Juliette Gréco - J'arrive (English translation)

English translation

I'm coming

From chrysanthemum to chrysanthemum,
our friendships are on their way out.
From chrysanthemum to chrysanthemum,
death puts1 our sweethearts to the gallows.
From chrysanthemum to chrysanthemum,
the other flowers do what they can.
From chrysanthemum to chrysanthemum,
men are crying, women are raining down.
 
I'm coming, I'm coming,
still I would have liked so much
to drag my weary bones once more
into sunlight, into summer,
until spring, until tomorrow.
I'm coming, I'm coming
still I would have liked so much
to see once more if the river
is still a river and the port
is still a port, and see me there once more.
I'm coming, I'm coming,
but why me, why now,
why was that about, and where to go?
 
I'm coming, of course, I'm coming,
did I ever do anything else?
 
From chrysanthemum to chrysanthemum,
each time more lonely.
From chrysanthemum to chrysanthemum,
each time supernumerary2
I'm coming, I'm coming,
still I would have liked so much
to catch a love once more
like you catch a train to stop being lonely,
to be some place else, to feel good.
I'm coming, I'm coming,
still I would have liked so much
fill onece more with stars
a body that trembles, and drop dead,
consumed by love, my heart in ashes.
I'm coming, I'm coming,
you're not even early,
I'm the one being late.
I'm coming, of course, I'm coming,
did I ever do anything else?
 
  • 1. though "potence" means "gallows", there is no such verb as "potencer" (that would be "pendre" (hang) in standard French)
  • 2. the word is rather unusual in French too
This translation does not claim to be of any particular value.
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Submitted by petit élève on Tue, 12/09/2017 - 01:04
Added in reply to request by EddieA
Author's comments:

That's a Jacques Brel cover.
The lyrics allude to Brel's incurable lung cancer, of which he was well aware in 1970, when the song was written.
The interlocutor is death itself, hence the grim and desperate mood.

Idioms from "J'arrive"
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