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:

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely song. I'd never heard it before. Very touching...

    ReplyDelete

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