Léo Ferré - Tu n'en reviendras pas (English translation)
You won't come back from there
You won't come back from there, you who used to chase the girls,
the young man whose naked heart I saw beating
as I ripped your shirt off. And you won't
come back either, you the old card player
whom a shell sliced in two.
The one time you had a killer hand.
And you, the guy with tatoos, former legionary,
you'll survive a long time without face nor eyes.
We head off for God knows where, it borders on nightmare.
We'll slide down the line of fire.
Somehow it doesn't look much of a game anymore.
The blokes up there are awaiting replacement.
The train of last glimmers rumbles in the distance.
The slumbering soldiers, shaken by the dance
let their foreheads sink and bend their necks.
It smells of tobacco, wool and sweat.
Looking at you, I can't help but see your fates.
Brides of the earth and grooms of pains.
The trench lamp paints you the colour of tears.
You feebly drag your condemned legs.
Already, the stone thinks of where your name will be written
Already, you're nothing but a golden word on our town squares
Already, the memories of your love fades away
Already, you only exist because of your demise.