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Lyr Add: Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away)

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meself 09 Mar 24 - 01:14 PM
FreddyHeadey 09 Mar 24 - 12:28 PM
Wolfgang 04 Jun 02 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 03 Jun 02 - 03:55 PM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away)
From: meself
Date: 09 Mar 24 - 01:14 PM

I first heard the Rod McKuen lyric, as:

If you go away
on this summer day
Then you might as well
take the subway

- which I figured was of the same quality as, "We had joy, we had fun", etc., and never listened to it again ...!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away)
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 09 Mar 24 - 12:28 PM

Ne Me Quitte Pas
Soul Music - BBC Radio4 - 2022
From Haiti to New York, Provence to Glasgow... in versions by Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield and Scott Walker... we hear stories of what Jacques Brel's song has meant to people around the world.

With contributions from France Brel, Johane Celestin, Alastair Campbell, Brendan McGeever, Peter Hawkins and Malaika Kegode.


www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00187b3


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 04:49 AM

Thanks for that, Bill. I share your feelings. See here for instance

Wolfgang


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Subject: Lyr Add: NE ME QUITTE PAS / IF YOU GO AWAY (J Brel
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 03:55 PM

this was prompted by the Irish threads, where English only speaker have been asking for some translation for the lyrics. I am in favor of trying to supply translations whenever possible, Welsh, Irish, Breton, etc.

An example that I used, of problems and the need for good translations was this Jacques Brel song of 1959, Belgian lyrics from http://mirabilia.ru/brel/nmqp.html

Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Il faut oublier
Tout peut s'oublier
Qui s'enfuit déjà
Oublier le temps
Des malentendus
Et le temps perdu
A savoir comment
Oublier ces heures
Qui tuaient parfois
A coups de pourquoi
Le coeur du bonheur
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Moi je t'offrirai
Des perles de pluie
Venues de pays
Où il ne pleut pas
Je creuserai la terre
Jusqu'après ma mort
Pour couvrir ton corps
D'or et de lumière
Je ferai un domaine
Où l'amour sera roi
Où l'amour sera loi
Où tu seras reine
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas
Je t'inventerai
Des mots insensés
Que tu comprendras
Je te parlerai
De ces amants-là
Qui ont vue deux fois,
Leurs coeurs s'embraser
Je te raconterai
L'histoire de ce roi
Mort de n'avoir pas
Pu te rencontrer
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

On a vu souvent
Rejaillir le feu
De l'ancien volcan
Qu'on croyait trop vieux
Il est paraît-il
Des terres brûlées
Donnant plus de blé
Qu'un meilleur avril
Et quand vient le soir
Pour qu'un ciel flamboie
Le rouge et le noir
Ne s'épousent-ils pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas
Je ne vais plus pleurer
Je ne vais plus parler
Je me cacherai là
A te regarder
Danser et sourire
Et à t'écouter
Chanter et puis rire
Laisse-moi devenir
L'ombre de ton ombre
L'ombre de ta main
L'ombre de ton chien
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

this site http://stingetc.com/nemetr.shtml offers a bit of a translation

Translation by Magda van Santen

Ne me quitte pas — Don't leave me
Il faut oublier — it 's neccesary to forget
Tout peut s'oublier — everything you need to forget
Qui s'enfuit deja — which is already over
Oublier le temps — forget the times
Des malentendus — of the misunderstandings
Et le temps perdu — the lost time
A savoir comment — to know how
Oublier ces heures — forget the hours
Qui tuaient parfois — which sometimes kill
A coups de pourquoi — the reasons why
Le coeur du bonheur — the heart full of joy

Ne me quitte pas — Don't leave me
Ne me quitte pas — Don't leave me
Ne me quitte pas — Don't leave me
Ne me quitte pas — Don't leave me

Moi je t'offrirai — I offer you
Des perles de pluie — pearles of rain
Venues de pays — coming from countries
Ou il ne pleut pas — where it never rains
Je creus'rai la terre — I will cross the world
Jusqu' apres ma mort — until after my death
Pour couvrir ton corps — for to cover your body
D'or et de lumiere; — with gold and bright light
Je f'rai un domaine — I will give you a kingdom
Ou l'amour s 'ra roi — where love will be king
Ou l'amour s' ra loi — Where love will be the law
ou tu serais reine — and where you will be queen

Ne me quitte pas — Don't leave me
Ne me quitte pas — Don't leave me
Ne me quitte pas — Don't leave me
Ne me quitte pas — Don't leave me
Ne me quitte pas — Don't leave me
Ne me quitte pas — Don't leave me

this site also tries: http://www.math.mcgill.ca/~loisel/brel.html

This is my english translation of Brel's Ne me quitte pas. I have strived for accuracy first and second for adequate wording. I've probably failed. It is also very difficult to properly represent the delivery in a web page.

The first verse is a tad hard to read in both languages (not because I can't translate, which is a different problem altogether). If you mentally insert punctuation in the right places, it will make a lot more sense. (Hint, insert a period after lines 1, 2, 4, 8, 12; there's some subjunctive in there.)

Français

Ne me quitte pas
Il faut oublier
Tout peut s'oublier
Qui s'enfuit déjà
Oublier le temps
Des malentendus
Et le temps perdu
A savoir comment
Oublier ces heures
Qui tuaient parfois
A coups de pourquoi
Le coeur du bonheur
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Moi je t'offrirai
Des perles de pluie
Venues d'un pays
Où il ne pleut pas
Je creuserai la terre
Jusqu'après ma ma mort
Pour couvrir ton corps
D'or et de lumière
Je ferai un domaine
Où l'amour sera roi
Où l'amour sera loi
Où tu seras reine
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas
Je t'inventerai
Des mots insensés
Que tu comprendras
Je te parlerai
De ces amants-là
Qui ont vu deux fois
Leurs coeurs s'embraser
Je te raconterai
L'histoire de ce roi
Mort de n'avoir pas
Pu te rencontrer
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

On a vu souvent
Rejaillir le feu
De l'ancien volcan
Qu'on croyait trop vieux
Il est paraît-il
Des terres brûlées
Donnant plus de blé
Qu'un meilleur avril
Et quand vient le soir
Pour qu'un ciel flamboie
Le rouge et le noir
Ne s'épousent-ils pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas
Je ne vais plus pleurer
Je ne vais plus parler
Je me cacherai là
A te regarder
Danser et sourire
Et à t'écouter
Chanter et puis rire
Laisse-moi devenir
L'ombre de ton ombre
L'ombre de ta main
L'ombre de ton chien, mais
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

English

Do not leave me
We must forget
All can be forgotten
Which already escapes
Forget the time
Of misunderstandings
And time lost
Seeking to know how
Forget those hours
That killed sometimes
With blows of "why"
The heart of bliss
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me

I will offer you
Pearls of rain
Coming from a country
Where it does not rain
I will plow the earth
Until after I die
To blanket your body
With gold and light
I will create a realm
Where love shall be king
Where love shall be law
Where you shall be queen
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me

Do not leave me
For you, I will invent
Nonsensical words
That you will understand
I will speak to you
Of those lovers
Who saw twice
Their hearts set ablaze
To you I will recount
The story of that king
Deceased of not having
Been able to meet you
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me

It was often seen
That fire would be reborn
Of the ancient volcano
Which was thought too old
There are, there seems
Burnt lands
Yielding more wheat
Than the best April
And when the evening comes
So that a sky might flame
The red and the black
Do they not wed
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me

Do not leave me
I shall no longer cry
I shall no longer speak
I will but hide here
Watching you
Dance and smile
Listening to you
Sing and laugh
Allow me to become
The shadow of your shadow
The shadow of your hand
The shadow of your dog, but
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me

Another attempt here: http://www.spies.com/~lennart/Brel/NeMeQuittePas.html

Don't leave me.
We must forget
all that can be forgotten,
that already has passed away.
Forget the times
of misunderstandings,
and the times lost
trying to know how
Forget those hours
which sometimes killed
in attacks of "whys"
the heart of happiness.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
I'll cover you
with pearls of rain
from countries
where it never rains.
I will dig the earth
until my death
to cover your body
with gold and lights.
I will make a land,
where love will be king,
where love will be law,
and you my queen.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.

Do not leave me.
I'll make up
crazy words
that you'll understand.
I'll tell you
about the lovers
who have twice seen
their hearts catch fire.
I'll tell you
the story of this king
who died from not
being able to meet you.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.

We often see
the fire erupt
from the ancient volcano
we once thought too old
It is shown that
lands that were burned
gave more wheat
than the best April.
And when the evening comes
with the sky blazing
-- the red and the black --
which doesn't blend.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.

Don't leave me.
I won't cry anymore
I won't talk anymore
I will hide there.
To watch you
dance and smile
and to hear you
sing and then laugh.
Let me become
the shadow of your shadow,
the shadow of your hand,
the shadow of your dog.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.

(Unknown/LL)

I would simply say 'Don't leave me' as the last version does

or someone could try to make it scan closer to the original by saying 'Please don't leave me'

it is translated into Esperanto here

http://esperanto-panorama.net/muziko/kanzonoj/quitte.htm

and it scans pretty well in Esperanto!

BUT, most Americans, either on recordings by Sandler & Young or other lounge singers, or theater goers who flocked to 'Jacques Brel is Alive and Well...' heard this version written by Rod McKuen

If You Go Away

If you go away
on this summer day
Then you might as well
take the sun away
All the birds that flew
in the summer sky
When our love was new
and our hearts were high
When the day was young
and the night was long
And the moon stood still
for the nightbird sung
If you go away
If you go away
If you go away
If you go away

But if you stay
I'll make you a day
Like no day has been
or will be again
We'll sail the sun
We'll ride on the rain
We'll talk to the trees
And worship the wind
Then if you go,
I'll understand
Leave me just
enough love
to hold in my hand
If you go away,br> If you go away
If you go away
If you go away

If you go away
as I know you will
You must tell the world
to stop turning till
You return again
if you ever do
For what good is love
without loving you
I can tell you now
as you turn to go
I'll be dying slowly
till the next hello
If you go away
If you go away
If you go away

But if you stay
I'll make you a night
Like no night has been
or will be again
I'll sail on your smile
I'll ride on your touch
I'll talk to your eyes
that I love so much
But if you go
I won't cry
Though the good is gone
from the world. Goodbye
If you go away
If you go away
If you go away
If you go away

If you go away
as I know you must
There'll be nothing left
in the world to trust
Just an empty room
Full of empty space
Like that empty look
I see on your face
I'd have been the shadow
of your shadow
If I had thought it might
have kept me by your side
If you go away
If you go away
If you go away
Please don't go away.

Rod McKuen

Obvious to anyone that this is not a translation, it is a new song set to Brel's melody, but 99.99999...% of Americans believe it is a translation of Brel's song into English, and probably have a reduced impression of the beauty and value of Brel's songs because of it. Brel's song is a heart rending plea, McKuen's is a silly musing.

The point is some real translations of songs posted to the DT should be included when possible, or added later, to help people evaluate the importance, beauty, philosophy or total worthlessness of the songs.

I have an English version of 'Don't GO Away' that I'll dig out some time and share, any others tried already?


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