Those are mostly litteral translations (at the best of my means, mistakes happen) in order to convey the meaning of the songs. I'm not trying to recreate the poetry (I do believe some of it is still there however) or even respect the scansion (I do try to keep the order of the words when possible if only to keep the stress where it's laid).

Many of the following songs are written in verses which obviously is not the case anymore once translated.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Jacques Bertin - Tough to go through


Original Title: "Dure à passer"
You hung around the whole night in the cafés of the center
You go back home, you take a paper, a pen
But nothing comes because in the end there is nothing to say
You have a bath then you prepare your suicide

Sometimes night is way shorter than we imagine
Death comes quickly but it's too late, the day is here
In the tree, always the same, here is the nightingale already
The day that comes has stabbed you, you are pallid

I feel, I feel all those who are alone this night
Who are going to pass the night holding the handrail
To look at the abyss, to sink in it
I feel death who springs out of the shattered mirror

We have to go down in the street, we have to populate the night
We have to take death by the halter et lead her to have a drink
Together in a bright dawn of dew drops
Which will be the countless words we left on the ground

Oh my Anne when I will be on the other side of the night
I will be in the salt of your tears of you alone
Tonight death lays her warm muzzle on my shoulder
Like a good companion not too bothersome for now

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Charles Dumont - I might still be loving you


Original Title: "Il se peut que je t'aime encore"
I never know how to say the words you expect
I am better or worse than those you talk about while dreaming
I am a sleeping water, you'd like a torrent

But my love, Is way stronger
Than lightning and the north wind
And even after, after the autumn
I might still be loving you

I know nothing of the tears, I know nothing of the shouts
I only know the scale, of the piano on which I play my life
I only have one weapon, the words I am writing you

But my love, Is way stronger
Than lightning and the north wind
And even after, after the autumn
I might still be loving you

I am a bad student, to life lessons
I only believe in dreams
Which I invent at the bottom of my nights
The day takes them away from me, and leaves me misunderstood

But my love, Is way stronger
Than lightning and the north wind
And even after, after the autumn
I might still be loving you

Because my love, Is way stronger
Than lightning and the north wind
And even after, after the autumn
I might still be loving you

Yes my love, Is way stronger
Than lightning and the north wind
And even after, after the autumn
I might still be loving you
Still, still, still

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
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