The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168350   Message #4071510
Posted By: Monique
11-Sep-20 - 04:20 AM
Thread Name: Songs by Georges Brassens
Subject: RE: Songs by Georges Brassens
Another one. It could fit in the "Songs about will" thread too. I put the original text into "" then fixed what needed be though the translation can be improved (feel free to!).


Je serai triste comme un saule
Quand le Dieu qui partout me suit
Me dira, la main sur l'épaule:
"Va-t'en voir là-haut si j'y suis."
Alors, du ciel et de la terre
Il me faudra faire mon deuil
Est-il encore debout le chêne
Ou le sapin de mon cercueil?

S'il faut aller au cimetière,
Je prendrai le chemin le plus long,
Je ferai la tombe buissonnière,
Je quitterai la vie à reculons...
Tant pis si les croque-morts me grondent,
Tant pis s'ils me croient fou à lier,
Je veux partir pour l'autre monde
Par le chemin des écoliers.

Avant d'aller conter fleurette
Aux belles âmes des damnées,
Je rêve d'encore une amourette,
Je rêve d'encore m'enjuponner...
Encore une fois dire: "Je t'aime"...
Encore une fois perdre le nord
En effeuillant le chrysanthème
Qui est la marguerite des morts.

Dieu veuille que ma veuve s'alarme
En enterrant son compagnon,
Et que pour lui faire verser des larmes
Il n'y ait pas besoin d'oignon...
Qu'elle prenne en secondes noces
Un époux de mon acabit:
Il pourra profiter de mes bottes,
Et de mes pantoufles et de mes habits.

Qu'il boive mon vin, qu'il aime ma femme,
Qu'il fume ma pipe et mon tabac,
Mais que jamais - mort de mon âme! -
Jamais il ne fouette mes chats...
Quoique je n'aie pas un atome,
Une ombre de méchanceté,
S'il fouette mes chats, y'a un fantôme
Qui viendra le persécuter.

Ici-gît une feuille morte,
Ici finit mon testament...
On a marqué dessus ma porte :
"Fermé pour cause d'enterrement."
J'ai quitté la vie sans rancune,
J'aurai plus jamais mal aux dents:
Me voilà dans la fosse commune,
La fosse commune du temps.


I'll be sad like a willow tree
When the God who follows me everywhere
Says to me with a hand on my shoulder:
"Go up there to see if I'm there."
So over heaven and earth
I will have to mourn,
Is the oak or the fir tree
Of my coffin still standing?

If I must go to the graveyard,
I'll take the longest path,
I will play hooky,
I'll leave life walking backwards...
Too bad if the undertakers scold me,
Too bad if they think I'm stark-raving mad,
I want to go to the other world
By the scenic route.

Before going to woo
The beautiful souls of the damned,
I dream of still another romance,
I dream of still being madly in love ...
Of once again saying, "I love you" ...
Of once again losing my marbles
While plucking the chrysanthemum
That is the daisy of the dead.

God grant my widow to be alarmed
When she buries her companion,
And to make her shed tears
There'll be no need for an onion ...
Let her take for her second wedding
A husband of my ilk:
He will be able to make the most of my boots,
And my slippers and my clothes.

Let him drink my wine, let him love my wife,
Let him smoke my pipe and my tobacco,
But let him never - death of my soul! -
Ever whip my cats. ...
Although I don't have an atom,
A shadow of wickedness,
If he whips my cats, there's a ghost
Who will come to persecute him.

Here lies a dead leaf,
Here ends my will ...
They marked on my door:
"Closed for burial."
I left life without hard feelings
I'll never have a toothache again:
Here I am in the mass grave,
The mass grave of time.

Live recording including verses 1, 2, 3 and 6. Studio recording including all verses.

Verse 1:
"Va-t'en voir là-haut [up there] si j'y suis" is quolloquial for "Take a hike!" -usually "Va-t'en voir là-bas [over there] si j'y suis".
Verse 2:
- "Faire la tombe buissonnière" that I translated as "I'll play hooky" is based on the phrase "Faire l'école buissonnière" that literally translates as "to have school in the bushes" and means "to skip school". "Faire la tombe buissonnière" would translate more or less literally as "To go to the grave in the bushes" = "to skip grave".
- "Le chemin des écoliers" = the scenic route, the long way round" is literally "the schoolchildren's way".
Verse 3:
- "conter fleurette" literally means "to tell little flowers" was also "fleureter" that passed into English and became "to flirt" and went back to French as "flirter" -pronounced "flirTEH".
- "s'enjuponner": would literally translate as "to be dressed in petticoats" but means "to be madly in love with a woman to the point you lose your liberty"
- You lose your marbles, we lose the North!
- "effeuiller le chrysanthème" = to pluck the chrysanthemum is based on "effeuiller la marguerite", lit. "to pluck the daisy" = to play "s/he loves me, s/he loves me not".
Verse 6: "Ne plus avoir mal aux dents", lit. "Not to have a toothache anymore" is a phrase for "to be dead".