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...