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


ADD: Oraput (from French Caribbean penal colony)

GUEST,Phil d'Conch 19 Jun 18 - 02:18 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Lyr Add: Oraput
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 19 Jun 18 - 02:18 AM

A French Caribbean penal colony song. Note the working "chantez" in the third verse:

Oraput

There goes the bell! Up, all of you! Five o'clock, fellows!
The night mists are still hanging low over Oraput,
And the foul bats, drunk and heavy with our blood,
Are flapping slowly towards their hiding places for the day.
A fearful awakening for most of us: our spirits
For a little while have been drifting under kindlier skies,
But the infernal bell has called us pitilessly back
To another day's suffering in this Hell.

Out we go, our tools over our shoulders,
Stumbling in and out among the gloomy trees
Like a row of drunken devils
– For this is the real Hell, not Satan's –
On past the rollers we go, falling and getting up again,
Down among the stumps and the mud which there's no
        escape from,
And all the encouragement we ever get is: "Keep going
        or rot,
The next ship will bring us plenty more of you."

In vain the sun tries to struggle through the sagging douds
That press darkly down on us and stifle us.
It rains – God, how it rains! It is always raining in this
        filthy hole.
O France – for just one glimpse of your blue skies!
Hurry up! Get to the biseau and fix the ropes,
Then start a chorus, you miserable dogs, to get the thing
        going.
Hooray, hooray, fellows! the damn log is moving!
It begins to travel, while the guards look on and sneer at our
        efforts.

At last we have got it up to the timber chute:
Then, Without even a pause for breath, back again to haul
        up the next one.
And on top of the strain and the pain, comes the worst, the
        ultimate insult:
The Arab guard barks at us, "Get moving, white men!"
Day after day, day after day, we suffer this!
O sons of proud Gaul, is this what you have fallen to!
When even the strongest of you must hang down your
        heads for sheer shame.
Weep – weep for yourselves, you cowardly convicts: you're
        not men any more!



Le bronze a retentit. Debout! il est cinq heures;
Les voiles de la nuit couvrent encore l'Oraput,
Les vampires affreux regagnent leurs demeures
Ivres de sang humain dont ils sont repus.
Pour beaucoup d'entre nous réveil épouvantable;
Notre esprit vagabond plane sous d'autres cieux,
Mais la cloche a sonné l'appel impitoyable
Pour nous dire à nouveau de souffrir en ces lieux!

Chacun pour le travail s'arme d'une bricole
Et dans le forêt sombre avance en trébuchant;
L'on dirait des démons, la sarabande folle,
Car l'enfer est au bagne, et non pas chez Satan!
On passe les rouleaux, on tombe, on se reléve;
La vase et les chicots, rien ne peut nous lasser;
On ne connait pour nous que ces mots: Marche ou crève,
Le bateau mènera de quoi vous remplacer!

Le soleil cherche en vain à montrer son visage,
Mais un nuage épais le cache à nos yeux;
Il pleut, il pleut toujours dans ce pays sauvage,
France, en ces instants nous regrettons tes cieux!
Allons vite au biseau, que la corde se place,
Et chantez, malheureux, pour réchauffer vos coeurs:
Hourrah! hourrah! garçons, la pièce se déplace,
Et glisse sous les yeux des surveillants moqueurs!

Enfin vers le dégrad l'on arrive, et sans trêve
Ils nous faut retoumer au second numero
De douleur, de dégoûtt notre coeur se soulève,
Car la voix d'un arabe a crié: Roumi ro!*
Ce supplice sans nom chaque jour se rèpete:
Enfants des vieux gaulois, qu'êtes vous done devenus?
Les plus forts d'entre nous marchent en courbant la tête,
Pleurez, pleurez forçats, vos coeurs ne battent plus!

*Derogatory Arab word meaning: "Get moving, white man!"

[Belbenoit, René, Prisoner No. 46635, Rambo, Preston, translation, Dry Guillotine: Fifteen Years among the Living Dead, (New York: Blue Ribbon, pp. 80-81, 345)]

wikis:
René Belbenoit

Dry Guillotine


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: 23 July 12:47 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.