Cali - Mille ans d'ennui (English translation)

English translation

A thousand years of boredom

You used to take a mischievous delight
In passing nude back and forth in front of your window
And me, I spied from the house facing you
So young, bubbling over and my life was just kicking in
I still spy on you today from time to time
Seeing you alone and without love
But I think that it’s your daughter that I see there
You can’t still be so beautiful
 
A thousand years of boredom
A thousand years weeping in the kitchen
Your hands worn-out in the drudgery of the washing up
Tell me if you life must be like that
And I’ll personally go and shoot your husband right now
The bastard who has put lines in your cheeks
And taken away all desire of being beautiful
 
When you mouth still had a thousand songs
And your heart a thousand schemes
He gathered you up the swine
And he plucked your youthful twenties
He left only the shadow of a sorrowful flower
He left just the shadow of a flower
 
We were weeping over all that
The other evening along with other woes
Laying out our dead skins on the immortal counter
We who could have offered you a gilded life
To you, the most beautiful girl of any of our young days
You that we see ageing with such a black heart
 
You used to take a mischievous delight
In passing nude back and forth in front of your window
And me, I spied from the house facing you
So young, bubbling over and my life was just kicking in
I still spy on you today from time to time
Seeing you alone and without love
But I think that it’s your daughter that I see there
You can’t still be so beautiful
 
Submitted by Gavier on Thu, 12/01/2017 - 11:28
Last edited by Gavier on Thu, 16/03/2017 - 14:38
French

Mille ans d'ennui

See also
Comments
petit élève    Fri, 10/03/2017 - 03:02

malin plaisir -> "prendre un malin plaisir" is heavily idiomatic. Not quite sure how to render it best in English though. "you enjoyed so much teasing me..." or something?

ma vie qui arrivait -> sounds a bit odd in French too. More like if his life (or rather his libido, actually :)) was kicking in or something.

Seule et sans amour -> the English seems a bit ambiguous. Maybe "as you remain..." to make sure it's about her?

Tu ne peux plus être si belle -> as I get it, he says "it must be your daughter I see, because you can't possibly have remained as beautiful as when you were her age". The English might say that, but I don't get it.

j’abattrai ton mari -> more like shoot him dead!

de tes vingt printemps il a tout défriché -> more like if her sweet twenties were a garden and he cut off all the flowers/trees/greenery.

Nous autres -> that's kind of a fixed expression. "as for us" or a simple "we, we..." would do, I think.

Gavier    Thu, 16/03/2017 - 15:46

Malin plaisir - mischievous pleasure is similarly idiomatic in English. Really means much the same thing.
Although, come to think of it - "mischievous delight" is even better :-)

Yesss....kicking in is maybe a little better

Yes, that is ambiguous in English...improved it!

Ah - yes, the English means that - 'must' would work but it's not really necessary.

Abattre mean to shoot dead when applied to a person eh? Ah yes my dictionary agrees, didn't know that...

Tricky that line about youth - I've completely rejigged it - better?

Yes I thought that 'we others' was a little clumsy. Just 'we' now...

Thanks :-)

petit élève    Thu, 16/03/2017 - 20:00

Sounds quite good to me. The angry tone seems just right.