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Défiler (English translation)

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French

Défiler

Lyrics removed on request of copyright owners
 
Submitter's comments:

La vidéo présente un défilé de mode qui a eu lieu le 6 avril 2018 au grand magasin parisien Le Bon Marché. On y a présenté des vêtements produits par le label Mosaert, créé par Stromae.

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English translation

Parading

She1 parades.
We see our lives pass by.
On the edge,
we see years speed by.
We try to toe the line,2
And we can’t rewind.
All those knots in our lives,
If only we could undo them.
So tell me how it goes.3
Tell me how it goes.
Tell me how it goes.
Tell me how it goes.
 
Anyway, we walk in lines.
In groups or not, we walk alone.q
Whether we like it or not, we have a market value4
From the youngest age to the shroud.
Walk or die, but fall into line,
Walk backwards or don’t walk.
And business, how is it going?
Health, family and the rest, how is it going?5
Tell me how it goes.
Tell me how it goes.
I know that it’s not always as we want it to be,
Not always like what we wish for,
But I’d like some happy days.
Tell me how it goes.
 
I’m wondering after all these years, again and again.
I do know where I’m not going, but not where I’ll go yet.
I’m certain that if I were to go with the drift, it wouldn’t do me any harm.
I’d better take the first step, anyway I’d be wrong not to try.
If I wanted to, I could even stop, step back.
Why should barriers always be passed, by the way?
Why am I afraid of being (sur)passed, by whom and by what?
I don’t know, but what I do know
Is that if I’m afraid, I’m not the only one.
As if there were only one finish line,
Only one place,
Only one road where we’d have to go;
That’d surprise me.
All I know is I don’t know, and I’m going step by step.
Yeah, step by step, yeah step by step.
 
I’m going step by step step by step, step by step, step by step.
I’m going step by step.
All I know is I don’t know.
I’m going step by step (step by step, step by step).
 
Face in her phone.
Without earphones, you’d think she’s crazy.
Without Google, you’d think she’s a bloody idiot.
And without filters, you’d think she’s bangable.
 
It’s too easy to judge, it’s too easy to judge
If her goal in life is to look like Gigi,
But without surgery, she’s more like Gégé than Gigi.6
If (only) school taught us how to make beautiful selfies
To have a better start in life,
have a better start in life.
 
Without knowing where we’re going, where we are,
Without even knowing where we’ll end up.
Without knowing where we are,
Without knowing where we are, where we’re going,
Without even knowing where it’s going to end.
 
Face in her phone.
Without earphones, you’d think she’s crazy.
Without Google, you’d think she’s a bloody idiot.
And without filters, you’d think she’s bangable.
 
What counts is what you have in your heart,
And what there’s in your account.
Money doesn’t make you happy, no.
It’s used to make bombs.7
Being beautiful when you have money (you have money),
It’s easier, isn’t?
Money spoils people rotten
And it makes them beautiful at the same time;
It’s fascinating.
We aren’t all equal before beauty.
It’s so easy to be fat when you see them parading.
Kid, before you learn a job,
First you’ve got to learn how to edit the photo of a CV.
 
Face in her phone.
Without earphones, you’d think she’s crazy.
Without Google, you’d think she’s a bloody idiot.
And without filters, you’d think she’s bangable.
 
  • 1. Could refer to life.
  • 2. The previous lines play on the words défiler, fil and filer, and their meanings. défiler comes from fil (‘string’) and can mean ‘to parade’ (as a model) or ‘to unthread’, figuratively life unthreads = speed by. filer droit means ‘to toe the line’, literally: ‘to thread straight’.
  • 3. Again a kind of play on the word marcher which means ‘to walk’ and is used as ‘to work’ as in ‘How does it work?’ The singer is asking how things are going and at the same time wants to know how it (life?) works.
  • 4. I could have translated these three last lines using the impersonal pronoun ‘you’. On means ‘one’, but is also used for ‘we’ in informal French. So it’s a matter of taste which English pronoun to use here.
  • 5. Again, the singer is asking how things are going for family, etc. but also wants to know how it works.
  • 6. I’m not sure whom Stromae has in mind exactly. I have the feeling that it’s about the nickname ‘Gégé’ (short for ‘Gérard’ for instance) sounds very ‘lower classes’ compared to ‘Gigi’ which sounds more Italian. Just my supposition.
  • 7. The French word bombe is also used to describe a very attractive woman, as ‘a knockout’ or ‘a fox’ in English.
Si vous utilisez mes traductions, me citer comme auteur serait gentil de votre part. / If you use my translations, citing me as the author would be kind of you.
Submitted by Joutsenpoika on Mon, 14/05/2018 - 15:30
Last edited by Joutsenpoika on Wed, 16/05/2018 - 08:46
Author's comments:

You can find the lyrics on some other websites.

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