Francis Cabrel - Le Cygne blanc (English translation)

English translation

The white swan

She strolls proudly
On the arm of a white swan
She says “He’s not a river swan
He’s a lake swan” 1
 
She walks in a way
That amuses the passers-by
As if, as if one lived to please
To the sound of their applause
 
She’s lost her head
She’s no more than a puppet
Perhaps we ourselves
Are not so far from that
 
Round her neck a few jewels
Pendant earrings at her ears
But not elegant diamonds 2
Just cheap tin charms
 
Her and her pale swan
And me sitting on a bench
In Jean Fallières place
Or Fallières Jean
 
She’s lost her head
She sings for no reason
Perhaps we ourselves
Are not so far from that
 
Her internal compass
Is all over the place
Someone has driven her mad
How?
 
A cheating husband
A son leaving home too soon
And the swan escapes
And the swan follows you
 
A husband who hits her
A son leaving home to soon
And the swan escapes
And the swan follows you
 
The debts, the house
It all becomes a battle
The compass goes wrong
And there you go
 
Two hours a week
You're allowed to go out
Into the human society
Where one no longer knows how to behave
 
She strolls proudly
On the arm of a white swan
She says “He’s not a river swan
He’s a lake swan”
 
He’s not a river swan
He’s a lake swan
 
  • 1. strictly this says "pond swan" but that rather conjures up the image of a scruffy second-rate swan which feels wrong. Also this line has the same sound as "signe des temps" - "sign of the times" so a bit of a pun.
  • 2. rivière de diamants - a string of diamonds
Submitted by Gavier on Fri, 18/08/2017 - 09:58
Last edited by Gavier on Thu, 24/08/2017 - 11:22
French

Le Cygne blanc

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Comments
petit élève    Thu, 24/08/2017 - 11:03

cygne d'étang -> "étang" can be an ornamental lake too, so "lake" seems good to me.
Also it sounds just like "a sign of the times", I suspect the pun is intentional.

Gavier    Thu, 24/08/2017 - 11:21

Yeah, I didn't like to use pond as although it's a perfectly decent word it *can* sound derogatory in certain cases. "Pond life" to mean small and insignificant for example. A stately lake swan sounds more more regal.

Ah, "signe des temps" - didn't spot that! Yes, seems like a pun :-)