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 is 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.
²Criminal of the end of the 18th century
Pauline Julien's version