marcel barang

Festival Brassens – 8

In English, French, Reading matters on 23/04/2011 at 7:47 pm


We all met one or several of those pretty flowers (of whatever sex) at one time or another as poor Georges did shortly before he ‘made [himself] very small before a doll’ – the Pupchen (or püppchen, ‘little doll’ in German) who was to be his life companion – and his tomb mate to boot. Of course, being Georges, exorcising the experience meant turning it into a droll song, one of his most popular in my neck of the woods where we tended to associate such fascinating creatures with the glamour and depravity of Paris as seen on black-and-white TV screens or at the pictures. Humming the catchy tune became a way of stigmatising the bitchiness of women whenever men found themselves rejected, inadequate or merely frustrated.

Une jolie fleur – Georges Brassens – 1955

A pretty flower

Jamais sur terre il n’y eut d’amoureux
Plus aveugle que moi dans tous les âges
Mais faut dir’ qu’ je m’étais crevé les yeux
En regardant de trop près son corsage

Never on earth throughout the ages
Has there been any lover blinder than I
But I should say that I’d popped my eyes out
Taking too close a look at her bosom

[Refrain :]
Un’ jolie fleur dans une peau d’vache
Un’ jolie vach’ déguisée en fleur
Qui fait la belle et qui vous attache
Puis qui vous mèn’ par le bout du cœur

A pretty flower all wrapped in cowhide
A nasty piece of work disguised as a flower
Who shows off and then ties you up
And has you wrapped around her little finger

Le ciel l’avait pourvue des mille appas
Qui vous font prendre feu dès qu’on y touche
L’en avait tant que je ne savais pas
Ne savais plus où donner de la bouche

Heaven had blessed her with the thousand charms
That set you on fire at a mere touch
She had so many that I didn’t know
No longer knew where to land my lips

Refrain | Chorus

Ell’ n’avait pas de tête, ell’ n’avait pas
L’esprit beaucoup plus grand qu’un dé à coudre
Mais pour l’amour on ne demande pas
Aux filles d’avoir inventé la poudre

She didn’t have much sense, she didn’t have
A mind much bigger than a thimble
But for making love you don’t ask
Girls to be rocket scientists

Refrain | Chorus

Puis un jour elle a pris la clef des champs
En me laissant à l’âme un mal funeste
Et toutes les herbes de la Saint-Jean
N’ont pas pu me guérir de cette peste

Then one day she took French leave
And left my soul with a dire ailment
And no amount of absinth
Was able to cure me from that curse

J’ lui en ai bien voulu, mais à présent
J’ai plus d’rancune et mon cœur lui pardonne
D’avoir mis mon cœur à feu et à sang
Pour qu’il ne puisse plus servir à personne

I was quite mad at her but I no longer
Bear her any grudge and my heart forgives her
For putting my heart through fire and the sword
So it be of no use to anyone henceforth

Refrain | Chorus


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