The Important Thing Is the Rose (L'important, c'est la rose)

English translation

The Important Thing Is the Rose

You who walk in the wind
Alone in the too-big city
With the gentle boredom
of passing
You who she let go of
To run towards other moons
To run from other destinies
The important thing...
 
The important thing
Is the rose
The important thing
Is the rose
The important thing
Is the rose
Believe me...
 
You who look for a little money
To get you through the week
In the town, you walk
Your swinging
stuntman, sun going to sleep,
You pass in front of banks,
If you are nothing but an acrobat,
 
The important thing
Is the rose
The important thing
Is the rose
The important thing
Is the rose
Believe me...
 
You, little one, who your parents
left alone on earth
Little bird without light
Without spring
In your jacket of white cloth
It's cold like in La Bohème
You have a heart like in Lent
And however...
 
The important thing
Is the rose
The important thing
Is the rose
The important thing
Is the rose
Believe me...
 
You for whom, giving giving,
I sang these few lines
As if to give you a sign
in passing
Say in your turn now
That life has no importance
Except for a flower that dances
on top of time...
 
The important thing
Is the rose
The important thing
Is the rose
The important thing
Is the rose
Believe me...
 
The important thing
Is the rose
The important thing
Is the rose
The important thing
Is the rose
Believe me...
 
Submitted by shisa on Sun, 02/10/2011 - 01:31
Last edited by shisa on Thu, 30/10/2014 - 20:03
Author's comments:

This is a beautiful song. I have no idea why all of the words in the original lyrics are capitalized. Can anyone explain that to me or is it just a thing?

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French

L'important, c'est la rose

Toi qui marches dans le vent,
Seul dans la trop grande ville,
Avec le cafard tranquille,
Du passant...
Toi qu'elle a laissé tomber
Pour courir vers d'autres lunes,
Pour courir d'autres fortunes,
L'important…
 

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More translations of "L'important, c'est la rose"
French → English - shisa
Comments
mickthemiller     September 23rd, 2014

Sorry, Shisa (if you're still there) but I think you've misunderstood 'cafard' in the first stanza. It does indeed mean cockroach in the real world, but it was regularly used in the French army - esp. the Foreign Legion - to mean a sort of deadly depressive tedium, often leading to either desertion or suicide.

Le Cafard Tranquille here would translate, I think, to something like 'gentle boredom'. Like you, I've no idea what's behind the capital letters in the original, but I'd guess it's just the lyricist being pretentious.

shisa     October 20th, 2014

Yes, I am still here, and I've fixed it! Thank you for the correction; I always appreciate help, since I'm nowhere near to a native understanding when it comes to slang.

mickthemiller     October 23rd, 2014

Glad you're alive and well. One last thing while I'm here, then I promise I'll go away. In Stanza 3, I don't think 'froid comme en Boheme' relates to Bohemia the region which - as far as I know - is no more famously cold than anywhere else in the CzechRep. I'm not as sure about this as I was about 'cafard' but my firm guess is that it refers to La Boheme the opera (regularly shortened to 'Boheme' by luvvies) and specifically to Mimi's tiny hand being frozen on account of her living in a chilly garret on account of having no money. Suggest something like "It's as cold (in Paris) as it was for Mimi" to underline the reference, but it does come over a bit clunky.

Best wishes - you're providing a valuable International Rescue Service !

mickthemiller     October 30th, 2014

I've had second thoughts here; to my mind, the translator's job is to convey the writer's meaning accurately in the new language, but not necessarily to pick up every reference or explain every allusion. In this instance, I think it would be enough to say "cold as in La Boheme", put the name in italics (which I can't seem to do on this site) and let the readers truffle about if they want to.

Laur52     January 21st, 2017

If the reference was to La Boheme as a title, then it would have been written "La Boheme", not "Boheme". The French do not take liberties with titles. Also, not enough people know the details of the opera.

I think it is more likely, also given the meaning of the whole song, that it is an allusion to the poet Rimbaud, whose poem "Ma Boheme" was about the aimlessness of life. This allusion would be well known to any one who was educated in France, much as anyone educated in English would know what a "Romeo" was.

So I would translate the line as "the cold of purposelessness" or "the cold of emptiness". Much more poetic, less graphic.

Laur52     January 21st, 2017

If the reference was to La Boheme as a title, then it would have been written "La Boheme", not "Boheme". The French do not take liberties with titles. Also, not enough people know the details of the opera.

I think it is more likely, also given the meaning of the whole song, that it is an allusion to the poet Rimbaud, whose poem "Ma Boheme" was about the aimlessness of life. This allusion would be well known to any one who was educated in France, much as anyone educated in English would know what a "Romeo" was.

So I would translate the line as "the cold of purposelessness" or "the cold of emptiness". Much more poetic, less graphic.

Laur52     January 21st, 2017

"sur le Temps" - rather than "on top of Time", the more poetic "superseding Time".

Laur52     January 21st, 2017

"ton ballant" carefree attitude

Laur52     January 21st, 2017

"Cascadeur, soleil couchant ...saltimbanque" - Pretender, (in) the setting sun, you walk along the riverbank; (as) if you were only a chameleon - a poetic, not literal translation

magicmulder     February 7th, 2017

I think that both "froid comme en Bohème" and "t'as le coeur comme en carême" refer to an emotional cold, as opposed to the "cascadeur" and the "saltimbanque".
The song basically says "don't forget to see the beaufitul aspects of life" or even more simply put "the one thing that counts is love".

magicmulder     February 7th, 2017

Changed the capitalization into actual French. Smile