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ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?

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


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Thompson 10 Mar 17 - 04:55 AM
DaveRo 10 Mar 17 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,Grishka 10 Mar 17 - 06:03 AM
Nigel Parsons 10 Mar 17 - 06:07 AM
Thompson 10 Mar 17 - 06:19 AM
Monique 10 Mar 17 - 12:42 PM
GUEST, 10 Mar 17 - 01:53 PM
Monique 10 Mar 17 - 05:19 PM
Thompson 10 Mar 17 - 05:23 PM
DaveRo 11 Mar 17 - 04:06 AM
Thompson 11 Mar 17 - 05:39 AM
Monique 11 Mar 17 - 08:49 AM
Thompson 11 Mar 17 - 12:23 PM
Monique 12 Mar 17 - 05:49 AM
Thompson 12 Mar 17 - 05:59 AM
Thompson 12 Mar 17 - 06:00 AM
Thompson 12 Mar 17 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,keberoxu 12 Mar 17 - 10:14 AM
Thompson 12 Mar 17 - 11:11 AM
Mrrzy 12 Mar 17 - 11:23 AM
Mrrzy 12 Mar 17 - 11:54 AM
Thompson 12 Mar 17 - 12:27 PM
Monique 12 Mar 17 - 03:34 PM
keberoxu 12 Mar 17 - 10:11 PM
Thompson 13 Mar 17 - 02:04 AM
Monique 13 Mar 17 - 02:40 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: French song, J'ai ma combine
From: Thompson
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 04:55 AM

This song seems to be saying "I have my system…" but my dictionaries won't quite let me into the inner meanings. Anyone? Mrrzy?

♪ J'ai Ma Combine ♪

Y a beaucoup d' gens qui s' font du mauvais sang
Ils sont hésitants
Pâles et tremblants
En toute sincérité, j' plains ces gars-là
Je n' suis pas comme ça
Car j' m'en fais pas
On a beau faire et beau dire
C'est mieux d'avoir le sourire
Et de savoir tout l' temps
Être content

{Refrain:}
J'ai ma combine
Jamais dans la vie rien ne me turlupine
J'ai ma combine
Je garde mon p'tit cœur blanc comme la blanche hermine
Les soucis, merci, ça m'est égal !
Les ennuis, tant pis, j' m'en fiche pas mal !
J'ai ma combine
C'est banal mais c'est jovial, c'est l' principal

Y a des gogos qui se laissent dépouiller
Y s' font nettoyer
Par des banquiers
Après y courent se plaindre au procureur
Et partout ils pleurent
Sur leur malheur
Moi, je n' suis pas assez bête
Pour perdre ainsi ma galette
Pour sauver mon pognon
J'ai pas l' rond !

{au Refrain}

Y en a qui n' savent pas aimer les p'tites femmes
Chaque fois qu'ils s'enflamment
Ils font des drames
Si leurs maîtresses les trompent, ils crient au crime
Et puis pim, pim, pim !
Ils les abîment !
Moi, jamais une seule maîtresse
Ne m'a mis dans la détresse
J'en ai, par bonheur,
Toujours plusieurs

{au Refrain}


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: French song, J'ai ma combine
From: DaveRo
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 06:00 AM

Difficult in one word. It's his outlook on life, his attitude. But it also has the sense of a 'trick' - his trick for getting through life.

'turlupiner' looks like a useful word.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: French song, J'ai ma combine
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 06:03 AM

A nice song in 1930s style. The topic is, of course, time-honoured.

Here is what Wiktionary says for "combine", quite correctly:

"(colloquial) trick, scheme"

As for "turlupiner", Wiktionary translates nicely:

"to make fun of, to take the mickey out of"

– I had to look up "to take the mickey out of".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: French song, J'ai ma combine
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 06:07 AM

Collins French=>English online dictionary gives combine=trick

Any help?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: French song, J'ai ma combine
From: Thompson
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 06:19 AM

Yeah, great help, thanks! Collins (at least, I think it's Collins-Robert) also has an excellent (though occasionally iffy) contextual dictionary. (You need to have a basic knowledge of the language to work it properly.)


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Monique
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 12:42 PM

"Combine" generally means "trick". "Turlupiner" means to worry, to bother, to niggle. 2nd verse: "gogo" means sucker, "galette" and "pognon" mean dough (money). "J'ai pas l' rond" means I'm broke.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: GUEST,
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 01:53 PM

Nothing to do with a brand new combine harvester then ...


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Monique
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 05:19 PM

Here's what it means (more or less literally -feel free to improve my English!)

There're many people who get worried to death,
They're indecisive,
Pale and shivering.
With all sincerity, I pity these guys.
I'm not like that
Because I don't worry.
No matter what you do and say,
It's better to smile
And to know always how
To be happy.

Refrain
I have my trick,
Never in my life does anything bother me.
I have my trick,
I keep my little heart as white as the white ermine.
Worries, thank you, it's all the same to me!
Troubles, so much for the worse, I don't care at all!
I have my trick,
It's trite but it's jolly, it's the main thing.

There are suckers who allow themselves to be ripped off,
They get squandered
By bankers.
Then they rush to the prosecutor to complain
And everywhere they cry
Over their misfortune.
Me, I'm not stupid enough
To lose my dough this way.
To save my bread,
I'm broke.

There are some [people] who don't know how to love the nice ladies/women.
Every time they get impassionate,
They make a big deal about it.
If their mistresses cheat on them, they shout "crime!"
And then, whack, whack, whack!
They wreck them!
Me, not one mistress
Ever made me distressed.
I always have, fortunately,
Several of them.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Thompson
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 05:23 PM

Thanks, Monique! I heard it in a comedy from the 1970s, Le Viager, and while I caught the drift, I couldn't translate some words.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: DaveRo
Date: 11 Mar 17 - 04:06 AM

An old Larousse offers moyen ingénieux, parfois peu scrupuleux for combine and I don't think the peu scrupuleux applies here - there's no sense of deception in the song.

So "I have my system" in the OP is near the mark, though 'system' has come to mean something mechanical rather than human. 'I have my scheme' perhaps, but to me that sounds unpleasant.

'Trick' is a tricky word. In this case it's 'trick' as in 'the trick is to ignore them' rather than in 'I play a trick on them'. 'I have my trick' doesn't work. 'I have this trick' is better.

I am reminded if the '60s film 'The Knack - and how to get it'. Knack means almost the same - 'the knack is to ignore them' - but it's more positive and sounds right to me for a '30s popular song. So my suggestion for a title is 'I have this knack'.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Thompson
Date: 11 Mar 17 - 05:39 AM

In Le Viager - a 1972 film reminiscent of Alec Guinness's Kind Hearts and Coronets - the old lad who has been set up with a viager - a legal contract whereby, since he has no heirs, he will be given a lifetime pension, and the person who pays the instalments will get the house when he dies - is singing happily along with it on the radio. He is a sweet and innocent old gent, and those who wish him ill always come to harm, while he lives happily on, helping all those around him.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Monique
Date: 11 Mar 17 - 08:49 AM

"Combine" always has overtones of something not really clear/clean/lawful.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Thompson
Date: 11 Mar 17 - 12:23 PM

For some reason I associate the word with games like bingo… no idea why.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Monique
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 05:49 AM

I'd associate it with fiddling your taxes, avoid police checking, falsified invoices, make dirty money, rigged horse races... The idea behind it all is cheating or do something you shouldn't -by law or out of moral, decency...


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Thompson
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 05:59 AM

Now that's interesting. Because that's the basic theme of Le Viager, in which the old gent is the victim of a family who… well, originally they're just on to a bit of a good thing, since the poor old man is (in the opinion of his doctor, one of the family) going to die within two years. So by offering him a viager deal, they're not doing anything crooked - they'll give him a nice living for his remaining years of life, he'll live a couple of years in his farmhouse in the "tiny fishing village" (as it then was) of Saint-Tropez, and then they'll inherit his house.

It's when things start to go wrong that the combine element comes in; the notary doing the deal suggests indexing the payment to the price of an obscure metal - aluminium - the price of which starts to rise and rise as it's used first for planes during the second World War, and then in everything from cooking implements and pots to casseroles to beer kegs, etc. And the old gent lives on and on.

And then (to quote Elmore Leonard) the murders began…

Or at least the family's increasingly desperate attempts to get rid of the old gent - by informing on him to the government with inventions of Nazi collaboration, then informing on him to the Vichi government with allegations that he's a dedicated maquisard - and so on.

So the song is particularly apposite in the film. I always find this satisfying, when a film's music satisfactorily echoes back the theme of the movie, like When Time Goes By in Casablanca or Singing in the Rain in the 1952 movie looking back at the last days of silent film in the 1920s, with the Depression looming.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Thompson
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 06:00 AM

Vichy government, even.

Sorry about the italicisation; I forgot to close the italics on the first one.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Thompson
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 09:30 AM

YouTube has a bunch of other songs by this singer, include one that apparently means
"Don't worry, pig face" (if you can believe my dictionary) - but surely not?


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 10:14 AM

I'm no film buff, but even I can look things up at the Internet Movie Data Base website.

The funny thing about the song is that it came out of cinema. It actually comes from a 1930's film which appears to have been a star vehicle for said singer, I think his name was Georges Milton. The film was titled Le roi des resquilleurs, which has something to do with "gate-crashing." Milton himself was born in the 19th century and himself lived to a ripe old age, while his films -- he made a bunch -- date largely from before the Second World War.

After the War, there was a re-make of the film with different people; while Milton appeared in just a few more pieces before retiring.

As for Le Viager, it sounds hilarious.
Anybody remember The Wrong Box? That was based, not on an annuity, but on a tontine. Michael Caine looking impossibly young; Peter Cook and Dudley Moore as a team; Sir Ralph Richardson amongst others; and a Salvation Army street-corner musical band. When it's funny, it's FUNNY.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Thompson
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 11:11 AM

The French certainly know how to make comedies. I had to keep pausing Dîner des cons while watching it as the tears poured down my face from laughing, and that's just one among many.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 11:23 AM

Would you liken Combine to Astuce?

Yeah, Le grand blond. Oscar, ils sont rigolos ces Gaulois.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 11:54 AM

Maybe "angle" in English...?


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Thompson
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 12:27 PM

Yeah! "I've got my angle" - nice, Mrrzy!


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Monique
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 03:34 PM

Bouboule is a nickname for someone (very) plump, as "round" as a ball (boule). Bouboule = bou-boule with duplication of the 1st syllable to sound friendlier. Many plump children are nicknamed Bouboule by their schoolmates.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 10:11 PM

"Bouboule," if you look up Georges Milton's career story, his comedy character/persona had that name, so HE was Bouboule. In the 1930's there was a whole string of Bouboule films in which he was the star. The YouTube songs go with those films I suppose.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Thompson
Date: 13 Mar 17 - 02:04 AM

Ah, brilliant! "Bouboule" is like "butterball" in Ireland; we'd affectionately call a plump kid a little butterball.


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Subject: RE: ADD: French song, J'ai ma combine - translate?
From: Monique
Date: 13 Mar 17 - 02:40 AM

"HE was Bouboule". Maurice Chevalier nicknamed him so because "He was short and plump". (Cf. there -in Fr.)


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