Albert Préjean - La déclaration d’amour par phonographe (English translation)

French

La déclaration d’amour par phonographe

Je n'ose dire « Je vous aime »
car, hélas, vous m'intimidez,
mais j'ai trouvé un stratagème
pour dire ces mots sans parler.
À ce disque de cire
mon cœur s'est confié,
et c'est lui qui va vous dire
l'aveu que près de vous je n'ose murmurer :
 
Je vous aime, je vous aime,
et je n'aimerai que vous.
Ces trois mots résument tout
mieux que le plus doux poème.
Excusez ce moyen très nouveau :
la déclaration d'amour par phono.
Je vous aime, je vous aime,
c'est peut-être un rêve fou,
mais je n'aimerai jamais que vous.
 
Tout seul auprès de vous je n'ose
vous dire ces trois mots bénis,
mais, loin de vous, c'est autre chose :
voyez comme je suis hardi !
Un tour de manivelle,
me voilà reparti
pour vous dire de plus belle
sans arrêt, sans trembler,
et le jour et la nuit :
 
Je vous aime, je vous aime,
et je n'aimerai que vous.
Ces trois mots résument tout
mieux que le plus doux poème.
Excusez ce moyen très nouveau :
la déclaration d'amour par phono.
Je vous aime, je vous aime,
c'est peut-être un rêve fou,
mais je n'aimerai jamais que vous.
 
Pont
 
Je vous aime, je vous aime,
c'est peut-être un rêve fou,
mais je n'aimerai jamais que vous.
 
Submitted by petit élève on Fri, 29/09/2017 - 16:09
Submitter's comments:

"Jeuuu vous aimeuhh..." Regular smile
That way of pronouncing every single letter has long been out of fashion, but that's kind of cute.

Align paragraphs
English translation

A declaration of love through gramophone

I would not dare say "I love you"
since, alas, you intimidate me,
but I devised a scheme allowing me
to say these words to you without speaking.
My heart has confided
to this wax record,
and it is that who will tell you
the confession I would not dare wisper near you:
 
I love you, I love you,
and I shall love no other ever.
These three words sum up everything,
better than the sweetest poem would.
Please forgive such a novel way:
the phono declaration of love.
I love you, I love you,
it might be a foolish dream,
still I shall never love another.
 
On my own by your side I won't dare
to say these three blessed words to you,
but away from you that is a different matter :
see how daring I get !
A mere turn of a handle
and here I go again
saying to you yet again,
ceaselessly and without quivering,
every day and every night :
 
I love you, I love you,
and I shall love no other ever.
These three words sum up everything,
better than the sweetest poem would.
Please forgive such a novel way:
the phono declaration of love.
I love you, I love you,
it might be a foolish dream,
still I shall never love another.
 
(break)
 
I love you, I love you,
it might be a foolish dream,
still I shall never love another.
 
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.
Submitted by petit élève on Fri, 29/09/2017 - 16:32
Added in reply to request by marta90
Last edited by petit élève on Mon, 02/10/2017 - 08:51
Author's comments:

I tried to match the old-fashioned style of the original. Hopefully that will not sound too heavy-handed. If it does, please tell me and I'll try to adapt the translation.

Idioms from "La déclaration d’amour par phonographe"
Comments
sydrhill    Mon, 02/10/2017 - 02:16

Je n'ose dire « Je vous aime » --> (I know the infinitive "dire" is used but you can translate it as "I would not dare say.")

pour dire ces mots sans parler --> (you would want to say "allowing me to say these words to you without speaking")

et c'est lui qui va vous dire --> (I would translate it to something like "and it is that who will tell you" I know the record isn't necessarily a "who" but then it's a little easier to understand that the record is the one doing the talking)

l'aveu que près de vous je n'ose murmurer --> (I would translate "l'aveu" as "confession" it's just a more commonly used word than "avowal")

et je n'aimerai que vous --> (This make sense but it's a little clunky worded this way, so maybe something more like "I shall never love another")

Un tour de manivelle --> (You want an article here, either "a handle" or "the handle" is fine in this context)

et le jour et la nuit --> (you could say two things here; you could essentially ignore the articles and say "day and night" giving off the impression that he is saying this all the time or; you could say "every day and every night" as sometimes the definite article in French in reference to time can mean "every" example: "Je vais au restaurant avec ma mere le samedi" could mean "I go to the restaurant with my mother every Saturday")

Other than that I think you captured the beauty of this song! These are really pretty lyrics!!

petit élève    Mon, 02/10/2017 - 08:56

Nice! I'll fix these right away.

These lyrics sound kind of exotic, what with the cynicism of our era and also the peculiar way they were sung. Exacerbated feelings have long been out of fashion in French pop music, and this way of pronouncing every syllable too.

sydrhill    Tue, 03/10/2017 - 00:23

Yeah even in English some of them sound kind of strange! But I really like these poetic lyrics...you don't really find it in American pop either!

petit élève    Tue, 03/10/2017 - 00:55

Btw. have you had a look at this new Leïla Huissoud singer yet? She's rather impressive. Best French chanson author I've seen in years, possibly decades. Something tells me you might like her style.