Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Jean Ferrat - To understand


Original Title: "Comprendre"
I'll teach you the water, the light
The tree, the spring, the torrent
The secret of the vines, of the stones
The noise of the wind

You, you'll teach me the panther
The cat, the fox and the bird
The wounded shout of the lonely one
Far from the herd
We will learn to see hthings
And their why and their how
I'd have the innocense of the roses
And you the one of the children

To understand
The flower and the fruit
To understand
The world of today

You'll teach me your eyes of flowers,
Your necklaces arms, your flame hips
Your bee dream, and heartbreak,
Your womanly laugh
I'd be the shadow which follows you
That part always in ourselves
Which slips away from the other and runs away from
What we love
We will learn to know each others
By toppling the bans
I'll be the open window
And you the night

To understand
The flower and the fruit
To understand
The world of today

We will conjugate the future
There every moment in you
By sharing the wine, the laugh
With those ones
Who live higher in their dreams
Who hate solitude
Who hunt the shadow and the lie
Of the habits
We will learn to see the world
With those men of today
Whose dreams merge with ours
Towards infinity

To understand
The flower and the fruit
To understand
The world of today

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Jean-Roger Caussimon - It's sunny


Original Title: "Il fait soleil"


From the song to the prayer
There is a long way and yet
Every morning of light
I find back the soul of a child
Which meditates and is filled with wonder

I am happy, it's sunny
And yet

In this newspaper that is being brought to me
I could read black on white
The news items, in dead letters
All that stream of tears and blood
Rolls like it was rolling the day before

I am happy, it's sunny
And yet

I am free, I drink, I eat
In prison, cries an innocent man
On the dried up bank of the Ganges
A child falls slowly asleep
Under the dry eye of the vulture that watches

I am happy, it's sunny
And yet

Our only country, it's the world
We forget there, from time to time
That here and there, the canon rumbles
But who wants to listen to it, hears it
You just have to lend an ear

I am happy, it's sunny
And yet

That it's casting off to the abyss
This time of misery and death
Where our joys, pays itself with shame
And that I sing without remorse
Simply, like does the bee

For everyone, it's sunny
It's sunny! It's sunny!
Sun! Sun, sun, sun, sun...

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monique Morelli - Mac Orlan - The girl of the woods


Original Title: "La fille des bois"
Text: Pierre Mac Orlan
Music: Léo Ferré
When I recollect my beautiful childhood
And the patters I heard
About the month of may and its hopes
I was the fledgling trapped in birdlime.
I was a child, it's unquestionable
But an ugly child like I do not know what.
By definition a guilty child,
Seeking after the adventure, in the evening at the corner of a wood.

At the corner of that wood was crying the little owl
She had the look of it but that bitch
Instead of moaning was making fun of me for being flat broke
And of my bare feet turned blue by the cold
One night I caught sight at the branches of an oak tree
Two or three hangmen by way of flags
Some rooks looked like ebony fruits
So I half-made the sign of the cross

It was the masterwork of a grand captain
Who was populating the country of his memories
I was way too young to feel my sorrow;
It didn't stop me from falling back asleep.
The rascals coming from a poor village
Were galloping at night for fear of the sardonic ones*
But I, I was probably waiting for a beautiful page
Dressed in scarlet colors, nice hair like a king

Nature is good for everything that moves;
Later a good-for-nothing took me by the hand.
Those at the corner of the wood were calling him Auneau the Red²;
He told me "Jump rascally wench, the bed is in the hay"
It has been the tender and libertine fair
Up to the cursed day where I saw him all straighten up
In the livid dawn when the guillotine
Was stretching its two arms out in front of the belfry

Then as an end if necessary to every thing,
As decrepit as a sheard owl
I came back to strike my pose again
At the edge of the wood of the good ol' time lost.
It's the time of the end for the old hussies.
I do not worth more than a bundle of dead wood
It's maybe the image of a life without wisdom
But about wisdom...it wasn't my strong point.

*vagabond soldiers
²Criminal of the end of the 18th century
Pauline Julien's version

Friday, September 30, 2016

Léo Ferré - The missing


Original Title: "Le Manque"
Your skirt is too short
I see drawings in it, I see years
The turmoil which is going to disfigure you
Your skirt is too short
I can not imagine anymore

You are walking too fast
I see camel in the end of the desert
Who are dieing of thirst it's summer it's winter
You are walking too fast
I can not imagine anymore

People are looking at you
I'd like to put them in the back of your throat
You'd vomit them back with jasmine
The one who is pointing his finger at you and makes me sick
People are looking at you
I can not imagine anymore

Your skirt is too short
You are walking too fast
People are looking at me
Are looking at me imagining you

There is something missing in this obscene town
And it's you I miss
And it's you I miss

Your skirt is too short
I'd gladly climb on top of the roofs there
New York this morning had nothing left but you
Your skirt is too long
And I imagine and imagine ponds

You swim too fast
I see perfumes I smell your tiredness
You swim too fast
I die of you I die of myself
And I can't do anything else but imagine

People are queueing up
For anyone For your sour smell
You'd give them your blackberries not ripe
You are walking too fast
Give you the hand hold me on your map
Look over there on the red sign

Forbidden to live
Cops are looking at us
There is something missing in Amsterdam tonight
And it's you my love
You who run in my veins

I lost you ...and I miss you...
I can not imagine you anymore...
You the heroine....you the heroine...
Of my romance novel

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jacques Bertin - Last warning


Original Title: "Dernier avertissement"
I am writing you this letter on the side of a road toward Vierzon
I've run out of petrol and I have the time, the sea is vast
If I write it's to bid you farewell, there is no point as I am leaving
My love, I am sitting the ass at the bottom of the water in my distress
Fishes are empty moments, we look at each other with a stupid look
The boat which was leaking from everywhere it was my soul
I was bailing as much as I could, you weren't seeing anything, I was holding on
You liked to burn your wings to the diseases of the butterflies
You have shouted too often "It hurts" or "I am drowning, help!"
I was holding on but I was tiring the heart belt, the transmission
You didn't pay attention enough, you took your ill for a male
You thought you could hammer, groan and jump on it with your feet together
You were thinking "It's steel under the fingers, some cabbage belly, some Briton's head'
The bulldozer broke a piston during an ascent of the pillow, it's dieing
The climbers roped together got lost on the north face of the dolorosa soul on the ground²
Men, I see nothing else int he ditches, belly bursted
Little twentieth century chicks, the clued up rats pass without seeing
No doubt they are going to beat their big basket of troubles at the washing-place.
Oh god! Alas! You'll cry much less once alone
You won't want to bug your fellow man now that you are your nearest neighbour
I, I'll regret the quick-temper in bed, the bitter-sweet halter
The little Bovary chest of drawers so cumbersome
And your inteligence like a liquier which was tightening around my neck.
Oh God! From now on you'll say "Me, I" alone for your mirror
And your mirror, it's certain, will accept you better than I
You will finally go to sleep alone, such peace in the ocean of the sheets
No one anymore, thank God, to talk very low to be a sexual object
I will be able to run out of gas on the roads, no one to moan
You will have no one to admire, no one to complain to
And I, I will go, cushy, with my empty can along the meadows.
² play on words to sound like Mater Dolorosa

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Léo Ferré - You'd put the universe


Original Title: "Tu mettrais l'univers"
Text: Charles Baudelaire

You'd put the whole universe in your alleyway
Impure woman! Boredom makes your soul cruel.
To exercise your teeth to this singular game,
You need every day one heart to your rack.
Your eyes, lit up like shops
And blazing yew trees in public feasts,
Blatantly use of a feigned power,
Without ever knowing the law of their beauty.

Blind and deaf machine, fertile in cruelties!
Salutary instrument, drinker of the blood of the world,
How aren't you ashamed and how haven't you,
In front of all mirrors, seen your charmes fade?
The greatness of that ill where you believe yourself skilful
never then has made you back away in terror,
When nature, tall in its hidden design,
Uses you, oh woman, oh queen of sins,
- Of you, vile animal, - to knead a genius?

Oh miry greatness! Magnificent ignominy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Monique Morelli - Ronsard - When I see you


Original Title: "Quand je vous vois"
Text: Pierre de Ronsard

When I see you, or when I think of you
Of a shiver all my heart quivers
My blood stirs and of a fertile thought
Another one grows, so sweet is the subject to me.

I tremble all of nerves and knees
Like the was in the fire, I distil myself
My reason falls and my strength useless
Leaves me cold breathless and without pulse.

I look like the dead, who is tumbled down the grave
So gaunt am I, dreadful and pale
Seeing my senses turn into death

And somehow I take pleasure in my embers.
Of an alike ill one and the other feel comfortable
I to die and you to kill me.


All poems written by Ronsard

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Jacques Bertin - To Doctor L.


Original Title: "Au Docteur L"
Vehicule stopped on the side of the road
"Do you need help...comrade?"

I have seen you when I was passing by very fast.
Exhausted in the screaming morning which was coming
I have seen you and I didn't stop
I have seen too many tired men
Tired, exhausted, open mouth
Worn out by the road, impossible to hold on
when the day is coming

I have seen you in bars on the morning
When you have smoked your pack of cigarettes during the night
The alcohol ends up triggering the tide in you
The filter only sends in the circuit the words that really hurt

You are unfair with your life
But afterall it has blinkers on the eyes
Like an horse which drags itself forever
Without knowing what it drags
Toward the final paddock
Anyway its legs are already hurting

Some evenings, at a friend's house,
Drunken with tiredness and emptiness
Suddenly grabbed by the elation of the suicidal ones
You start yelling about being useful and pure
And to burn one's life in one's pipe
For default of another tobacco

Buddies pretend that those are drunken words
But they look at you with terror
Like you they see the truth about the state of the sick one
And the weird color of the sheets

The wife, one has chosen
Whom we do not love anymore
Whom we still love
On whom young people turn round in town
Without her believing in it
She listens and pushes back as much as she can
The door on that cold
Because for that business she is more advanced than you

She doesn't know if she still loves you
It does not matter
One has to put the machine back in one's old way
And start off again

Oh woman, Oh woman
Do not turn away from that man please
Let's go inside, Doctor
Let's go inside that house
Which will never be our house

Stop the car
I do not know where
But I hurt
Breathe the air coming from the native country

Vehicle stopped on the side of the road
Do you need help comrade
I have seen too many tired men
If I tell you: I am happy
Ah believe me
Would you have a grudge against me, Comrade
If I do not stop
I pass at top speed well protected by my young age
Doctor, hold the hand of that incomporable companion you have
Start the engine again, it'll be fine by driving quietly

Monday, July 4, 2016

Jean-Roger Caussimon - The buddies of May



Original Title: "Les copains de mai"
On the path of my Bohemia
I have seen childreen pass
If they were anxious about the future
They still wanted to hope
Our meeting was too brief
Where, without saying it, we were in love
While sharing the same dreams
The time for a month of may to last
The time for a month of may to last

Because this city we hasten ourself to
Is merciless to the springs
Life takes them Life city spoils them
In the banal way I mean
In the banal way I mean

Not wanting to appear more gamine
Nor weaker than boys anymore
The girls had ways
Slightly troubling of androgynes
Love was, if you listened to them,
Nothing but hobby by mutual agreement
It was of course to deny
Suffering and crying because of it
Suffering and crying because of it

Because this city we hasten ourself to
Is merciless to the lovers
Life takes them Life city spoils them
In the cruel way I mean
In the cruel way I mean

On three chords of a guitar
We were singing the same songs
But destiny has its reasons
Undoubtly when it parts us
Am I still in your memory
I who would like to beg you
To never think nor believe
That I could forget about you
That I could forget about you

Because this city we hasten ourself to
Is merciless to the missings one
Life takes them Life city spoils them
In the meaningless way I mean
Where are your teenager hearts?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Jean Ferrat - Louis Aragon - Epilogue


Original Title: "Epilogue"
Text: Louis Aragon
Life would have passed like a big sad castle that all the winds go through
The draughts slam the doors and yet no bedroom is closed
There sit some unknown persons poor and weary who knows why, some in arms
The grass grew in the ditches so that we can't lower its portcullis anymore

When I was young I was told that soon would come the victory of angels
Ah how I believed in it, how I believed in it then I became old
The time of the young people is for them like a forelock always falling back over their eyes
And what's left of it for the elderly is too heavy and too short that for them the wind changes

I will write those verses with arms wide open so that one can feel my heart beat there four times
Even if I have to die for it I will go beyond my throat and my voice, my breath and my song
I am the reaper drunk from reaping who is being seen laying waste to his life and his field
And panting of the time he loses there, who beats and beats again his scythe soundly

I see all what you have in front of you, of misfortune, of blood, of weariness
You would not have learned anything from our illusions, not understood a thing from our missteps
We were of no use to you you will have to pay the price at your turn
I see your shoulder bend. On your forehead I see the crease of the habits

Of course, of course you will tell me that it's always like that but precisely
Think about all those who put their living fingers, the flesh hands in the gearing
So that it changes and think of those who weren't even discussing their cage
May we have the right to despair, the right to stop for a moment

I will write those verses with arms wide open so that one can feel my heart beat there four times
Even if I have to die for it I will go beyond my throat and my voice, my breath and my song
I am the reaper drunk from reaping who is being seen laying waste to his life and his field
And panting of the time he loses there, who beats and beats again his scythe soundly

Think that we never stop to fight and that having vanquished is hardly a thing
And that everything is in the balance again from the moment that man is accountable of man
We have seen great things done but there have been dreadful ones
Because it nos always easy to know where is the evil where the good

And one day will come when you'll have on you the senseless sun of victory
Remember that we also knew that and that others climbed
To tear off the flag of servitude from the Acropolis and that they have been the ones,
Them and their glory, still panting, to be thrown in the common grave of History

I will write those verses with arms wide open so that one can feel my heart beat there four times
Even if I have to die for it I will go beyond my throat and my voice, my breath and my song
I am the reaper drunk from reaping who is being seen laying waste to his life and his field
And panting of the time he loses there, who beats and beats again his scythe soundly

I don't say that to demoralize you. One has to look straight at the emptiness
To know how to triumph against it. The song is not less beautiful when it declines
One has to know how to hear it elsewhere when it rebirths like the echo among the hills
We aren't the only one in the world to sing and the drama is the collection of songs

The drama one has to know how to keep its part in it and even if one voice goes quiet
Remember always that the deep chorus will take back the interrupted sentence
As long as the singer has up to the bottom of himself, done what he could
No matter if along the way you'll abandon me like an hypothesis

I will write those verses with arms wide open so that one can feel my heart beat there four times
Even if I have to die for it I will go beyond my throat and my voice, my breath and my song
I am the reaper drunk from reaping who is being seen laying waste to his life and his field
And panting of the time he loses there, who beats and beats again his scythe soundly

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Léo Ferré - Paul Verlaine - The lodger girls


Original Title: "Les pensionnaires"
Text: Paul Verlaine
One was fifteen years old, the other was sixteen
Both were asleep in the same bedroom.
It was a very heavy evening of September
Frail, with blue eyes, some redness of a strawberry

Each left, to make themselves comfortable,
The thin shirt of a fresh perfume of amber
The youngest stretches her arms and arches her back
And her sister, her hands on her breasts, kisses her,

Then fall on her knees, then becomes wild
And tumultuous and crazy, and her mouth
Plunges under the blond gold, in the grey shadows;

And the child, in the meanwhile, makes a list
On her cute fingers some promised waltzes,
And, pink, smiles with innocence.
All poems by Verlaine.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Frehel - Where is it then?


Original Title: "Où est-il donc?"
Text: Carol and Decaye
Music: Scotto
Year: 1926
Some tell you about America
They have views you see in movies
They tell you "What a magnificent country
Our Paris is nothing next to that"
Those sales talk make you less shy
In short we leave to there
one day of blues
One more who with the empty belly
In New York will look for a dollar

Among the beggars and the exiled
The immigrants with a bruised heart
He will say regretting Paris:

Where is it, my mill of the Place Blanche
My tobacconist and my corner bistro
Every day for me it was Sunday
Where are they, the friends, the pals
Where are they all my old popular dances
Their popular waltz at the sound of the accordion
Where are they, all my meals without dough
With a cornet of chips for two pennies
Where are they then?

But Montmartre seems to be disappearing
Because already from season to season
From the Abbesses to the Place du Tertre
Our old houses are being demolished
On the waste grounds of the hillock
Big banks will soon birth
Where then will you do your somersaults
You the poor kids and street urchins

While regretting the times past
We will sing thinking to Salis
Monmartre your De Profundis

Where is it, my mill of the Place Blanche
My tobacconist and my corner bistro
Every day for me it was Sunday
Where are they, the friends, the pals
Where are they all my old popular dances
Their popular waltz at the sound of the accordion
Where are they, all my meals without dough
With a cornet of chips for two pennies
Where are they then?

Where are they all my old popular dances
Their popular waltz at the sound of the accordion
Where are they, all my meals without dough
When I was eating even without having a penny
Where are they then?


Version sung by Fréhel herself in the movie "Pepe le Moko":

Monday, April 11, 2016

Léo Ferré - Rimbaud - My bohemia(n life)


Original Title: "Ma bohème"
Text: Arthur Rimbaud
I was going away, fists in my bursted pockets;
My cardigan as well was becamin ideal;
I was going under the sky, Muse! and I was loyal to you;
Oh! There! There! What an amount of splendid loves I have dreamt about!

My only pants had a wide hole
- Dreaming Tom Thumb, I was shelling in the running
Some rhymes. My inn was at Ursa Major
- My stars had a sweet frills to the sky

And I was listening to them, sitting on the side of the roads,
Those good evenings of September where I was feeling some drops
Of dew on my forehead, like a wine of vigor;

Where, rhyming in the middle of fantastic shadows,
Like lyres, I was pulling on the elastics
Of my hurt shoes, a foot near my heart!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Léo Ferré - Our love


Original Title: "Notre amour"
Text: Léo Ferré
As long as we will write our names
On the sick trees of Fall
Birds will be able to sing
We will be able to love one another

I am the one you are expecting
I am the one who loves you so much
For a long time
Oh such a long time
If it happened that you forgot me
You know that I, I will never forget

When our names will be withered
On the sick trees of Fall
The birds will be able to leave
We will be able to die from it

I was the one you are expecting
I was the one who loved you so much
For a long time
Oh such a long time
If it happened that you forgot me
Know that I, I will never forget
Because my love is stronger
Than love.
Jacques Douai's version:

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Serge Reggiani - Venice is not in Italy


Original Title: "Venise n'est pas en Italie"
Text: Claude Lemesle
You don't have enough money to take a plane or even a train
You wouldn't be able to offer her a one way trip to Melun
But you take her away
As you love her
On oceans of which the sailors
Have never seen the end
You have the sky that your windows have drawn
And the sun on a theater movie
But you don't care
But you are rich
You are since you love one another

Venice isn't in Italy
Venice it's at anyone's place
Make love to her in an attic
And make fun of the gondoliers
Venise is not where you believe it is
Venise today is at your place
It's where you go, it's anywhere you want
It's the place where you are happy

You aren't in that room a bit common
This evening you have a date on the canal
Firework
The small boat glides
You are going to see everything, discover everything
Included the Bridge of Sighs
It'll last a year or an eternity
The time for a god to come and tell you "enough sung"
Does it matter
It's the holidays
All that because you love one another

Venice isn't in Italy
Venice it's at anyone's place
Make love to her in an attic
And make fun of the gondoliers
Venise is not where you believe it is
Venise today is at your place
It's where you go, it's anywhere you want
It's the place where you are happy

Venice isn't in Italy
Venice it's at anyone's place
It's anywhere, it's important
But it's not any time
Venise it's when you see some sky
Run under cherry plum bridges
It's the other side of rainy mornings
It's the place where you are happy

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Jean Ferrat - Louis Aragon - The disguised birds


Original Title: "Les oiseaux déguisés"
Text: Louis Aragon

All those who speak of marvels
Their fables hide sobs
And the colors of their ears
Always to complaints alike
Give their tears for water

The painter sitting in front of his canvas
As he ever painted what he sees
What he sees his story veils
And his darkness are stars
Like singing changes the voice

His secrets which he exhibits everywhere
Are disguised birds
His gaze make things beautiful
And people take for roses
The sorrow by which he is broken

My life in the distance, my stranger
What I was, I left it
And the shades of love changed
Like is turning brown in the ferns
The nightsummer dream

Fall, fall, lengthy fall
Like the shout of the glazier
From street to street and I sing to myself
A tune of which slowly is surprised
The one who is unable to pray anymore

All poems by Louis Aragon.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Dominique A - Everything will be like before


Original Title: "Tout sera comme avant"
Everything will be like before
Under the summer coats
Like before existing
Like before
In the congested yard
Girls sitting in a line
Some riders

Everything will be like before
When you'll remember
The snows would have melted
On the clogged earth
In the stumbling evening
I'll tell you
Everything will be like before
I promise it to you

At last, coming back from the avalanche
from the fire perched on the branches
came out out of the long black path

Each drags a child one evening
With a look of having in himself
Absorbed all the nights
Since the beginning
Everything will be like before
Everything will be
Like before

Everything will be like before
When you'll remember
The outskirts of school
Where we were thrown
And the stumbling evening
In the clogged yard
And the merry glass

My legs which come unstuck
Everything will be like before
To start rising
The sky has come to the end of its time
Well enough
Under the scraps of summer
I'd tell you so much
I promise it to you

Everything will be like before
Everything will be like before
Everything will be like before

Friday, February 12, 2016

Monique Morelli - Ronsard - To drink over the tender grass


Original Title: "Pour boire dessus l'herbe tendre"
Text: Pierre de Ronsard

To drink over the tender grass
I want to lie down under a bay-tree
And want that Love, with a small blade
Or of flax or of hemp
Tucks up to the side
Her light dress
And half-naked, pour me wine.

The uncertain life of man
From day to day unfolds like
Onto the riverbanks rolls the waves
Then, after our final hour,
Nothing of us remains in the coffin
But a little ash from our bones

I do not wish, as is the custom,
For my tomb to be perfumed with incense,
Nor for scents to be poured over it,
But so long as I am alive
To wear perfume I feel like
And to crown myself with flowers,

Of myself, I want to make myself,
The hair to sastisfy my own self;
I do not want to live for anyone else
Fool the Pelican who hurts himself
For his likes, and crazy the one who lets himself
For his likes work in boredom

Corydon, go and summon my love.
Before that the small boat turned pale
Sends me to the eternal nights,
I want with full cup and with her
To take away the pain
Of my lamentable troubles.

All poems by Ronsard

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Jean Ferrat - Aragon - The lilacs


Original Title: "Les lilas"
Text: Louis Aragon
I dream and I wake up
in a scent of lilac
On which side of sleep
Have I let you here or there

I was sleeping in your memory
And you were forgetting me in a whisper
Or it was the other way around, just because
Was I where you weren't?

I fall back asleep to reach for you
In the country you dreamt about
Nothing there does anything else but to flee and feign
You, you had left it already

In life or in dream
Everything has that peculiar sparkle
Of the perfume which persists
And of a song which flew off

Oh clear night, dark day
My absent one in between my arms
And nothing else in me last
But what you whispered

All Aragon's poems/songs

Monday, January 25, 2016

Jacques Bertin - I ring at your door



Original Title: "Je sonne chez vous"
I ring at your door empty handed
I am only giving my song
I do not know the first words of it nor the music
But hear

That breathing which is mine
Rolled in a ball
And on it holds its song
I giving nothing else but friendship
In the broken bowl of the head
Like that dog in the gaze of men
Who lived

Happy the one who receives me in his home
And with his hand he caresses his wife
And the sheets are folded in the cupboard
At the place of the sheets
And the hour at the place of hour

And the laugh of your child
it looks like chalk
And all things have the dead momentum
Of the stones

I am giving nothing else but my dead song
Which is surprised by the deads

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dominique A - In men


Original Title: "Dans les hommes"
And you'll never know
What was bothering him
The children in the yard
Were keeping him completely busy
He opened the window
As if he was ready to burst
Sweet, you joined with him
Saying "Just come eat"

There are too many words
In Men
In Men
There are too many words
In Men
In Men

And they did not come out
As if stuck in the forehead's folds
When smiling you knew patiently
to take them away from him
He told you: You only.
When he wanted to love you
And it was sufficient
Like the sun during the summer

There are too many words
In Men
In Men
There are too many words
In Men

In the houses you go
In a silent yard
The mouths are too small
And words too numerous
To hold

All the shouts in the yard
seem to die down at last
And you'd only be too pleased
That he never admit anything
But there are too many words
In Men
In Men
There are too many words
In Men

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Jacques Bertin - My life, my work


Original Title: "Ma vie, mon œuvre"
I was not able to leave far away
Convoking the harbors and the islands
Broking the lines of fate
Like a smart knucklebones player
Shaking up the deal and the towns

I was not the birdman
Ruling over the Dalmatian coast
Nor protector of the Baltic countries
With his scepter of reed
His arm reaches out to Malta

To the Vidame of the bridges, in Pisa
Before killing him like a dog
He bought his seven whores back
Who come eat in his hand
And love him and tell him they do

His pirogues are on the Ogooué
Loaded with his camphor and his honey
The king of Sudan cajoled
Pays him plants of salt trees
With two hundred saddle horses

He conquers the countries of the Book
With four hundred riders
- My purple coat makes them drunk
Deliver your soul and your coins
Thank God who frees you!

I lied more than one can say
I sold for years on
Fake tin ciborium’s
Saying the mass in German
For fake badass monks

Boatmen coming down the Ogooué
Who is moaning in those barrels then?
Souls of smothered children
Blue stones of the god April
Gem tears for the islands

I saved the convents of Basel
Surrounded by the hateful Teutons
They wanted the skin of the cloistered nuns
Those demons were fighting better than them
- The superior has been ordinary

I traveled the ancient Epirus
Running from Europe and my better half
Followed by a mameluke of the Empire
And two women who were beating me
Beat me, my former one is worse*

Of a minister, the wife on the run
White and fat and always naked
Would it be what excites me:
The virtue of the ministeresses?
Iconoclasty you haunt me!

Then the negress beautiful and lean
Gift of his father to Sidney
- I had saved him from ruin
Offering me his daughter and he was crying:
"Take my daughter and give me back my mine"

They ambushed me
The Turkish man having burned my foot
I had to slit the throat of my beauties
In accordance with an Umayyad ritual
Thinking to it, I am still sick of it

The fat queen of Bohemia
Had me whipped by her pretty boys
Before offering me to herself
Male or female, I don't know
Was impaling me among the blasphemies

Oh the nostalgia of the Ogooué
The songs of the Nile rowers
The spell of the April river
The canons shooting from the bay
And the peoples milling about and flying

I fought for nothing in Mexico
I vanquished in Tenochtitlan
Driving an army of children from the field
Scrawny and twelve years old each
They were singing pathetic songs

Then were falling among the meager wheats
That naïve painting is sold
- The commodore has been hanged
I keep a tender memory of it
And of the rifles in Portalegre

We make feasts on the Ogooué
You can't imagine which kind
The gall oozes out of the brain
Of a scalded young monkey
For Easter, eat some virgin

Yes, the Negus was cheating at cards
Yes, a fine day I boarded
Salome, Sarah, and Jacobé
Dyking on their little sailboat
Who didn't want me to leave again

Another time, wandering about in Indre
I have seen the Lavilliers mission
Looking for Peru on the Allier
Crossing the Hallier expedition
Pretending to be in India

Pretty lies, pretty bargemen
Carry me toward other harbors
Fake palaces, fake marbles, fake jades
Beside you of the Templars
The secret looks quite insipid to me

But the craziest adventure
It's the girl I loved
When I was twenty who in the corolla
Of her arms imprisoned me
And who doesn't want me to shake them off

The pout of your cruel lips
Whips me more than whip lashes
Flapping sails of the caravels
Your real eyes are fake notes
Every night I forget the beauty because of them

Your holy alcove counts for me
More than the hovels of Tangiers
You talk to my ear and shame
comes to me, the thunder to the sky loaded
I bribe you and we mount each other

Sometimes the wind is rising
For the migration of the gazes
"Mistress, let's go in, it's late"
- I love that light despair
which give its scent to the dreams
Sometimes I believe in Man
You convince me and absolve me
Through laugh and love. In short
The faith is hiding beneath
I believe in the world or it's as if

And you are my whole border
A kiss is being smuggled through it
One more and the whole life
I charter to rig
my pirogue on the pillow.
*play on words with "ancient Epirus" in french "mon ancienne est pire" sounds exactyl the same

Friday, January 22, 2016

Georges Brassens - The bad seed


Original Title: "La mauvaise herbe"
When day of glory came
Like everyone had kicked the bucket
I only knew the dishonor
Of not having died on the field of honor

I am the bad seed, good people, good people
I am not the one who is being ruminated
And I am not the one who is bound into sheaves
Death reaped others, good people, good people
And spared me, it's immoral and it's like that

And I wonder why Good Lord
It bothers you that I live a little
And I wonder why Good Lord
It bothers you that I live a little

The girl, who belongs to everyone, has good heart
She gives me haphazardly
the little pieces of her skin, well hidden,
that others haven't touched

I am the bad seed, good people, good people
I am not the one who is being ruminated
And I am not the one who is bound into sheaves
She sells herself to others, good people, good people
She gives herself to me, it's immoral and it's like that

And I wonder why Good Lord
It bothers you that I am being loved a little
And I wonder why Good Lord
It bothers you that I am being loved a little

Men are made, we are being told,
To live in bands like sheeps
Me, I live alone, and it won't be tomorrow
That I'll follow the straight and narrow

I am the bad seed, good people, good people
I am not the one who is being ruminated
And I am not the one who is bound into sheaves
I am the bad seed, good people, good people
I grow freely in the places where wrong people go

And I wonder why Good Lord
It bothers you that I live a little
And I wonder why Good Lord
It bothers you that I live a little

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jacques Bertin - To pass winter


Original Title: "Passer l'hiver"
I'd again have let winter pass
Without redoing the roofstructure eaten by the worms
Nor at last writen that letter
About love, about the emptiness eating the being

I'd have loved badly, very, all my women
Badly looked after all my fires and flames
I'd not have seen the word under the door
But I'd have screamed in buckets of dead water

I'd have spoken badly for my hopes
Spent all the goods of my parents
In all the danses lost my footing
Made the punch where I shouldn't.

I'd have invoked words and gods
Without holding back the water piercing the dam
Nor the golden fishes jumping in your eyes
Nor the silhouette with its luggage

I'd have waited dawn and man a long time
Then I'd have fallen asleep too early
When maybe I was dawn and that man
I am cold in my coat

Night unwinds itself and the sun is melting
And I'd have let the beautiful bot
run on its area. It's run aground on the shallows
Of your eyes, your silence, your desert!

I'd have let my son like a thief
Run away through the narrow door under my heart
He went looking for a bullet to the forehead
My little fighter, my resemblance

It'd always have taken life from very high
And without not having betrayed father and mother
I'd have let winter enter by the broken window
I'd have let all my birds die from cold.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

La Tordue - War


Original Title: "La guerre"
Rot war machines!
Tons and tons of iron
Stored ready to roar
Ready to redden
the earth

Fellows against idiots
Generates a rhyme ending in 's'
Yet Prévert had told it to us
"What bullshit
War!"

Nuclear slyness
Hip pocket submarine
Napalm candies chemical taste
Outfit of panic-sapper
Imagination can't be stopped
In order to blow our own head off.
A hundred time what's necessary to get some
What's necessary to shoot the sun down
What's necessary to turn off
The sky

I am the stronger nananère
What a hiding we gave you
Tons and tons of iron
In the enemy's flesh

But shake my hand dear colleague
You weren't bad yourself
This time it's the very last one
Before next one of course
The big wigs go away while signing
First-rate treaties
After having bled white
Share land and money
Draw phoney
borders

Secrets of our pitiful states
Money is king and marches
Tambourine, underling* and moneyboxes
1,2,1,2,1,2 and 3
On 4 we fire
Into the crowd

Rot war machines
In the warehouses of memory
That's enough let's stop crossing swords
No more slaughter, nor more slaughterhouse
Now we are going to lower the blinds
Forget about stupidity
There are no more amateurs for that sport
Noone under the banners
Why not have the pretty utopy
Make a professional assessement
A successful redeployment
Beat it, go over the wall
Enlist in the party
Which makes war to war Get your nose out of the khaki
There are tons of things to do
With your equipment and your engineering
In order to do earth up
Put your awful toys away
Share the peace pipe
And leave us in peace.
*Pun made which would also mean under-fife


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Lucienne Delyle - My lover of Saint John


Original title: "Mon amont de Saint Jean"
Text: Léon Agel
Music: Emile Carrara
I do not know why I was going to dance
at St Jean to the musette³
But a single kiss was enough
For my heart to be prisoner

How not to lose one's head
Clasped by daring arms
Because we always believe
To sweet love words
When they are told with the eyes
I who loved him so much
I found him the most beautiful of St John
I remained intoxicated,
without will, under his kisses

Without thinking anymore
I was giving the best of my being
Smooth talker everytime he was lieing
I knew it but I loved him

How not to lose one's head
Clasped by daring arms
Because we always believe
To sweet love words
When they are told with the eyes
I who loved him so much
I found him the most beautiful of St John
I remained intoxicated,
without will, under his kisses

But alas, in St John like anywhere else
An oath is nothing but a deception
I was crazy to believe in happiness
And to want to keep his heart

How not to lose one's head
Clasped by daring arms
Because we always believe
To sweet love words
When they are told with the eyes
I who loved him so much
My beautiful love, my lover from St John
He does not love me anymore
It's the past, let's not talk about about it anymore
He does not love me anymore
It's the past, let's not talk about about it anymore

³popular dance with accordion
Ginette Garcin's version:

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Jacques Brel - Big Jack (It's too easy)


Original Title: "Grand Jacques (C'est trop facile)"

It's too easy to enter churches
To pour out all our filth
In front of the parish priest who in the grey light
Closes the eyes so to better forgive us

Would you keep quiet Big Jack
What do you know of the Good Lord
A canticle an image
You don't know anything more of it

It's too easy when the wars are over
To go shout that it was the last one
Bourgeois friends how I envy you
So you don't see your own cemeteries

Would you keep quiet Big Jack
And let them shout so
Let them cry for joy
You who wasn't even a soldier

It's too easy when a love is dying
That it breaks in two because it has been bent too much
To go cry like men cry
As if love lasted forever

Would you keep quiet Big Jack
What do you know of love
Some blues eyes some crazy hair
You know nothing of it

And thus tell yourself Big Jack
And thus tell yourself Big Jack
Tell it often to yourself
It's too easy
It's too easy
To pretend

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Jacques Bertin - Jaccottet - The evening news


Original Title: "Les nouvelles du soir"
Text: Philippe Jaccottet

At the time when light hides its face
In our courtyard the evening news are shouted
We are being grazed, the air is sweet, passing people
In that town, we will just be able to sit down
On the bank of the river where moves a barely green tree
After having eaten hastily, would I even have
The time to do that work before the winter?
To kiss you before leaving?
If you love me, hold me back!
The time at least to catch my breath
Just for that spring that we are left in peace
To border the trembling peace of the river far away
To the point where lights up the motionless factories

But no way, the stranger who walks must not turn over
Or he'd be changed in a statue, one can only go forward. And the towns
Which are still standing will burn
A chance that we loved each other quickly before the absence
Looked at once more, kissed in a hurry
The time to make this work before the winter?
To kiss you before leaving?
If you love me, hold me back!
The time at least to catch my breath
Just for that spring that we are left in peace
To border the trembling peace of the river far away
To the point where lights up the motionless factories

You will leave, suddenly your body is less real
Than the current which uses it and those smokes to the sky
Have more roots than us
It's useless to force each other’s, look at the water how it runs
Through the fault between our two shadows
It's the end which cures us
Of trying to pretend to be smart
But the time to make this work before the winter?
To kiss you before leaving?
If you love me, hold me back!
The time at least to catch my breath
Just for that spring that we are left in peace
To border the trembling peace of the river far away
To the point where lights up the motionless factories

Mouloudji - We have to live

Original Title: " Faut vivre " Despite the big eyes of the void "It's to better eat you, child" And the silence...