Le Poème Harmonique - Quand je menai les chevaux boire (English translation)

English translation

As I went to water the horses...

Versions: #1#2
As I went to water the horses
Ilaire, ilaire, itou, ilaire, ilaire, oh ma nanette1
As I went to water the horses
I heard the cuckoo sing (x2)
 
It told me in its language
...
...
" Your beloved is soon to be burried "
 
What are you saying there, you mean beast?
...
...
I was by her side only yesterday evening.
 
And when I came across the moor
...
...
I heard the bells ringing.
 
And when I came into the church
...
...
I heard the priests singing
 
I then kicked the coffin2
...
...
" wake up, if you're asleep "
 
" Neither do I sleep nor slumber
...
...
I await you inside of Hell "
 
" See how my mouth is filled with earth
...
...
while yours is filled with love "
 
  • 1. that's just a rhythmic/melodic pattern. "nanette" could be an affectionate diminutive, probably of "Anne": "Oh my dear little Anne" or something
  • 2. the modern meaning of "châsse" would be "shrine (containing relics)", but I suppose a coffin is meant here
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.
Submitted by petit élève on Wed, 28/06/2017 - 02:26
Author's comments:

This is no artistic translation, it's just meant to give an idea of the slightly odd feel of old-ish French.
It's very close to modern French, only with slightly different words and turns of phrases. Could be as old as 16th century, the language has been pretty stable since then.

French

Quand je menai les chevaux boire

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French → English - petit élève
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