Les rats - Je m'emmerde (English translation)

English translation

I'm bored to death

The southern suburb was turning grey,
coincidentally so did my mood.
I was blind as a bat1 since I was
looking so hard into my problems.
I was thirsty for knowledge
but the wine shop2 was closed.
I was suffering in silence,
they could have left me the keys.
I was thinking of many things.
They send guys on the moon,
and yet I have nothing but a state-helped job3
to try and grab some dough.
Since a six-pack costs a fiver
and I need a couple each day,
considering the alms the government gives me,
you can see why I got so skinny.
I'm bored to death in this blasted suburb
full of unemployed persons and civil servants.
I spend my youth getting old,
I spend all my time doing nothing.
I should have been born a pensioner
and spend my day stuffing myself.
But with the lump I got in my throat4,
you bet I'm going to have fun.
I'm bored to death! (x9)
  • 1. the original says "I had a Pisa tower look since I was leaning on my problems", "se pencher sur un problème" means "try to solve a problem"
  • 2. "Nicolas" is a huge wine shop franchise
  • 3. The "Travail d'utilité collective" (community help job) system was an attempt to solve growing unemployment problems in the 80's
  • 4. the original pun is on "boules" (petanque/lump) : "spend my day playing balls, but with the ones I got in my throat..."
This translation does not claim to be of any particular value.
Glad if you liked it, sorry if you didn't.
You can reuse it as you please.
Glad if it's for knowledge or understanding, sorry if it's just for money or fame.
Submitted by petit élève on Thu, 27/07/2017 - 14:46
Added in reply to request by Romaint
Last edited by petit élève on Fri, 18/08/2017 - 04:12

Je m'emmerde

Les rats: Top 1
Idioms from "Je m'emmerde"
See also
Gavin    Wed, 16/08/2017 - 11:36

That's rather fun! Good job dealing with the idioms. :-)
This "Tuc" would translate quite well to Yop for Brits of a certain age, ie those who lived through the Thatcher years.

Are these errors in the original?
Ils auraient pus (pu)
J'aurais dût (dû)

Also - Is this line correct? It doesn't sound like it's what they sing?
"Quand tu vois c'que l'état me jette"

petit élève    Wed, 16/08/2017 - 21:27

Yop would be fun, but TUCs were a bit different (basically low-pay jobs for school dropouts, nothing educational about them)

Typos in the original indeed. "espéré" should be "espérer" too.

"jeter" is a bit unusual, but the idea is the State "throwing [breadcrumbs]" at him for wages.
As I hear it, he sings "quand tu sais ce que l’État me jette", which means basically the same.

Gavin    Wed, 16/08/2017 - 22:29

Ah but that's the thing - they were *meant* to be educational but in practice were just abused to provide cheap labour and get the unemployment figures down. Not the same thing but quite a nice parallel. Not that I think you should change it, just talking :-)

I'll edit those corrections...

petit élève    Wed, 16/08/2017 - 22:52

What else would you have expected from Bigmouth and her Tory friends?
At the time Mitterrand still pretended to be a socialist, so the deal was more clear-cut...