marcel barang

Festival Cabrel – 12

In English, French, Reading matters on 02/02/2011 at 7:21 pm


I’ll be ending this impromptu festival of an outstanding French bard of the times with this reflective song, which you can listen to on Few successful artists dare to mouth aloud their inner doubts about their trade, the nature of their success, their role in society. A mature Cabrel sings his misgivings in his own gently derisive manner, with that slightly raspy, slightly country voice adding its pinch of poignancy.

Des gens formidables – Francis Cabrel – 2008

Wonderful people

On serait des gens formidables
Des êtres parfaits
Des chanteurs charmants, charitables
Humbles et discrets
Contre toutes les injustices
Et de tous les combats
Mais on est normalement égoïste
Et c’est chacun chez soi

We’re held to be wonderful people
Perfect human beings
Charming, charitable singers
Humble and discreet
Opposed to every injustice
And fighting every fight
But we are commonly selfish
And it’s respect my privacy

On ferait des chansons éternelles
Et en quelques couplets
On ferait la Terre plus belle
L’homme moins mauvais
Ça ferait de nous des êtres rares
Et comme immortels
Mais on fait des petites chansons qui se fanent
Et on se fane avec elles

We’re assumed to create songs eternal
And in the span of a few strophes
Make the Earth a nicer place
And man less nasty
That would make of us rare creatures
Immortal as it were
But we craft little songs that wilt
And we wilt along with them

Et on se fane avec elles
On se fane avec elles

And we wilt along with them
We wilt along with them

On ferait des chansons utiles
À la société
Pour en dénoncer les dérives
Et les absurdités
Comme tirer sur un oiseau qui chante
Une cartouche en plein cœur
Mais on fait des petites chansons hésitantes
Et on regarde ailleurs

We’re told we create songs useful
To society
By denouncing drifts
And absurdities
As if shooting a bullet right in the heart
Of a bird that sings
But we craft faltering little songs
Then look the other way

On dirait des choses essentielles
Et de toute beauté
Comme on serait né avec des ailes
Ça serait pas compliqué
On aurait des mots qui touchent
et qui transpercent
Les traîtres et les menteurs
Mais on fait de petites chansons pour le commerce
Et on tremble de peur

We’re believed to make vital statements
Utterly beautiful as well
As if we were born with wings
It wouldn’t be difficult
We’d have words that move
And knife through
Traitors and liars
But we craft little songs for sale
And we tremble with fright

On tremble de peur
Et on tremble de peur

We tremble with fright
And we tremble with fright

On serait des artistes immenses
Des divinités
Considérés comme une chance
Pour l’humanité
Il suffirait qu’on apparaisse
Pour que le monde soit heureux
Mais en fait, les gens nous aiment
et puis nous laissent
Et c’est sans doute mieux

We’re held to be immense artists
Human deities
Considered as godsends
For humanity
Merely by appearing
We’d make the world happy
But in fact people love us
And then leave us
And it might be just as well


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