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Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?

DigiTrad:
ALOUETTE
AUPRES DE MA BLONDE
CHEVALIERS DE LA TABLE RONDE
FRERE JACQUES
LE TEMPS DES CERISES


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Steve Parkes 22 Sep 99 - 07:42 AM
Jerry Friedman 22 Sep 99 - 11:13 AM
Jerry Friedman 22 Sep 99 - 11:14 AM
Steve Parkes 22 Sep 99 - 12:35 PM
Stolzi@aol.com 22 Sep 99 - 01:14 PM
Stolzi@aol.com 22 Sep 99 - 01:17 PM
Jo Taylor 23 Sep 99 - 08:32 PM
Steve Parkes 24 Sep 99 - 03:26 AM
Nancy-Jean 24 Sep 99 - 10:50 AM
Steve Parkes 24 Sep 99 - 11:37 AM
Jo Taylor 25 Sep 99 - 07:33 PM
Steve Parkes 28 Sep 99 - 03:37 AM
Mat Freeman 28 Sep 99 - 10:22 PM
Steve Parkes 29 Sep 99 - 03:37 AM
Steve Parkes 29 Sep 99 - 03:45 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 29 Sep 99 - 11:40 AM
Steve Parkes 30 Sep 99 - 03:38 AM
Jo Taylor 30 Sep 99 - 07:00 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 30 Sep 99 - 07:39 PM
John New ( johnnew.ginger@virgin.net) 01 Oct 99 - 02:56 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 01 Oct 99 - 03:23 PM
Mat Freeman 01 Oct 99 - 08:52 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 01 Oct 99 - 10:31 PM
Steve Parkes 04 Oct 99 - 04:04 AM
Jo Taylor 04 Oct 99 - 07:17 PM
Joe Offer 04 Oct 99 - 08:04 PM
Steve Parkes 05 Oct 99 - 05:37 AM
Mike Murray 22 Oct 99 - 08:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Oct 99 - 09:50 PM
Mark Cohen 23 Oct 99 - 12:00 AM
Miek Murray 23 Oct 99 - 03:28 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 23 Oct 99 - 03:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Oct 99 - 07:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Oct 99 - 07:10 PM
23 Oct 99 - 08:32 PM
Miek Murray 23 Oct 99 - 08:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Oct 99 - 08:26 AM
Genie 20 Sep 01 - 08:50 PM
Wolfgang 21 Sep 01 - 05:08 AM
Micca 21 Sep 01 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,mark 21 Sep 01 - 08:38 AM
M.Ted 21 Sep 01 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,Genie 22 Sep 01 - 01:54 AM
Steve Parkes 24 Sep 01 - 09:19 AM
M.Ted 24 Sep 01 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Genie 25 Sep 01 - 02:58 AM
Steve Parkes 25 Sep 01 - 03:21 AM
John MacKenzie 25 Sep 01 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Genie 26 Sep 01 - 02:52 AM
GUEST,Genie 26 Sep 01 - 02:55 AM
Bert 26 Sep 01 - 06:09 AM
Steve Parkes 26 Sep 01 - 08:00 AM
M.Ted 26 Sep 01 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,Genie 27 Sep 01 - 02:15 AM
Steve Parkes 27 Sep 01 - 03:26 AM
Steve Parkes 28 Sep 01 - 05:01 AM
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Subject: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 07:42 AM

My little brother has a lot to answer for! He plays the saxophone for starters. He's also re-awakened an interest from my childhood for French popular songs from the post-war period, by the likes of Edith Piaf and Charles Trenet, which were fairly well-known in GB in my youth. I've started swapping cds with him, and I've found sources on the Net with les paroles (details on request) ... and this is where the problem starts.

I can understand a lot, but not all of the words. I've found a couple of sites that translate French into (often hilarious) English, but of course they don't translate les nuances (does one's heart really go "bang!"?). If anyone out there shares our interest and has the language skill to match, and would be happy to get into long-winded discussions about le Chanson, do get back to me.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 11:13 AM

Je peux t'aider un peu--non pas comme un veritable francais. C'est mieux m'envoyer enamel, parce que je ne lis pas le Chat de Boue tous les jours. Ni toutes les semaines.

I can help you a little--not like a real Frenchman. It's better to send me e-mail, since I don't read the Mudcat every day. Or every week.

(I just read the fascinating Hokey-Pokey thread, so I trust no one will believe that "enamel" is French for "e-mail".)


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 11:14 AM

That enamel address being jfriedman@nnm.cc.nm.us


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 12:35 PM

Well, we learn something new every day! I knew that "email" is German for "enamel" already ...

I'll send you a Teflon-coated communication first thing in the morning, as je depart chez moi now.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Stolzi@aol.com
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 01:14 PM

I loved this stuff in my misspent youth, had albums by Les Compagnons de la Chanson, Juliette Greco, Patachou, Robert Clary, and so forth. I might be able to help, though my French est un peu rusty.

Tell me the site, and which lyrics you're particularly interested in. S'il vous plait.

Moi aussi, send e-mail just in case I can't get back here, merci!


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Stolzi@aol.com
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 01:17 PM

In case that wasn't clear - the artists I mentioned sang songs by your favorites, and others (Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Becaud...). In fact I think Les Compagnons did backup for Edith Piaf at one point in their careers.

Saw a wonderful documentary not long ago on Bravo about the art of French chanson. Very nostalgic.


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 08:32 PM

Mon cher, je suis très desolé. Je peut t'aider - je parle francais après une mode! Bien oui, j'habite en France, tu sait!! Adresse-moi sur les pages perso de le chat boué et j'essayerai... maintenant je vais partir pour lire mon enamel (nous disons aussi 'mél')
mes baises



Jo x


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 03:26 AM

Jo, personne aime un(e) smart-arse! Les songs are sur leurs way.

Etiannot


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Nancy-Jean
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 10:50 AM

Je suis ancien prof de français, mais aussi américainne comme la tarte à la pomme! Vermontaise, en effet!!! Quand j'étais à Paris en 1961, j'ai commencé une collection de chansons tradionnelles folkloriques. I am very interested in French folk songs and will help de mon mieux (as they say).


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 11:37 AM

I thought tarte à la pomme was some kind of derogatory Australian expression for our innocent English young ladies! I'll send you what I've sent the others.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 25 Sep 99 - 07:33 PM

Steve, thanks, got 'em... hehehe! I love those babelfish translations... We have a very proper English-to-French translator, amusing to do it back again into English - sorry about the subject matter here - we are on septic tank drainage, so these things are important! 'Please do not put panty liners down the lavatory, put them in the bin provided' came back after double translation as 'Please do not put passenger boats in the toilet, put them in the bread bin'.
I've always wondered about translation of literary works, poetry, songs etc... the translator puts them into his / her words; therefore these words should have the same literary merit as the original... if they have, why is the translator not a writer? Surely one needs BOTH talents to do the task successfully,otherwise the translation is just a technical exercise??? Anyone have any thoughts on that?
Anyway I'll have a go at the songs - can't be any worse than the 19th century French Mauritian legal documents in archaic, almost illegible handwriting that I've just been doing...
baises, Jo


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 03:37 AM

Hi Jo, just got back after a l-o-n-g weekend seeing the sights in Beds an Bucks. Sorry I forgot to put in any formatting when I sent out the copies of my e-mails; still, I trust everyone who got 'em managed to make some sense of it all.

I love that "passenger boats in the toilet" - I'm sure there's boundless possibilities for songs, for those who can write them, not to mention a new thread, maybe. I heard, years ago in the days of coal-fired mainframes, of "out of sight, out of mind" going into Russian and coming back as "invisible lunatic"!

There are English/American versions of a lot of French songs, but they only share the tune and the title (and not always that!); they're meant not to be translations.

If anyone else is interested in the mysterious lyrics we're talking about, let me know and I'll post 'em here.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Mat Freeman
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 10:22 PM

Yes, please do post the lyrics in question. Speaking of mysterious French songs--anyone familiar with a song with the title (roughly translated): "Don't Look Back at Your Life Though the Rear-View Mirror"?

Something like this: "Je n'ai regarde pas la vie dans ton(?) retroviseur." I'd be grateful if anyone could lead me to the album or the artist.

Mat in Alaska


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 03:37 AM

OK, here it is in its entirety - a copy of the e-mails/messages I've sent so far:

Hi guys! There's a site here http://www.comnet.ca/~rg/menu_ch.htm with a lot of songs on it (most of which I don't know!). There's this place, http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/cgi-bin/translate, which gave me the two hilarious translations below. I've copied Boum! and La Mer here:

BOUM!
paroles et musique: Charles Trenet

La pendule fait tic-tac-tic-tic
Les oiseaux du lac pic-pac-pic-pic
Glou-glou-glou font tous les dindons
Et la jolie cloche ding-dang-dong

Mais... boum!
Quand notre coeur fait boum
Tout avec lui dit boum
Et c'est l'amour qui s'éveille

Boum!
Il chante «Love in Bloom»
Au rythme de ce boum
Qui redit boum à l'oreille

Tout a changé depuis hier et la rue
A des yeux qui regardent aux fenêtres
Y a du lilas et y a des mains tendues
Sur la mer le soleil va paraître

Boum!
L'astre du jour fait boum
Tout avec lui dit boum
Quand notre coeur fait boum-boum

Le vent dans les bois fait hou-hou
La bîche aux abois fait mê-ê-ê
La vaisselle cassée fait fric-fric-frac
Et les pieds mouillés font flic-flic-flac

Mais... boum!
Quand notre coeur fait boum
Tout avec lui dit boum
L'oiseau dit boum, c'est l'orage

Boum!
L'éclair qui, lui, fait boum
Et le bon Dieu dit boum
Dans son fauteuil de nuages

Car mon amour est plus vif que l'éclair
Plus léger qu'un oiseau, qu'une abeille
Et s'il fait boum, s'il se met en colère
Il entraîne avec lui des merveilles

Boum!
Le monde entier fait boum
Tout avec lui dit boum
Quand notre coeur fait boum-boum

LA MER
paroles: Charles Trenet
musique: Cherles Trenet, Albert Lasry

La mer qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs
A des reflets d'argent, la mer
Des reflets changeants sous la pluie

La mer au ciel d'été confond ses blancs moutons
Avec les anges si purs, la mer
Bergère d'azur infinie

Voyez près des étangs ces grands roseaux mouillés
Voyez ces oiseaux blancs et ces maisons rouillées

La mer les a bercés le long des golfes clairs
Et d'une chanson d'amour, la mer
A bercé mon coeur pour la vie




And here are the translations:

The Sea

The sea which one sees dancing along the clear gulfs
has of the money reflections, the sea
of the reflections changing under the rain.

The sea with the sky of summer confuses its white sheep
with the so pure angels, the sea
infinite shepherdess of azure.

See close to the ponds these large wet reeds.
See these white birds and these rusted houses.

The sea rocked along the clear gulfs
and with a love song, the sea
deluded my heart for the life.

Bang!

The clock makes to tic-cTac-tic-tic
The birds of the lake peak-cCap-peak-peak
Glou-glou-glou make all the turkeys
And the pretty bell ding-dang-dong

But... boom!
When our heart makes boom
all with him says boom
and it is the love which wakes up.

Bang!
It sings " Coils in Bloom "
at the rate/rhythm of this boom
which repeats boom with the ear.

All changed since yesterday
and the street has eyes which look with the windows.
Y has lilac and y has hands tended
on the sea the sun will appear.

Bang!
The star of the day makes boom
All with him says boom
When our heart made boom-boom

The wind in wood made hou-hou
the bîche with the barks made the mê-4th-4th
broken crockery makes fric-fric-frac
And the wet feet make cop-cop-flac

But... boom!
When our heart makes boom
All with him tells to boom
the bird says boom, it is the storm

Bang!
The flash which, made him boom
And good God says boom
In his armchair of clouds

Because my love is sharper than the light
Plus flash than a bird, than a bee
And if it makes boom, if it is put in anger
It involves with him wonders

Bang!
The whole world makes boom
All with him says boom
When our heart made boom-boom

I think that, while La Mer loses something in the process, Boum! seems to gain a, er, je ne sais quois. Curious how 'boum' becomes 'boom' or 'bang' depending on the context, or lack of it. I don't know how it arrived at things like tic-cTac-tic-tic, but it adds to the charm in some way I think, nest-ce pas? I particularly like 'the biche with the barks'! (Apparently, that should be 'The hind in her death-throes' - yechh!) And in the last-but-one verse, it manages to get 'light' and 'flash' the wrong way round, among other things.

Well, getting into the realms of poetry (not what we always expect in a popular song, but sometimes we find it) I was taken by 'roseaux mouillés/maisons rouillées' - one is practically a spoonerism of the other. I'm well aware that the sound of the words is probably more important than their meaning, so I'm not put off by the prosaic content of La Mer - it sings very well in French (I've been singing it all the time for a week!). The sheep in La Mer: is this a usual French metaphor for clouds? We often speak of them as fleecy.

Well, I shall have to try and produce English versions of the words (without trying to rhyme them!); having a better idea of the meaning, I can try and keep the sense.

Oh, there are planty of songs I do know on the site, so we can keep this going for a long time if we want to!

Y'a d'la joie,
Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 03:45 AM

Oops - sorry about the non-blue-clicky-things!

Mat, I don't know your retroviseur, but avec mes souvenirs j'ai allumé le feu.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 11:40 AM

Steve.

I have been following this thread, and haven't said anything, but I am a big Charles Trenet fan, as well as a fan of Edith Piaf and such-- I haven't accessed the site that you list, but have used this one: http://www.math.umn.edu/~foursov/chansons/index.html which has most everything, old and new, that I have needed to look up--

The translator is kind of strange,(as if it wouldn't be!) because if you enter line by line, you sometimes get a different translation than if you enter the whole text--if there are untranslated words, sometimes you can enter them alone and get a translation, as well--

Some borrowed English words get translated, often amusingly and idioms are also amusing, because sometimes it translates literally and sometimes it looks for a comparable idiom--

God knows why it translates the same word or phrase in two or three different ways during the course of a song, and of course, the translator has no notion of meter or rhyme--

It is a shame that the songs were re-written in English, rather than translated, because Trenet is a wonderful lyricist--"Somewhere Beyond the Sea" isn't even about the same thing as La Mer-- I think there was an English version of "Boum!" but all I can remember is "Boom! Why does my heart go "Boom"?"

Anyway, if you find it, I am interested in the lyrics to the old Maurice Chevalier song, "Valentina" and of course, their translation--


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 03:38 AM

That's a good long list of songs - I may be some time!

Actually, I shall be away 'til Monday, so keep on translatin'.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 07:00 PM

Steve - sorry - my modem got zapped & I hadn't copied the lyrics over... off line for a couple of days - am I too late?
desolé - Jo x


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 07:39 PM

Ah, actually, I was only giving you the address--I can translate anything I need to on my own--that is to say by my self--


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: John New ( johnnew.ginger@virgin.net)
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 02:56 PM

Bonjour mes amis. Je suis un nouveau (literally) visiteur to the Mudcat Cafe site and saw your corres. re Trenet & Piaf. I love 'em to bits, but to use the parlance:"je ne sais pas pour quoi!" Ever since hearing a recording of Piaf singing 'La vie en rose' and feeling the hairs go up on the back of my neck. Why? I understood very little of the lyrics. Having had a holiday home in France for ten years, my French has improved and once I asked a French 'ami' of mine, why these songs should have such an effect. He looked at me with a knowing smile and said: "Ah, mon pauvre Rosbif. Maintenant tu es un peu Français, je pense! La chanson Français c'est une chanson de coeur. C'est pas neccessaire pour tu a connais les mots!" Fair enough. This conversation did take place around a bottle of pastis though! Two excellent C.Ds...... 'The Extraordinary Garden'The very best of Charles Trenet CDP 7 94464 2 released on the EMI label in 1990 25 tracks of the master from the 30's to the 60's + 'Paris by Night' A compilation of original recordings of Piaf, Trenet, Tino Rossi, Jean Sablon, etc. CDP 7 94478 2 Also on the EMI label 1990

Another good one is a recording of the French female 'realist singers' Piaf, Frehel, etc. It's very good, but I've left it at work, so I'll have to bring the details home and send them on.

Nice chatting to you mes amis. A bientôt

John


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 03:23 PM

And the companion volume, "Paris after Dark", also a must! Also am a big Tino Rossi fan--I thought it was great when the three tenors did "Kateri, Kateri" but none of them could come close to his voice--

As to your friends comments, I have listened to and loved songs in languages that I don'tunderstand for years--I think that it often helps if you don't understand the lyrics--most of the songs that people hate, they hate because they have some issue with the words--


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Mat Freeman
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 08:52 PM

M.Ted, your comment about the "Boum/Boom" song had me rummaging around my Tintin books. I had this image of Thomson and Thompson singing a similar song.

Sure enough, on page 1 of "Land of Black Gold," the detectives are singing along with a radio jingle for a tow-truck company:

"Boom! One day your car goes Boom. Don't give up in gloom. Call Autocart to the rescue."

Then their car blows up.

I had never heard of the "Boum!" song before reading this thread, so I hadn't realized Herge was offering a parody.

Mat


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 10:31 PM

You probably just think that you've never heard it--it is one of those songs that got played a lot, used in movie and cartoon soundtracks, etc.--when you hear it, it will sound familiar!


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Oct 99 - 04:04 AM

You can never be too late for me Jo - If it takes forever, I will wait for you ... that was un chanson francais - which one?

At the risk of creeping mny own thread, but the hairs on John's neck remind me that there have been not a few singers (all female?) with raucous voices - Gracie Fields, and Judy Garland in her last years for example - who could do just that; they must have had a tremendous stage presence.

Back to the subject!!


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 04 Oct 99 - 07:17 PM

Oooh, je ne sais pas, but it sounded wonderful Steve... bear with me, having intermittent computer problems again - the computer's come over all intermittent - and I've a thousand (paid type) things to do. Quite apart from just having got Cakewalk Pro and arranging unsuspecting tunes for preposterous combinations of instruments...
mes baises
Jo


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Oct 99 - 08:04 PM

Steven that phrase bugged me so much i had to search until I found the darn song. It's "Parapluies de Cherbourg (I Will Wait for You)" written in about 1965 by Michel Legrand, english lyrics by Norman gimbel. It was in the film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Click here for the English lyrics. Now we know.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 05 Oct 99 - 05:37 AM

Joseph, what a brill film! It's all sung throughout, and in French too! I saw it with American subtitles, which was quite weird: "Merde!" doesn't mean "F*ck it!" ... maybe that was a different movie!

Stephen


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Mike Murray
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 08:38 PM

I am in rather immediate need of English translations of some Piaf tunes, particularly Milord--can anyone help or point me in a direction? Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 09:50 PM

Well it doesn't help with the translations, but if you're after the French luyrics, here's the place to go, which I stuck up there in the Midcat links list:

Chansons francaises http://www.math.umn.edu/~foursov/chansons/index.html A massive collection of words of 20th century french chansonnier songs. Not strictly folk, but very definitely a living tradition.

It's put together by a Russian mathematician living in the States. And he's got lots of other fascinating stuff in there as well.

Babelfish is remarkably good for prose, but poetry and song defeats it, not surprisingly. But it can be useful; for getting a clue what something is about, and it's quicker than a dictionary. It can reraslly skew things about though - I'm thinking of using it as a tool to get a fresh angle on song writing. You know, write something, translate it back and forth a few times into various languages, and see if anythingnusable has emerged at the end.

But it's a pity it doesn't do a few more languages. And I wish there was a bagelfish which could supply klezmerised lyrics at the push of a button.


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 23 Oct 99 - 12:00 AM

For a wonderful demonstration of the art of translating lyrics, and an introduction to my favorite French singer(actually Belgian, but he wrote and sang in French), check out Mort Shuman's lyrics in "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris," recently redone as "Jacques Brel is...", since the original is sadly no longer true. I have a few of Brel's original recordings, as well as a book of his lyrics I picked up in Montreal in 1972, and Shuman's translations range from silly to breathtaking, but are mostly quite good. I was fortunate to hear Elly Stone perform in the show -- an American Piaf, sans doute.
And yes, Jo, I think the best translators are necessarily excellent writers themselves, because a good translation is a literary work, not a mechanical reworking.

Aloha,
Mark Cohen


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Miek Murray
Date: 23 Oct 99 - 03:28 PM

Shuman's Brel translations are extraordinary, in fact my theater often uses them in English language cabarets and they tend to be some of the most moving tunes that we use--"If We Only Have Love," "Timid Frieda," "Jackie" and so on. Right now, I'm devising a one woman cabaret that needs to have both French and English lyrics. Thematically and musically, I'm shooting for particular tunes, some Brel, Piaf, Aznavour, Trenet, Mistinguett, some folksier tunes, but I need to have good translations for the songs to be understood dramatically by an American singer, and interpreted appropriately for an audience. Oh well, the search goes on.


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 23 Oct 99 - 03:54 PM

A lot of songs have been either translated or adapted to English, and a number even were hits--depends on what you have on your list--

Que-Reste-Til was re-written in English as "I Wish You Love"--Judy Garland did especially well with it, but it was't the same song--Milord was an American hit for Piaf, and there were several english language covers of it, but it has been so long since I've heard them that I can't tell you if they were translated or "adapted"--

Then there is "Piaf", in which Elaine Paige did both English and French versions--but perhaps this is your inspiration, no?


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Oct 99 - 07:04 PM

Translated or adapted - I don't know where you draw the line between the two. It seems to me that for the French songs you have to adjust so much that it ends up more adaptation than translation. There's a great song called Les Louvres sont entres dans Paris by Serge Regghiani (well he sang it). It's on I've made a translation which turned into an adaptation, bringing it from Paris to London and so forth, and losing the direct symbolism of the wolves as Nazis - I did it because that week we had a wave of racist and homophobe bombing in London, and talk about some sinister group calling itself "the White Wolves". The Wolves


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Oct 99 - 07:10 PM

God knows what I did wrong there. I was trying to give a discrete blue link to a site called Chansons Francaises, and I've come up with the biggest Blue Clicky Thing I've seen yet. But it still gets you to the appropriate site/

I was also truying to give a link to my translation/adaptation, and that didn't work.Here goes again The Wolves


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From:
Date: 23 Oct 99 - 08:32 PM

Wow. That was a big blue clicky thing. Thanks for that though, I shall check that out. Thanks to MTed too. I'm familiar with "Que Reste Til" and "I wish you love", but I haven't heard any English language versions of Milord--any idea who recorded them? There was actually a Piaf revue done in the 70's called "Je Vous Aime", which I believe had several Enblish language versions of her recorded hits. Can't find it anywhere though. My inspiration was not the Page musical, although I'm vaguely familiar with it. In some cases, literal interpretations of the tunes may serve better for me, as my singer can sing in French, but without knowing what the words mean. She'll want to be able to move her audience with something other than gibberish. Good "translated adaptations" would be nice too, for the parts of the show that will be done in English. The show won't be limited to Piaf, however. French popular song


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Miek Murray
Date: 23 Oct 99 - 08:39 PM

sorry. i claim the previous unlabeled message


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Oct 99 - 08:26 AM

Correction - I wrote "Les louvres" and I meant "Les loups" - it means wolves anyway.


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Genie
Date: 20 Sep 01 - 08:50 PM

Does anyone have the French words to "La Mer" (Beyond The Sea)--and, maybe the English ones, too?


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 05:08 AM

Genie,

go there for three song titled 'la mer' and several more titled 'la mer...'. One of them should be your song, but I don't want to post half a dozen here.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Micca
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 08:28 AM

I realise that this may predate the period mentioned in the initial post but I am an Unreconstituted Rina Ketty fan,( even tho I do not speak or understand French) after hearing her on the soundtrack of the German film "Das Boot". I had the pleasure of hearing Noreen sing part of "J'attendrai" at Windy Bottom, from a book of French Chanson that someone had there.. after much searching, I have a CD of her and some Tino Rossi and Trenet. too so anybody who may want a tape(for research purposes) PM me...


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: GUEST,mark
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 08:38 AM

I can probably help, but have a question of my own - the ultimate bilingual challenge is to find a satisfactory English translation of the following Piaf lyric, which still manages to convey the double entendre

"La fille de joie est belle, Au coin de la rue là-bas, Elle a une clientèle, Qui lui remplit son bas"....

I've never manged anything satisfactory


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 09:49 AM

La Mer
(Charles Trenet)

La mer qu'on voit danser
Le long des golfes clairs
A des reflets d'argent
La mer des reflets changeants
Sous la pluie

La mer au ciel d'été
Confond ses blancs moutons
Avec les anges si purs
La mer bergère d'azur
Infinie

Voyez près des étangs
Ces grands roseaux mouillés
Voyez ces oiseaux blancs
Et ces maisons rouillées

La mer les a bercés
Le long des golfes clairs
Et d'une chanson d'amour
La mer a bercé mon coeur
Pour la vie

The lyrics to the Bobby Darin version are not a translation of Trenet's wonderful poetry, they are "new"--I don't have them handy--


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: GUEST,Genie
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 01:54 AM

Thanks, Wolfgang and M.Ted.
Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 24 Sep 01 - 09:19 AM

Genie: try not to skip so much! I know it's a long thread, but La Mer is here, earlier on this thread. Bobby Darrin's Somewhere (beyond the sea) (I think that's the actual title) isn't anything like an attempt at a translation. I can't find the words anywhere, but someone out there must know them ...

Meanwhile, here's my attempt at a literal translation:
The Sea we see dancing along the sunlit bays
Makes silver reflections,
Reflections that change in the rain.

The Sea, with its summer sky,
Makes the fluffy clouds look like angels so pure;
The Sea, shepherdess of infinite azure [boundless blue].

See, by the rock-pools, these tall watery reeds;
See these white birds and these rusted dwellings!

The sea has lulled them along the sunlit bays;
And, with a song of love,
The Sea has lulled my heart all my life.


You could make something poetic out of that.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 Sep 01 - 01:59 PM

this is one of those deja vu all over again threads--


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: GUEST,Genie
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 02:58 AM

Steve, Sorry I missed it above. Thanks for your translation. (I have 2 years of French and can usually translate it, unless it's old dialect, but I like to see other people's singable translations, too.) I wanted the Bobby Darin lyrics for their own sake, not as a translation. But somewhere in my vast stacks of paper, I actually have the sheet music. One of these months I'll find it.
Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 03:21 AM

Do post the BD lyrics when you find them, Genie. It's interesting to compare the two versions (which are completely unrelated in this case, apart from "the sea"!). A lot of popular French songs have English versions which are based more on the song title than the original content. Autumn leaves isn't a bad attempt at Les feuilles mortes, but it diverges towards the end when it introduces an individual ex-lover, rather than a general loved-and-lost theme; "La mer a effacé les pas des amants ..." (if memory serves)--it's the sea again!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 02:54 PM

Still to me one of the best translators, and possibly even singers of those same translations, is Jake Thackray [ Where is he now? ] He was very fond of George Brassens as am I, and his translation of Brother Gorilla is an absolute scream.

Jock


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: GUEST,Genie
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 02:52 AM

Steve,
I will post the BD lyrics when I find them. Here is what I can remember, and I can't vouch for the accuracy of the second stanza. Perhaps another catter [the omniscient Joe Offer?] can fill in the gaps.

Beyond The Sea

Somewhere beyone the sea, somewhere [waiting for me?], My lover stands on golden strands [sands?] and watches the ships that go sailing.

[She's here, within, without, somewhere beyond the moon.] I know beyond a doubt that my [heart] will meet me there soon.

She'll meet me on the shore, we'll kiss, just as before. Happy we'll be beyond the sea, and never again I'll go sailing.

Here is the main verse to "Les Feuilles Mortes." I may have some spelling errors in my Francais, and, since I'm not in Word, I can't insert my French diacritical marks. Also, since I've been singing it [not reading it

] for about 5 years, I don't have a good visualization of the spelling, so I may have mismatched person, tense, number, etc.

(Est ce qu'un Mudcatter [comment dit-on "Mudcatter" en Francais?] peut correger (sp?) les mots que j'ai ecrit?)

C'est une chanson que nous resemble, moi, je t'aime, toi, tu m'aiment.
Nous vivions, tous les deux, ensemble, toi qui m'aiment, moi, qui t'aiment.

Mais la vie separe ceux qui s'aiment
Tous doucement, sans faire de bruit,
Et la mer efface sur le sable les pas des amants desunis.

I know I got the endings on the "aimer" verb wrong in some of those lines. Please, somebody, correct them.
Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: GUEST,Genie
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 02:55 AM

If anyone feels like cleaning up the above mess, please be my guest. I did not get all my line breaks in, for example.


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Bert
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 06:09 AM

Forget the translation, I'd settle for a transcription of "Y vous voulez bien ecoutez, un chant d'amour"


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 08:00 AM

The results of my modest research: French lyrics by Jacques Prévert, English lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Joseph Kosma.
And the French lyrics:

Oh! je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes
Des jours heureux oû nous êtions amis.
En ce temps là la vie etait plus belle
Et le soleil plus brûlant qu'aujourd'hui.
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent a la pelle
Tu vois, je n'ai pas oublié.
Les feuille mortes se ramassent a la pelle
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi
Et le vent du Nord les emporte
Dans la nuit froide de l'oubli.
Tu vois, je n'ai pas oublié
La chanson que tu me chantais.

C'est une chanson
Qui nous qui nous ressemble
Toi tu m'aimais
Et je t'aimais,
Et nous vivions
Tous deux ensemble
Toi qui m'aimais
Moi qui t'aimais.
Mais la vie separe
Ceux qui s'aiment
Tout doucement
Sans faire de bruit,
Et la mer efface sur le sable
Les pas des amants desunis.


And my attempt at translation (not to loose; but if anyone can tell me what la pelle means ..?)

Oh! I'd so like you to recall the happy days when we used to be friends.
Back then, life used to be very beautiful, and the sun shone brighter than it does now.
The dead leaves piled up on the lawn[?] …
You see, I haven't forgotten:
The dead leaves piled up on the lawn,
Memories and regrets as well,
And the North Wind blew them away in the cold night of forgetfulness.
You see, I haven't forgotten the song you used to sing me …

It's a song that resembles us-- you, who used to love me; I, who used to love you--
And we lived, the two of us, as one: you, who used to love me; I, who used to love you.
But life separates those who love each other, very gently, without fuss,
And the sea washes away from the sand the footsteps of disunited lovers.

Isn't that sweet? And sad, of course ... oû sont les amies d'antan?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: M.Ted
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 05:35 PM

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, one of the last remaining beat poets, publisher, and owner of City Lights Bookstore, has done some wonderful translations of Jacques Prévert--he has the knack remaining true both the imagery and the scansion--so many translators rewrite with a wordy sort of floridness that violates the mood and intent of the original--worst of all making translated songs unsingable--


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: GUEST,Genie
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 02:15 AM

Steve,
Thanks for correcting "mon Francais." I realized some of my mistakes soon after I posted.

Here, for what it's worth, is my "singable translation" of the French lyrics:

The two of us are like a love song,
I loving you, you loving me.
Along the sand we strolled together,
I, who loved you, you, who loved me,
But life can separate without a sound
Those who love with all their hearts,
And the sea will wash away the footprints
Of lovers now torn apart.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 03:26 AM

That's pretty good, Genie (whoops--litotes!). I may have to broaden my repertoire. I suppose you don't know what la pelle menas, do you?

Steve


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Subject: Lyric translation: correction!
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 05:01 AM

Aha! Found my frenzied Dick & Harry: "la pelle"="shovel". So, it's The dead leaves piled up on the shovel.

Steve


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