Francis Cabrel - Je sais que tu danses (English translation)

English translation

I know you’re dancing

I’d like time to accelerate,
for it to erase all our scenes of war,
and that this story start again.
There are many swimmers who return,
there are many forests that die out, 1
there are many stars that move on. 2
You, I know you’re dancing.
...I know you’re dancing.
I see in my scarlet nights,
devils and gods fighting,
in front of your swaying hair
While my strength evaporates,
while my hands search for your body,
in all the weight of silence.
I know you’re dancing.
...I know you’re dancing.
I see your image everywhere,
marks on the places where,
your perfume lingers still
I see your image everywhere…
I’ll do my best to smile,
I’ll lower my eyes to tell you,
how immense the winters are.
Without you saying a word,
without even your feet touching the ground.
When you return if the thought occurs to you.
I’d like you to dance.
...I’d like you to dance.
There’ll be your image everywhere,
marks on the places where,
your perfume lingers still.
There’ll be your image everywhere…
There’ll be you image everywhere,
marks on the places where,
Where I still see your transparent body.
There’ll be your image everywhere…
...There’ll be your image everywhere...
  • 1. Not entirely sure if this is a forest or a forest fire that is dying out here
  • 2. Literally more like "there are truly stars etc...but that makes for clumsy English
Submitted by Gavin on Fri, 26/05/2017 - 14:50

Je sais que tu danses

petit élève    Fri, 26/05/2017 - 15:13

scènes de guerre -> war, not crime Regular smile

Y’a bien -> a tricky one.
"il y a bien" rather means "after all, there are..." here, although "bien des" can also mean "many a" in a different context

sur les endroits où depuis ton parfum se balance -> that's pretty unusual French.
"depuis" rather evokes "since I met / fell in love with you" and "se balance" more like "hangs" (i.e. it's a firm presence, not a vanishing one)

je vois ton corps en transparence -> one copy-paste too many Regular smile

Gavin    Fri, 26/05/2017 - 15:44

Hello there! :-)

Ah yes thanks - couple of silly ones there!

The il y a bien - yes, I pretty much gathered that was what it meant, but on further thought I decided the that "there are many" seemed more typical in English. "After all, they are those that" => "They are many that". It's not literally the same but I took a small liberty.

And I went with "perfume lingers still" as again it carries a similar idea but sounds much more typical. After all something that lingers is something that persists long after the event.

What do you think of this forêt? Any fire involved or just the forest itself dying out?


petit élève    Fri, 26/05/2017 - 15:56

Your translations have become scarce lately, I was just waiting for a sizeable batch to run my nitpicking machine on Regular smile

Yep, that part about lingering perfume is open to interpretation.

As for the fire, the French can mean both, but in the context I rather think it's about forest fires dying out (some disasters can be avoided, or something like that)

Gavin    Fri, 26/05/2017 - 15:59

Yeah, I've been sitting on Sarbacane for a while as I'm still listening to it quite heavily.

Most of the songs are already here and I'm just posting the missing ones for now as the existing ones seem generally ok. I might add a couple more yet though. :-)

petit élève    Fri, 26/05/2017 - 16:08

One of his best albums for sure. Popular for good reasons Regular smile

Gavin    Tue, 30/05/2017 - 08:55

It's an impressive sounding album - very well produced. Along with the usual fine writing of course. :-)