Rochechouart

English translation

Rochechouart

Driving nails into my brain
as the last métro wails
Pigalle by night, I write (about) you
from1 the métro of melancholies
 
Streets stink and smell of flowers
of the evil2 you bestowed upon my heart.
A bin truck on Rochechouart Bld.
There are suns on my bike3
 
Here I am at your front door yet again,
chasing every odd cat,
your name tatooed in sweat4
at the tip of my arm.
 
Driving nails into my brain
and even though I have you under my skin
the streets are dead and I just write
to shake the sleepyheads awake.
 
Pigalle by night, I have had too much booze
Sexiness crawls under the cobblestones,
inside the girls, at the bottom of things.
We all end up with an overdose.
 
In my phoney5 sleepless nights
all is rotten at Blanche station.
I cried your name on the platforms,
drinking to the drown love stories.
 
It's 5 AM6, the garbagemen are
emptying the hearts of weeping cities
It's 5 AM, I'm feeling sick
It's 5 AM, it's 5 AM
 
On the platforms I took a beating.
I played my drums too loud
Blue rivers inside my eyes
Louse traps for our farewells
 
There are pills to forget about you,
paradises in parties
Paris done for, Paris rotten,
my insomnia, you left me.
Me , I thought I saw lights
at the lightship of your eyelids
 
Streets stink and smell of flowers
of the evil you bestowed upon my heart.
A bin truck on Rochechouart Bld.
There are suns on my bike
 
Here I am at your front door yet again,
chasing every odd cat,
your name tatooed in sweat
at the tip of my arm.
 
Pigalle by night, I have had too much booze
Sexiness crawls under the cobblestones,
inside the girls, at the bottom of things.
We all end up with an overdose.
In my phoney sleepless nights
all is rotten at Blanche station.
I cried your name on the platforms,
drinking to the drown love stories.
 
It's 5 AM, the garbagemen are
emptying the hearts of weeping cities
It's 5 AM, I'm feeling sick
It's 5 AM, it's 5 AM
 
  • 1. "au" is one of Saez's manierisms. It can mean a few different things, including "using", "with", "in", "at", "on a background of". Any vague relation between two things, really
  • 2. obvious allusion to Baudelaire's "les fleurs du mal", but rather awkwardly done, if you ask me
  • 3. probably just there for the soleil/solex alliteration
  • 4. rather lame pun on "encre de Chine" (black ink) and "échine" (back, spine). "encre d'échine" would be "ink from the spine", which makes no sense, really. I settled for "sweat" instead
  • 5. "travesti" can also mean "cross-dresser", that just adds to the bleakness of the mood
  • 6. A (cheap) wink to this famous song
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.
Submitted by petit élève on Fri, 07/04/2017 - 19:54
Added in reply to request by paknot
Author's comments:

The title refers to the métro station "Barbès-Rochechouart" and the Boulevard Rochechouart that leads to Pigalle, in Northern Paris. "Blanche" is another métro station in between.

French

Rochechouart

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