Les rats - Je m'emmerde (English translation)

English translation

I'm bored to death

The southern suburb was turning grey,
coincidentally so did my mood.
I was blind as a bat1 since I was
looking so hard into my problems.
I was thirsty for knowledge
but the wine shop2 was closed.
I was suffering in silence,
they could have left me the keys.
I was thinking of many things.
They send guys on the moon,
and yet I have nothing but a state-helped job3
to try and grab some dough.
Since a six-pack costs a fiver
and I need a couple each day,
considering the alms the government gives me,
you can see why I got so skinny.
I'm bored to death in this blasted suburb
full of unemployed persons and civil servants.
I spend my youth getting old,
I spend all my time doing nothing.
I should have been born a pensioner
and spend my day stuffing myself.
But with the lump I got in my throat4,
you bet I'm going to have fun.
I'm bored to death! (x9)
  • 1. the original says "I had a Pisa tower look since I was leaning on my problems", "se pencher sur un problème" means "try to solve a problem"
  • 2. "Nicolas" is a huge wine shop franchise
  • 3. The "Travail d'utilité collective" (community help job) system was an attempt to solve growing unemployment problems in the 80's
  • 4. the original pun is on "boules" (petanque/lump) : "spend my day playing balls, but with the ones I got in my throat..."
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.
Submitted by petit élève on Thu, 27/07/2017 - 14:46
Added in reply to request by Romaint
Last edited by petit élève on Fri, 18/08/2017 - 04:12

Je m'emmerde

Idioms from "Je m'emmerde"
Gavier    Wed, 16/08/2017 - 11:36

That's rather fun! Good job dealing with the idioms. :-)
This "Tuc" would translate quite well to Yop for Brits of a certain age, ie those who lived through the Thatcher years.

Are these errors in the original?
Ils auraient pus (pu)
J'aurais dût (dû)

Also - Is this line correct? It doesn't sound like it's what they sing?
"Quand tu vois c'que l'état me jette"

petit élève    Wed, 16/08/2017 - 21:27

Yop would be fun, but TUCs were a bit different (basically low-pay jobs for school dropouts, nothing educational about them)

Typos in the original indeed. "espéré" should be "espérer" too.

"jeter" is a bit unusual, but the idea is the State "throwing [breadcrumbs]" at him for wages.
As I hear it, he sings "quand tu sais ce que l’État me jette", which means basically the same.

Gavier    Wed, 16/08/2017 - 22:29

Ah but that's the thing - they were *meant* to be educational but in practice were just abused to provide cheap labour and get the unemployment figures down. Not the same thing but quite a nice parallel. Not that I think you should change it, just talking :-)

I'll edit those corrections...

petit élève    Wed, 16/08/2017 - 22:52

What else would you have expected from Bigmouth and her Tory friends?
At the time Mitterrand still pretended to be a socialist, so the deal was more clear-cut...