L'elemento umano (English translation)

English translationEnglish
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The Human Element

We win, we lose
We step on shit
that gets in between the grooves on the sole of our shoes
We live, we die
We feel pain from which
there is no thought
that can comfort us
we speak to dogs, we shake hands
we often pretend to be something
we watch the sunset, we arrive late
the debris of ruined lives rains down upon us
we have children,
we dream dreams
we make sandcastles on beach towels
we thread glass pearls onto necklaces and plan an escape
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
We search for work, we build up stress
that then explodes in a spontaneous change of scene
we search for something that will make
two dove wings sprout from our backs
we accuse others, we put salt in our meals
we go down to take out the rubbish
we smooth wrinkles, we harvest wheat
we make deals with the many faces of fear
we're born in one place, we take a boat to get to where we can be born again
we put flowers between the pages of our diaries to remember a moment of real life
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
We make plans, we shake hands
we make deals that include a penalty
we spit on the ground, we lose the war
we think that in the end it's all the same
we move the rook, we cover the bishop
we spend a day defending what's already lost
we type in the password, we enter the network and for a bit we can pretend that everything is different
we study a system, a problem comes up
we try to fix it quickly to have time left over
we find that we have great power but it is never enough
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
We are the human element in the machine
And we are free under the clouds
 
And we're free - And we're free
And we're free - And we're free
 
Thanks!
thanked 4 times
Submitted by cescalinacescalina on Tue, 09/04/2013 - 20:22
Added in reply to request by Michele320Michele320
Author's comments:

One thing - it's not actually we, it's ''one'' but we makes more sense in English I think.

ItalianItalian

L'elemento umano

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Comments
psivovapsivova    Thu, 11/04/2013 - 08:47

I think "si saltano i pasti" means "we add salt to the meals".

psivovapsivova    Thu, 11/04/2013 - 10:33

And I am also not sure about the translation of "si spigano spighe". May be it just means something like "...and the wheat is in the ear" implying that nature keeps going its cycling way not noticing our elemento umano Regular smile

cescalinacescalina    Thu, 11/04/2013 - 20:14

Hi, I'm replying to this comment and the one above, just in case I mention both and you are confused. The one with the pastries- I was trying to keep it as close to the Italian as possible but maybe a better one would be something like, ''we add salt to our food'', similar to what you said. I'll change it to that.
''si spigano spighe''- This phrase was the one part that actually really confused me so I made it as close to what I could understand as possible. ''and the wheat is in the ear'' doesn't make sense in English though... I was not happy with this part and would really like to change it to a better translation. The problem is that I don't understand the verb ''si spigano''. Is it a typing mistake? I listened to the song and think it is ''spiegano''. In which case it would maybe be something along the lines of trying to explain nature.

psivovapsivova    Fri, 12/04/2013 - 12:07

Hi, I think in the case of "si spigano spighe" we have the so-called figura etymologica - rhetorical figure in which words with the same etymological derivation are used adjacently. (Like "si sognano sogni") The meaning must be: wheat plants ("le spighe") come into ear, form ears ("si spigano").
I saw the expression "the wheat is in the ear" in the poem "The Moon was Seven Days Down" by John Shaw Neilson. http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/neilson-john-shaw/the-moon-was-sev....

cescalinacescalina    Fri, 26/04/2013 - 14:54

As a native english speaker, 'the wheat is in the ear' is one of those phrases that just sounds wrong out of the context of the poem, you know? Plus, the song is all written in the form of humans doing things, so that phrase would stick out like a sore thumb and, I believe, can't be talking about the wheat growing because that has nothing to do with people. It is a difficult one. I will think about this. Maybe... oh, how about just, we harvest crops. I think I'll go with that.

Michele320Michele320    Thu, 11/04/2013 - 17:32

Thank you very much for your time spent. Regular smile

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