La bohème (English translation)
I am telling you about a time
That people under twenty years old would not know.
Montmartre at the time was hanging its lilacs
Up under our windows, and even if our modest furnished1
That we used as a nest did not look great,
This is where we met,
Me starving and you posing nude.
La boheme, la boheme, it meant we are happy.
La boheme, la boheme, we only ate every other day.
In the coffee shops nearby
We were a few
Waiting for glory, and although poor
With our empty bellies
We would not stop believing, and when some bistro
For a nice warm meal
Would take a painting, we recited verses,
Gathered around the stove while forgetting the winter.
La boheme, la boheme, it meant you are pretty.
La boheme, la boheme, and we were all talented.
Often I would,
In front of my easel,
Spend sleepless nights
Altering the drawing,
Of the line of a breast,
Of the curve of a hip, and only in the morning,
We would finally sit,
In front of a coffee with milk,
Exhausted but delighted.
We must have loved each other and loved life.
La boheme, la boheme, it meant we are twenty years old.
La boheme, la boheme, we lived from the air of the time2
When on a random day
I go for a walk
To my old address
I no longer recognize
Neither the walls, nor the streets
That witnessed my youth.
At the top of a stairway,
I look for the studio
Of which nothing remains.
In its new setting,
Montmartre seems sad and the lilacs are dead.
La boheme, la boheme. We were young, we were foolish.
La boheme, la boheme. It doesn't mean anything anymore.
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