marcel barang

‘Nevermind’ – Leonard Cohen

In English, French, Reading matters on 22/09/2014 at 9:05 pm

Hier c’était le quatre-vingtième anniversaire de Leonard Cohen ; demain sortira son dernier CD, « Popular Problems ». Voici une des chansons qui y figurent, intitulée ‘Nevermind’, ce qui veut dire ‘Peu importe’, je crois.

Never mind

The war was lost
The treaty signed
I was not caught
Across the line
I was not caught
Though many tried
I live among you
Well disguised

I had to leave
My life behind
I dug some graves
You’ll never find
The story’s told
With facts and lies
I have a name
But never mind

Never mind
Never mind
The war was lost
The treaty signed
There’s truth that lives
And truth that dies
I don’t know which
So never mind

[Singing in Arabic]

Your victory
Was so complete
Some among you
Thought to keep
A record of
Our little lives
The clothes we wore
Our spoons our knives

The games of luck
Our soldiers played
The stones we cut
The songs we made
Our law of peace
Which understands
A husband leads
A wife commands

And all of this
Expressions of the
Sweet indifference
Some called love
The high indifference
Some call fate
But we had names
More intimate

Names so deep
And names so true
They’re blood to me
They’re dust to you
There is no need
That this survives
There’s truth that lives
And truth that dies

Never mind
Never mind
I leave the life
I left behind
There’s truth that lives
And truth that dies
I don’t know which
So never mind

[Singing in Arabic]

I could not kill
The way you kill
I could not hate
I tried, I failed
You turned me in
At least you tried
You side with them
Whom you despise

This was your heart
This swarm of flies
This was once your mouth
This bowl of lies
You serve them well
I’m not surprised
You’re of their kin
You’re of their kind

Never mind
Never mind
I had to leave my
Life behind
The story’s told
With facts and lies
You own the world
So never mind

Never mind
Never mind
I live the life
I left behind
I live it full
I live it wide
Through layers of time
You can’t divide

My woman’s here
My children too
Their graves are safe
From ghosts like you
In places deep
With roots entwined
I live the life
I left behind

[First strophe repeated,
with Arabic singing in between]

The war was lost
The treaty signed
I was not caught
Across the line
I was not caught
Though many tried
I live among you
Well disguised

  1. Whether in English or French, understood in bits or through a fog, reading Cohen always hurts.

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