bundle of hay
And us without speaking
We were dreaming of glory

He stayed at home like that
Up to fall
Without working without finding life monotonous
It even surprised us
To learn from the parish priest
That he had made twins to the maid

And then here is that one fine morning
Of December
He entered without even knocking
In my bedroom
He just had read in the newspaper
That he was promoted Marshal
Thus he was leaving us it was inevitable

I drove him back to town
I have been given back my cauliflowers
And my crates
And without useless emotion
Without tears and without saying a word
We part our ways like true heroes

At home life went back to normal without adventures
There is no one left to steal our jam
The General at the bistrot
Had planted a flag
For motherland I paid the bill

I never went back to the market
But sometimes in the sky of a summer night
Five stars can be seen
And it hurts us a little
Oh never buy a General

²French enamel paint, expression to do something up

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gabriel Yacoub - The Luzon bleeding-heart (The stabbed dove)

Original title: "Colombe Poignardée"
White queen winged with black
Crane and its groats
The starlings' clan

Four long-flight ducks
Three woodpigeons
Two turtledoves
One partridge
Who comes who goes who flies

And there are screams*
there are twitters²
there are gobbles³
there are squawks
there are cackles
there are hisses
there are quacks*
there are screeches
there are talks with the wind

Bleeding-heart dove
Talks with the wind
Mallard, Northern pintail, northern shoveler, Eider
kingfisher, king fisher

Four long-flight ducks
Three woodpigeons
Two turtledoves
One partridge
Who comes who goes who flies

The big crow of the seas
Took my soul away
Because at everyone's neck
Hangs one's bird
* "Margoter" or "Margauder" in french is the scream of the Quail, same goes for "carcailler"
² for the swallow
³ for the gander (male of the goose)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jacques Brel - On the square

Original Title: "Sur la place"

On the square, made warm by the sun
A girl started to dance
She is turning always the same way, alike
to the dancers of antiquities*
On the city, it's too warm
Men and women are dozing
And look through the pane
That girl who is dancing at noon

In this way, some days appears
A flame in our eyes
At the church I was going to
It was called the good Lord
The lover calls it love
The beggar: charity
The sun calls it the day
And the honest man: kindness

On the square vibrating with hot air
Where not even a dog makes its appearance
Swaying like reed
The girl leaps, comes and go
Nor guitar nor tambourin
To accompany her dance
She strikes in her hand
To give herself the rhythm

In this way, some days appears
A flame in our eyes
At the church I was going to
It was called the good Lord
The lover calls it love
The beggar: charity
The sun calls it the day
And the honest man: kindness

On the square where everything is quiet
A girl started to sing
And her song hangs over the town
Hymn of love and kindness
But over the town, it's too warm
And in order to not hear the song
Men close the panes
Like a door between alive and dead ones

In this way, some days appears
A flame in our heart
But we never want
to let its light glimmer
We turn a deaf ear
And we veil our eyes
We do not like the wakening
Of our heart already old

On the square a dog is still howling
Because the girl left
And, like the dog howling death,
Cries for the men
Their destiny

*I am pretty sure J. Brel refers to those little dancers on antique music boxes who turn and turn. Hence the translation about antiquities instead of ancient dancers.
Another version:

Jacques Brel - Sur la place

Sung by Barbara:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Léo Ferré - Paul Verlaine - He was ice-skatting marvelously

Original Title: "Il patinait merveilleusement"
Text: Paul Verlaine

He was ice-skating marvellously
Rushing forward, only impetuously!
Coming back so prettily really

Thin like a tall young girl
Bright, vivacious and strong, like a needle
Suppleness, momentum of an eel.

Prestigious optical games
A delicious torment of the eyes,
A lightning that would be graceful

Sometimes he remained like invisible
Speed on its way toward a target
So distant, itself invisible…

Invisible alike today
What would have happened of him?
What would have happened of him?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Georges Brassens - I made myself small

Original Title: "Je me suis fait tout petit"
I had never taken my hat off
in front of anyone
Now I crawl and curry favour
when she rings for me
I was a rotten dog, she makes me eat
in her hand
I had wolves teeth, I changed them
for toothy-pegs

I made myself all small in front of a doll
Who closes her eyes when she is laid down
I made myself small in front of a doll
Who makes "Mommy" when she is touched

I was an hard nut to crack, she converted me
The gourmet
And I fell all warm, all roasted
Against her mouth
Which has baby teeth when she smiles
When she sings
And wolves teeth when she is termagant
When she is malicious

I made myself all small in front of a doll
Who closes her eyes when she is laid down
I made myself small in front of a doll
Who makes "Mommy" when she is touched

I was subjected to her law, I toe the line
Under her grip
Even though she is jealous far beyong anything
And even worse
A pretty periwinkle who seemed to me
prettier than her
A pretty periwinkle one day died from it
of parasol's blows

I made myself all small in front of a doll
Who closes her eyes when she is laid down
I made myself small in front of a doll
Who makes "Mommy" when she is touched

All the sleepwalkers, all the mages have
told me intending no harm
That between her arms in a cross, I would suffer
my last torture
There are worst ones, there are better ones
But all in all
Be it that we hang ourselves here, that we hang ourselves elsewhere
If one has to hang himself

I made myself all small in front of a doll
Who closes her eyes when she is laid down
I made myself small in front of a doll
Who makes "Mommy" when she is touched

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Dominique A - Exit

My love
Greyness has passed
Something must have driven it away

Yet it had covered everything
It had settled like dust

My love,
You have seen like me
Those streets swarming with people
That state in which people are
for once

It had never been seen on them
That face finally relaxed

My love,
I got carried away
It is not completely over

The streets swarming with people

Oh, how you are disappointed
You feel greyness coming back
Yet, it has not completely covered
like it was doing yesterday

And if we are well inspired
We should take advantage of it
Another version:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Jacques Bertin - The young blond girl

Original Title: "La jeune fille blonde"
Thus here is the age shooting pain
I am not crying thank you
But while the shadow moves forward
I must say thank you

I pay my dues without delay
The wind signs me a receipt
Sing that song or ash
Let it be a buried treasure

Thank you for the ancient joy
Oh old tired country
Those wounds those bleeding scabs
To the people, to the poplar grove

Which dresses its ill, which sings
Old country, set table
Or heavy vans stopped
Full of aromatic tears

Thank you, thank you for the childhood
Our story not worthy of twenty pennies
And for the little France,
For the united hands so sweet

Country, the peace, the trust
Two thousand years of hollow path
The sufferings, their sufferings
Hope and the happy people

Ah the young blond girl
Forever mixed with me
All those struggles, those revolts
And our winged youth

The suffering, the suffering
All that buried sorrow
Then the sap and everything begins
The people, The poplar grove

And the fertile revolt
The nice idea of harmony
Beautiful girl, my harvesting
Ah the beautiful spoilt rotten children

The beautiful wheats, the beautiful arpeggios
The beautiful roundup of words
Our souls were of snow
And your heart with bird songs

Beautiful country, ancient song
The people, The poplar grove
The joy, the joy full the plain
And the young girl in may

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jacques Brel - I appeal

Original Title: "J'en appelle"
I appeal to the houses crushed with light
I appeal to the loves that are sun by the rivers
To the blue bursting of the mornings of spring
To the pretty strength of the girls who are twenty-year-old
To the certain coolness of an old well of the desert
To the star which waits the old man who is getting lost
So that rises from us and stronger than a desire
The incredible desire to want to build oneself
While desiring ourselves weak rather than proud
While desiring ourselves cowards rather than horrendous

I appeal to your laugh that you crunch from the sun
I appeal to your cry alike to none other
To the joyful silence which speaks softly
To those words that we say just by looking at one another
To the heavy hand of our sincere love
To our twenties found by everything they hope
So that rises from us and stronger than a desire
The incredible desire to want to build oneself
While preferring rather than the useless glory
And the deep happiness and then the tranquil joy
I appeal to the houses crushed with light
I appeal to your cry alike to none other

Monday, March 9, 2015

La Tordue - You

La Tordue means the crazy woman, woman with a twisted mind.
Original Title: "Toi"

The moon is beautiful and I notice
that it looks like you like a drop of silk
Fallen at the deepest of the soul
Oh my A, my love, my soul

Heart down in the hold, I set sails
I set sails toward a star
Constellation which bears your name
Constellation which bears your name

Your heart, your arms, in my arms are
At the heart of my deep love
Whole you delighted me
You brought me back to life

Your love is a bottomless well
Where comes sparkle in the evening
Thousand sitars which sing your name
Thousand sitars which sing your name

I kiss the nape of your neck and the night
of your dark hair follows me
Like a perfume filled with infite
Where I drown myself madly

A secret ocean of ink
In the den of your jet-black eyes
Where I plunged to pick up your name
Where I plunged to pick up your name

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Barbara - My childhood

Original Title: "Mon enfance"
I was wrong, I came back
In this town, far away, lost,
Where I had spent my childhood,
I was wrong, I wanted to see again,
the hillside where the evening glides,
Blue and grey, shadow of silence,
And I found back, like before,
a long time after,
The hillside, the tree standing
Like in the past,
I walked, burning temples,
Thinking I was smothering under my steps
The voices of the past which haunts us,
And comes back to toll the knell,
And I lied down under the tree,
And it was the same scents,
And I let my tears flow,
My tears,

I put my bare back against the bark,
The tree gave some strength back to me
Like in the time of my childhood
And for a long time, I closed my eyes,
I think I prayed a little,
I was finding my innocence back,
Before the evening came up
I wanted to see,
The house florished under the roses,
I wanted to see
The garden where our child's shouts,
were bursting out like clear springs
Jean, Claude, and Régine, and then Jean,
Everything was becoming like yesterday again,
The heavy perfume of the red sages,
The fawn dahlia in the path,
The well, everything, I found everything back,

War had thrown us there,
Others were less happy, I think,
At the pretty time of their childhood,
War had thrown us there,
We lived like outlaws,
And I liked that, when I think about it,
Oh my springs, oh my suns,
Oh my crazy lost years,
Oh my fifteens, oh my marvels,
How it hurts to be back,
Oh the fresh nuts of September,
And the scent of the crushed blackberries
It's crazy, everything, I have found everything back,

One must never come back,
To the hidden time of the memories,
Of the blessed time of my childhood,
Because among all those memories,
Those of childhood are the worst,
Those of childhood tears us apart,
You, my dearest, Oh my mother,
Where are you then, today,
You sleep in the warm of the earth,
And I, I came back here, to find back your laugh,
Your angers and your youth,
But I stay alone with my distress,

Why did I come back,
alone, at the bend of these streets,
I am cold, I am scared, and the evening leans over,
Why did I come here, where my past crucifies me,
Where my childhood sleeps forever.

André Dassary - Godard - Lullaby from Jocelyn

Original Title: "Berceuse de Jocelyn"
Jocelyn is an Opera by Benjamin Godard
Hidden in this sanctuary
Where God led us
United by misfortune
During the long nights
We both rest
Asleep under their veils
Or pray under the gazes
of the trembling stars

Oh! do not wake up yet
So that a beautiful angel, with your dream,
by unwinding its long golden thread
Child, allows it to come to an end
Sleep! Sleep! the day just barely glinted
Holy Virgin, watch over him.

Tino Rossi's version:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Félix Leclerc - The small happiness

Original Title: "Le petit bonheur"
It was a small happiness
That I had picked up
It was all in tears
On the side of a ditch
When it saw me pass
It started to shout
"Mister pick me up
At your home bring me

My brothers have forgotten me, I fell I am sick
If you do not pick me up I will die. What a ballad!
I will make myself small, tender and submissive, I swear
Mister, I beg you, deliver me from my torture!"

I took the small happiness
Put it under my rags
I said "It must not die
Come over to my house."
Then the small happiness
made his recovery
On the side of my heart
There was a song.

My days, my nights, my sorrows, my mournings, my ill, everything was forgotten
My idle life, I was disgusted to go on with it.
When it was raining outside or that my friends made me sad
I took my small happiness and I told her "It's your my queen!"

My happiness blossomed
It made buds
It was paradise
It was visible on my forehead
But a pretty morning
That I was whistling that refrain
My happiness left without holding my hand

However much I beg it, cuddle it, make a scene,
Show it the big hole that it was making at the bottom of my heart,
It was still going away, head high, without joy, without hate
As if it could not see the sun anymore in my home.

I well thought about dieing
Of sorrow and boredom
I ceased laughing
It was always the night
I had oblivion left
I had contempt left
Finally I told myself
I have life left!

I took my staff back, my mournings, my sorrows and my rags
And I stamped my feet in countries of unfortunate people
Today when I see a fountain or a girl
I make a big detour or I close my eyes
I make a big detour or I close my eyes

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...