Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr: The Letter/The Deserter/Le Deserteur (Vian)

DigiTrad:
DESERTER
LE DÉSERTEUR
THE BOLD DESERTER
THE DESERTER (2)
THE DESERTER (3)


Related threads:
Info requested re: 'The Deserter' (31)
Lyr Req: Don't Despise the Deserter (John Richards (6)
Lyr Req: The Deserter (from Wiggy Smith) (5)
Lyr Add: The Deserter (trad. Newfoundland) (1)
Lyr Add: The Deserter from Kent (3)
Lyr Req: The Deserter (Jon Richards) (5)


John Routledge 05 Aug 01 - 02:52 PM
nutty 05 Aug 01 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 05 Aug 01 - 04:22 PM
John Routledge 05 Aug 01 - 04:38 PM
Jim Dixon 06 Aug 01 - 12:51 PM
nutty 06 Aug 01 - 01:06 PM
Joe Offer 14 Oct 01 - 04:57 AM
Wolfgang 11 Feb 03 - 01:17 PM
OldPossum 09 Jun 03 - 03:51 PM
John Routledge 14 Oct 04 - 09:24 PM
John Routledge 15 Oct 04 - 07:59 PM
Little Robyn 16 Oct 04 - 07:50 PM
Little Robyn 17 Oct 04 - 12:00 AM
John Routledge 17 Oct 04 - 10:12 AM
Little Robyn 29 Oct 04 - 11:39 PM
nutty 30 Oct 04 - 06:55 AM
John Routledge 30 Oct 04 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 30 Oct 04 - 06:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Oct 04 - 08:28 PM
Little Robyn 31 Oct 04 - 01:35 AM
GUEST,Sam A. Robrin 10 Sep 11 - 06:45 AM
Joe Offer 10 Sep 11 - 04:45 PM
Leadfingers 10 Sep 11 - 05:19 PM
Artful Codger 10 Sep 11 - 05:59 PM
Little Robyn 10 Sep 11 - 10:29 PM
Joe Offer 10 Sep 11 - 10:39 PM
Amos 10 Sep 11 - 10:57 PM
Monique 11 Sep 11 - 05:06 AM
Amos 11 Sep 11 - 11:57 AM
NormanD 12 Sep 11 - 04:35 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Lyr Add: THE LETTER
From: John Routledge
Date: 05 Aug 01 - 02:52 PM

This song was sung in UK in '60's and was an English version of french origional as earlier thread indicates.
Any ideas about missing verse?


THE LETTER

This letter gentlemen is to you politicians
You men in high positions please read it if you can
When I awoke today orders were waiting for me
To go and join the army at once without delay
I shall not gentlemen thats why I write this letter
To say that men had better refuse to fight again
My words are blunt I am sure I don't want to upset you
I only want to let you know that we are sick of war

I've seen for many years how they have killed the others
Seen brothers snatched from brothers and children left in tears
Mothers with swollen eyes weep while the rich not caring
Too busy profiteering grow fat on crimes and lies
If blood is to be shed shed yours you politicians
You men in high positions and be it on your head
Follow me if you will turn out your men and arm them
Tell them I will not harm them disarmed I'm safe to kill

Repeat first verse.

There is a further verse only one line of which I can recall

"This sapping of the spirit this theft of what we were"


Any ideas on the missing verse.

Cheers John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: nutty
Date: 05 Aug 01 - 03:00 PM

Thanks John.... I've wanted these words for so long I hope itjogs someone's memory.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: LE DÉSERTEUR^^
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Aug 01 - 04:22 PM

The song you have posted sounds like a translation of this French song:

LE DÉSERTEUR
(Boris Vian/Harold Berg, 1954)

Messieurs qu'on nomme grand,* Je vous fais une lettre
Que vous lirez peut-être Si vous avez le temps.
Je viens de recevoir Mes papiers militaires
Pour aller à la guerre Avant Mercredi soir.
Messieurs qu'on nomme grand,* Je ne veux pas la faire.
Je ne suis pas sur terre Pour tuer les pauvres gens.
Il n'faut pas vous fâcher Mais Il faut que je vous dise
Les guerres sont des bêtises. Le monde en a assez.

Depuis que je suis né J'ai vu mourir des frères.
J'ai vu partir des pères Et les enfants pleurer.
Les mères ont trop souffert Quand d'autres se gobergent
Et vivant à leur aise Malgré la boue de sang.
Il y'a les prisoniers, On a volé leurs âmes,
On a volé leurs femmes Et tout le cher passé.
Demain de bon matin Je fermerai la porte
Au nez des années mortes. J'irai par les chemins.

Je mendierai ma vie Sur la terre et sur l'onde
Du vieux au nouveau monde Et je dirai aux gens:
Profitez de la vie. Eloignez la misère.
Les hommes sont tous des frères. Gens de tous les pays:
S'il faut verser le sang, Allez verser le vôtre,
Messieurs les bons apôtres, Messieurs qu'on nomme grand.
Si vous me poursuivez Prévenez vos gendarmes
Que je serai sans armes Et qu'ils pourront tirer.
Et qu'ils pourront tirer.

*Some versions use "Monsieur le président" (Mr. President)

Here is my own rather literal translation. I have tried to make it idiomatic, but it is not necessarily singable:

THE DESERTER

Sirs, you who are called "great," I am writing you a letter
That you will read, perhaps, if you have the time.
I have just received my military papers
To go to war before Wednesday evening.
Sirs, you who are called "great," I don't want to do that.
I am not on earth to kill poor people.
This is not meant to annoy you, but I must tell you:
Wars are insane. The world has enough of them.

Since I was born, I have seen brothers die.
I have seen fathers leave, and children cry.
Mothers have suffered too much while others prosper
And live at their ease in spite of mud and blood.
There are prisoners whose souls have been stolen,
Whose wives have been stolen, and all their loved ones gone.
Tomorrow, first thing in the morning, I will close the door
On the past. I will go on the road.

I will beg for my livelihood on land and sea,
From the old to the new world, and I will say to people:
Profit from life. Alleviate misery.
All men are brothers. People of all countries:
If it is necessary to spill blood, go spill your own.
Sirs, you good apostles -- sirs, you who are called "great":
If you pursue me, inform your police
That I will be unarmed, and they can shoot,
And they can shoot.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: John Routledge
Date: 05 Aug 01 - 04:38 PM

Great stuff Jim

When I have digested your translation particularly the second verse it may fully jog my memory. Amazing how I remembered the rest word perfect but almost nothing of the bit in the middle!

Many Thanks John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Aug 01 - 12:51 PM

Whoa! I posted that song while working at the library yesterday. I was working in haste, using unfamiliar software, and I didn't notice that the accented letters got all goofed up. Hopefully it is fixed now.

I found the above French text at Peter, Paul, and Mary's Web site. Peter Yarrow sang this song entirely in French on their album "In Concert," 1964, introducing it with a spoken translation of only four lines.

I found the following version at a French lyrics site Méli Mélo Songs. It has some significant differences, which I have marked with boldface. I suspect this version is more authentic:

LE DÉSERTEUR (Boris Vian, 1954)

Monsieur le président Je vous fais une lettre
Que vous lirez peut-être Si vous avez le temps
Je viens de recevoir Mes papiers militaires
Pour aller à la guerre Avant mercredi soir
Monsieur le président Je ne veux pas la faire
Je ne suis pas sur terre Pour tuer des pauvres gens
C'est pas pour vous fâcher Il faut que je vous dise
Ma décision est prise Je m'en vais déserter

Depuis que je suis né J'ai vu mourir mon père
J'ai vu partir mes frères Et pleurer mes enfants
Ma mère a tant souffert Elle est dedans sa tombe
Et se moque des bombes Et se moque des vers
Quand j'étais prisonnier On m'a volé ma femme
On m'a volé mon âme Et tout mon cher passé
Demain de bon matin Je fermerai ma porte
Au nez des années mortes J'irai sur les chemins

Je mendierai ma vie Sur les routes de France
De Bretagne en Provence Et je dirai aux gens :
"Refusez d'obéir Refusez de la faire
N'allez pas à la guerre Refusez de partir"
S'il faut donner son sang Allez donner le vôtre
Vous êtes bon apôtre Monsieur le président
Si vous me poursuivez Prévenez vos gendarmes
Que je n'aurai pas d'armes Et qu'ils pourront tirer.

And here is my translation of this version:

THE DESERTER

Mr. President, I am writing you a letter
That you will read, perhaps, if you have the time.
I have just received my military papers
To go to war before Wednesday evening.
Mr. President, I don't want to do that.
I am not on earth to kill poor people.
This is not to annoy you. I must tell you:
My decision is made. I am going to desert.

Since I was born, I have seen my father die,
I have seen my brothers leave, and my children cry.
My mother has suffered so much, she is in her tomb,
And laughs at the bombs, and laughs at the worms.
While I was a prisoner, someone stole my wife.
Someone stole my soul, and all my loved ones left.
Tomorrow, first thing in the morning, I will close the door
On the past. I will go on the road.

I will beg for my livelihood on the roads of France,
Of Brittany and Provence, and I will say to people:
"Refuse to obey. Refuse to do it.
Don't go to war. Refuse to leave [home]."
If it is necessary to give blood, go give your own.
You are a good apostle, Mr. President.
If you pursue me, inform your police
That I will be unarmed, and they can shoot.

Some more info: Boris Vian died in 1959. He was a prolific writer, having written stories, plays, novels, and about 400 songs. "The Deserter" was written during the French-Algerian war and was censored by the French government.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: nutty
Date: 06 Aug 01 - 01:06 PM

Thax Jim ... but it is the English version we are looking for and we are almost there
Can anyone else help????


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 04:57 AM

Copied from another thread. -Joe Offer-
Thread #36576   Message #523815
Posted By: Jim Dixon
08-Aug-01
Thread Name: PermaThread™ Unanswered Requests
Subject: RE: PermaThread™ Unanswered Requests

See Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse. The song in question is "The Letter," which appears to be a translation of a French antiwar song, from the Algerian war era, "Le Déserteur" by Boris Vian, 1954. We already have 2 versions of the song in French, and literal translations of both versions. All that's missing is a singable translation of verse 2. If we can't get the version from the 1960's, maybe someone can make one up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 01:17 PM

Subject: ADD: Le Deserteur
From: McGrath of Harlow - PM
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 08:59 PM

There's another song called "The Derserter" - or rather "Le Deserteur". Peter Paul and Mary used to sing it, and a lot of other people too. It was banned by the
French government during their Indochina War.

It's by Boris Vian and it's a very good song too.
This link gets you to a page with an excellent translation, and background infiormation.

So here it is in French (lifted from that page):

Monsieur le Président,
je vous fais une lettre,
que vous lirez peut-être,
si vous avez le temps.

Je viens de recevoir
mes papiers militaires
pour partir à la guerre
avant mercredi soir.

Monsieur le Président
je ne veux pas le faire,
je ne suis pas sur terre
pour tuer de pauvres gens.

C'est pas pour vous fâcher,
il faut que je vous dise,
ma décision est prise,
je m'en vais déserter.

Depuis que je suis né,
j'ai vu mourir mon père,
j'ai vu partir mes frères,
et pleurer mes enfants.

Ma mère a tant souffert,
qu'elle est dedans sa tombe,
et se moque des bombes,
et se moque des vers.

Quand j'étais prisonnier
on m'a volé ma femme,
on m'a volé mon âme,
et tout mon cher passé.

Demain de bon matin,
je fermerai ma porte
au nez des années mortes
j'irai sur les chemins.

Je mendierai ma vie,
sur les routes de France,
de Bretagne en Provence,
et je crierai aux gens:

refusez d'obéir,
refusez de la faire,
n'allez pas à la guerre,
refusez de partir.

S'il faut donner son sang,
allez donner le vôtre,
vous êtes bon apôtre,
monsieur le Président.

Si vous me poursuivez
prévenez vos gendarmes
que je n'aurai pas d'armes
et qu'ils pourront tirer.

--------------------------------------

This is what McGrath has posted today in another thread where it didn't fit too well. I loved to be reminded of that beautiful song and did a bit of searching and found this old thread.

So here it is all together with some loose ends:

(1) Was it forbidden during the Indochina war (website on McGrath's link) or during the Algerian war (Jim Dixon and a French site I have consulted)?

(2) When was it written? If 1954 is correct (Jim Dixon) then it can hardly have been forbidden during France's Indochina war (ending 1954). If 1950 is correct (on a French site), then this is possible. The French site stated that it has been written in 1950 but first sung in 1954 which may explain the different data.

(3) The second verse in English is still missing.

I found this bit from McGrath's link particularly interesting:
It is also said that the last two verses of the song originally read, "que je serai en arme/et que je sais tirer" (that I'll be armed/and I know how to shoot) but that it was changed to reflect the pacifist and anti-militarist character of the song.

This (original?) version makes the song even stronger. The French site, however, said that the change of the two lines was a compromise necessary for publication.

Just in case, of course there is a German version

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: OldPossum
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 03:51 PM

George Henderson posted a version with three verses in this message.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: John Routledge
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 09:24 PM

Just seen this last posting!!

Many thanks to George Henderson and Old Possum.

It is great to get a wonderful song back into circulation and I am looking forward to singing the "whole" song.

Must remember to trace important threads.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: John Routledge
Date: 15 Oct 04 - 07:59 PM

First and only refresh :0)

Disappears down list like muck off a shovel.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: Little Robyn
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 07:50 PM

John Hayday sang this in NZ in 1967 and we loved it.
The words he sang were much more singable than the ones posted and I'm trying to wrack my brain and remember them all - I've got most of them.
Watch this space....
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: Little Robyn
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 12:00 AM

They're nearly there. I expect to see John Hayday next weekend, at the 40th Wellington Folk Festival so if I can't remember them all by then I'll ask him.
Anyway, here's what my aged memory has come up with:

The Deserter                        
Boris Vian 1954

(Spoken) Men whose names are great,
I'm writing you this letter
That you will read, perhaps,
If you have the time.

This morning through my door there fell the orders telling me
Where I must go, where I must be to serve you in your war.
Dear sirs who rule the earth this war of yours is not for me
For the deaths of other men can't be the purpose of my birth.

The days of all our lives have just seen fathers dying
And little children crying, and the misery of wives.
And mothers in their tears, while others just grow fat on war
And do not grieve a moment for those wasted wasting years.
And prisoners of war who prison robs of heart and mind
Of youth, of ..... and all that's kind and all that's gone before.

Tomorrow I will go, I'll turn my back upon the past
And try to find some peace at last but where I do not know.
I'll beg my way around and tell all people that I find
Until I've told all human kind that killing ....
And if you have lust for blood then let the blood be yours
For yours are all the bloody wars, dear sirs who rule the earth.

If you send your police to hunt and catch me as I go
Tell them I am unarmed and so they can shoot me in peace.
Unarmed I'm safe to kill.


Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: John Routledge
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 10:12 AM

Thanks Robyn. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your words

The version given by George Henderson is to all intents and purposes identical to the one that I knew. It must have a completely different tune to yours as the words flow beautifully to the tune that I use.

It is interesting that I know the song as The Letter although the French origional from which it came was The Deserter. Perhaps the translator felt that with an english speaking audience the new title would make the song's message more effective.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE DESERTER (Boris Vian)
From: Little Robyn
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 11:39 PM

Well, John Hayday didn't turn up at last weekend's Wellyfest but my sister and I put out heads together and we think this is the way he used to do it.

The Deserter
Boris Vian 1954

(Spoken) Men whose names are great,
I'm writing you this letter
That you will read, perhaps,
If you have the time.

This morning through my door there fell the orders telling me
Where I must go, where I must be to serve you in your war.
Dear sirs who rule the earth this war of yours is not for me
For the deaths of other men can't be the purpose of my birth.
I bear you no ill will but you should know that men like me
Think war is just stupidity and man has had his fill.

The days of all our lives have just seen husbands dying
And little children crying, and the misery of wives.
And mothers in their tears, while others just grow fat on war
And do not grieve a moment for those wasted wasting years.
And prisoners of war who prison robs of heart and mind
Of youth, of joy and all that's kind and all that's gone before.

Tomorrow I will go, I'll turn my back upon the past
And try to find some peace at last but where I do not know.
I'll beg my way around and tell all people that I find
Until I've told all human kind that life is ours to live.
And if you have lust for blood then let the blood be yours
For yours are all the bloody wars, dear sirs who rule the earth.

If you send your police to hunt and catch me as I go
Tell them I am unarmed and so they can shoot me in peace.
Unarmed I'm safe to kill.


John was busking in France with Ralph McTell in the 60s and he apparently asked someone to translate it for him to sing.
Don't know about the tune tho'........
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: nutty
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 06:55 AM

I'm with John Routledge on this ..... The version he posted is the one that I remember being sung in the 70's.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: John Routledge
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 06:05 PM

Thanks Robyn for the full words for John Hayday's version.

My schoolboy French of 40 odd years ago indicates that the version you know is the more literal translation although "my" version does accurately follow the sentiment.

I have tried - at home!! - singing "your" words to the tune that I know and it does not work at all :0) Definitely two completely different tunes. Interesting exercise though :0)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 06:45 PM

This was one of the few songs penned by other people that Leon Rosselson regularly sang (in English & in French). I have an idea that he recorded it many years ago


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 08:28 PM

There were two very popular versions of Le Déserteur, one the French original by Vian, the other an echo by a great Algerian entertainer.

The original Boris Vian song, Music by Harold Berg 1954
Posted by:
1. Jim Dixon 06 Aug 01. A couple of mis-spelled words only
2, McGrath, 11 Feb 03; properly shown as 12 verses (usually posted as three groups of four verses each).

A revision by Mouloudji, same Harold Berg music.
Posted by:
John Routledge (frag.) 05 Aug 01
Jim Dixon 05 Aug 01, with translation. Several mistakes in the French
Little Robyn, 29 0ct. 04.

I haven't checked the translations thoroughly, there may be some crossed lines or verses, part by each writer, Vian and Mouloudji. The two together, one French, the variation by the Algerian, have a peculiar spot in the hearts of Frenchmen and Algerians who were involved in the conflict.

Both original French sets of verses may be found at www.paroles.net.
Mouloudji at www.paroles.net/chansons/13818.htm
Vian at www.paroles.net/chansons/13819.htm
Le Deserteur

1st verse by Boris Vian:
Monsieur le Président
Je vous fais une lettre
Que vous lirez peut-être
Si vous avez le temps

1st verse by Mouloudji:
Messieurs qu'on nomme Grandes
Je vous fais une lettre
Que vous lirez peut-être
Si vous avez le temps

Both very similar, differences in the second and third groups of four verses. Vian addresses the President, Mouloudji the men of high standing.

Vian- available in North America from Amazon on the import cd, "Boris Vian Chante Boris Vian." Track 2 of 19 tracks.
Also available in Europe on other French Vian cds.

Mouloudji- Available from Amazon on the cd "Mouloudji," Masters, track 11.
Also on the cd "Mouloudji," Master Serie V.1 (import) track 16.

Haven't found a sound clip of Berg's music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Letter - Missing verse
From: Little Robyn
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 01:35 AM

Aha! John Hayday used to start with
'Messieurs qu'on nomme Grandes'
but I could never spell it.
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE DESERTER (Boris Vian tr John Brunner)
From: GUEST,Sam A. Robrin
Date: 10 Sep 11 - 06:45 AM

The previous thread on this song asked for a missing verse that was never supplied. Here's my transcription from the entry in BROADSIDE #50. Yes, this is the same John Brunner who wrote all that award-winning science fiction!

THE DESERTER
(Boris Vian--Translation by John Brunner)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0fxfog_ShY

This letter, gentlemen,
Is to you politicians--
You men in high positions--
Please read it when you can.

When I woke up today
Orders were waiting for me
To go and join the army,
At once without delay.

I shall not, gentlemen!
That's why I write this letter,
To say that men had better
Refuse to fight again.

My words are blunt, I'm sure.
I don't want to upset you;
I only want to let you
Know that we are sick of war.

I've seen for many years
How they have killed the others,
Seen brothers snatched from brothers,
And children left in tears

Mothers with swollen eyes
Weep while the rich, not hearing--
Too busy profiteering!--
Grow fat on crimes and lies.

I've seen the prisoners:
What did they do to merit
This sapping of their spirit,
This theft of what they were?

Tomorrow, I'll be gone;
I'll slam the door behind me
On all that might remind me
Of cruelty and wrong.

Then I will take my way,
Around the world I'll travel
To speak out against evil,
And everywhere I'll say:

It's good to be alive,
For all mankind are brothers,
In this land and all others,
So help your brothers thrive.

If blood is to be shed
Shed yours, you politicians,
You men in high positions,
And be it on your head!

Pursue me if you will;
Call out your troops and arm them--
Tell them I will not harm them!
Unarmed, I'm safe to kill.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0fxfog_ShY


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr: The Letter/The Deserter/Le Deserteur (Vian)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Sep 11 - 04:45 PM

Hi, Sam -
I consolidated your thread with various other posts on this song. The major thread on this song had been closed because of a flood of Spam, so I moved all of the "good" messages over here.
By the way, Issue #50 of Broadside Magazine is here: http://www.broadsidemagazine.com/All/50.pdf.

-Joe Offer, Mudcat Archivist-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr: The Letter/The Deserter/Le Deserteur (Vian)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Sep 11 - 05:19 PM

Leon Rosslesson - Songs for Sceptical Circles - He sings it in French and does a Spoken English translation before singing the last verse !

Dont know if he did a Rewrite but its a bit different to the versions given . I can post it if you want !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr: The Letter/The Deserter/Le Deserteur (Vian)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 10 Sep 11 - 05:59 PM

Boris Vian singing "Le Déserteur": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjndTXyk3mw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr: The Letter/The Deserter/Le Deserteur (Vian)
From: Little Robyn
Date: 10 Sep 11 - 10:29 PM

The tune in that video is very similar to the one used by John Hayday - just have to squash a word in here or there.
That takes me back about 44 years!!!!
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr: The Letter/The Deserter/Le Deserteur (Vian)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Sep 11 - 10:39 PM

As Jim Dixon said above, Peter Yarrow sang this on the 1964 Peter Paul and Mary in Concert album, except that he used the beginning words "Messieurs qu'on nomme grand." The tune was more-or-less the same as Vian's singing on the YouTube video. PP&M often took great liberties with the melodies of song, so it's nice to see that they stuck with the original melody this time.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr: The Letter/The Deserter/Le Deserteur (Vian)
From: Amos
Date: 10 Sep 11 - 10:57 PM

If I am not mistaken, this was also sung by Georges Brassens, whose voice haunted my childhood. I jave never learned all the words but have always been able to sing the critical first few verses.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr: The Letter/The Deserter/Le Deserteur (Vian)
From: Monique
Date: 11 Sep 11 - 05:06 AM

Amos, are you sure? I never heard him sing it (though it doesn't mean anything), I have all 12 LPs that were once released and it's not there, and it's nowhere to be seen in his complete discography


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr: The Letter/The Deserter/Le Deserteur (Vian)
From: Amos
Date: 11 Sep 11 - 11:57 AM

Monique:

Ah, no, I am not sure. I was in my early teens at the time so any kind of mixup is possible!

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr: The Letter/The Deserter/Le Deserteur (Vian)
From: NormanD
Date: 12 Sep 11 - 04:35 AM

There were several popular French versions from the late-50s / early-60s, such as by Mouloudji and Serge Reggiani. There's even one by pop crooner Richard Anthony.

Is there any version with the "suppressed" last verse that anyone knows of?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 18 June 9:55 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.