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Clean Guitar

Translation of Bon Pépère by Kaïn

October 17, 2010

Placed somewhat arbitrarily at number two in my recent list of my favourite francophone albums, I was suprised that I had not yet posted a translation of a song from Kaïn’s Les Saisons S’tassent. Pépère translates as easy, tranquill, stress-free and is also used to refer to a grandad, or an old man. The phrase […]

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Translation of Le Ciel Est Gris by Volo

April 16, 2010

In retaliation for our treatment of their banks, Iceland sent a cloud of volcanic ash over Britain yesterday which grounded all air traffic for the first time in our history. Living in London and being used to hearing and seeing a new plane every couple of minutes, it feels very bizarre to be plunged back […]

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Translation of Mélodie by Pep’s

September 18, 2009

I started, and indeed finished this translation back in April. I can’t remember why I choose not to publish it, perhaps I was not entirely happy with the translation, but reading it back I think it’s pretty good. Perhaps my standards are dropping. Pep’s is another band that easily makes my top ten French language […]

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Translation of On Savait (Devenir Grand) by La Grande Sophie

April 20, 2009

I caught an interview with La Grande Sophie on TV5 Monde last night (Sky Channel 799 in the UK) on a show called Acoustic where she was talking about her latest release La grande Sophie en acoustique toute seule comme une grande. This song, On savait (devenir grand) “We knew (to grow up)” is from the 2003 album Et si c’était moi “And if it were me”.

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Translation of La chauve-souris by Thomas Fersen

April 20, 2009

Fersen is an accomplished poet who regularly plays with language, using puns, rich rhymes, symbols and images taken from the realms of plants (vegetables, fruits) and animals (birds and various beasts) to tell stories or original fables, to recreate moments from daily life, impressions and sentiments, and also the dreams of ordinary people and their failings and faults. His deep and gravelly smoker’s voice gives a particular tone to his songs, which belong to different musical styles depending on the album (rock, folk-rock or jazz and blues). [wikipedia]

This song, La Chauve-Souris “The bat” is from the album Qu4tre released in 1999. As always with poetic songs, we’re not looking here to recreate the poetry in the translation as we don’t intend to perform the song – the poetry will be left for the original version – the English translation will attempt to give the meaning, hopefully to facilitate the enjoyment of the French lyrics.

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Translation of Sèche Tes Pleurs by Daniel Bélanger

April 15, 2009

This translation was all going very well until the final line of the second verse Que l’sud d’la fille lui fasse du nord – which I think is simply too poetic to translate – I suspect only the writer knows what this really means, but I have made a clumsy translation here of “That the girl’s south becomes his north” which perhaps tries to create the image of someone’s world being upended by a girl. There is an interesting discussion on this very line on the Word Reference Forums.

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Translation of Saskatschewan by Les Trois Accords

April 13, 2009

I really love the Gros Mammouth Album by Les Trois Accords. This song isn’t really in the style of the album, but has simple lyrics, sung slowly which would put this song very much in the “easy” category except for a few Québécois expressions which may not be immediately recognisable.

And there’s a couple of chuckles to be had.

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Translation of Libertà by Pep’s

April 1, 2009

The album Utopies Dans Le Décor is one of my very favourite albums – the production quality is superb and the clean guitar / folk nature of the album mixed with rich bass lines sounds great.

Although Libertà appears on this album, it first five years earlier on Au Sourire De L’âme where it featured Djazia. The chorus is sung in English and Italian, with all the verses in French.

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Translation of Quelqu’un m’a dit by Carla Bruni

March 30, 2009

The pace is coming down several notches now. It’s time to put up a song with a female vocalist, and surely Carla Bruni, being married to the French President himself, is a fair candidate to be the first lady on my blog.

Guitar chords provided at end of post.

Another straightfoward translation without too much complexity.

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