Frida Boccara - Cherbourg avait raison (English translation)

English translation

Cherbourg was right

As Cherbourg1 saw us
coming to the harbour,
your hand clenching mine,
it must have thought again
seeing our dreamy stares
"These two sure are lovebirds
These two sure are lovebirds
That's two more of them"
 
That's two more of them
who will throw away their hearts
into the end of summer bonfires,
once this cheeky happiness
that made people smirk
that made people smirk
as they walked the streets
will have vanished.
 
But Cherbourg still spread
its great blue canopy2
to welcome us anyway,
and the sea breeze
whipped through the hatches
and gathered for us
scents of vanilla
 
As Cherbourg saw us
coming to the harbour,
your hand clenching mine,
it must have thought
with a dreamy stare
"These two sure are lovebirds
These two sure are lovebirds
That's two more of them"
 
And the sun shone so bright
on the walls of every house
as we wound through them
and an accordion played
its dancing tune for us
its dancing tune for us
like on a wedding day.
 
Like on a wedding day
we would carry our love
within the white sails
to set off for the land
you don't return from
of thousands of Sundays
of thousands of Sundays
that weave eternity.
 
But our schooner,
for all her merry looks
never left the harbour.
Our love just stood
all alone on the dock,
too afraid to set sail,
and that still makes me cry.
 
Cherbourg was right
Cherbourg was right
to welcome us anyway
with its shiploads
of accordion tunes
and siren wails.
A love worth all the pain
is a rare thing indeed3.
 
Cherbourg was right
Cherbourg was right
 
  • 1. a port city in Normandy
  • 2. lit. "sunshade" but I think that would sound awkward here
  • 3. lit. "there are not so many love stories worth the effort/suffering around"
This translation does not claim to be of any particular value.
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Submitted by petit élève on Wed, 26/04/2017 - 03:20
Added in reply to request by Valeriu Raut
Last edited by petit élève on Thu, 14/12/2017 - 01:31
Author's comments:

You can feel a heavy Piaf influence there, in the lyrics and the way she sings. Still it's pretty well written.

French

Cherbourg avait raison

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Comments
Valeriu Raut    Tue, 05/12/2017 - 12:23

2017-12-05
J'ai corrigé le vers :
À nos regards perdus

petit élève    Thu, 14/12/2017 - 01:58

Thanks Valè, that's fixed.

Also I took the liberty to chage "encor" into "encore".
Though "encor" can be used in ancient or very elaborate poetry, it sounds rather out of place in song lyrics.