Mickey 3D - Sylvie, Jacques et les autres (English translation)

English translation

Sylvie, Jacques and the others

I remember my first love
Her name was Sylvie
I must have been about six and a half years old
She came over and grabbed me in the playground
To tell me that I was her sweetheart
That I was her sweetheart
I felt handsome, proud and strong
My heart beating freely in my chest
She came back three days later
To tell me that she didn’t love me anymore
That I wasn’t her sweetheart anymore
I wasn’t her sweetheart anymore
It was Olivier my classmate in preparatory class
I can’t remember now which of the two
I hated the most
I felt like giving them
A good smack around the chops
I felt horrible, weak and betrayed
They can be so stupid girls
And to think that later on they’re surprised
"Ah, he really took me for a ride
He took me for a right idiot"
My poor Sylvie, I forgive you
I hear your little voice echoing
The years go by
Nothing is erased
Everything moves on
Always following the moon
The years go by
It’s disgusting
I wash my hands of it
You don’t teach an old monkey how to pull faces 1
I remember the day that Jacques Brel died
I was with my dad and my brother
In the Renault 5 or the Chrysler
It was a guy on the radio
Who said that Jacques Brel had died
And my dad looked so sad
And my dad looked so sad
I asked him who he was
This Jacques Brel
He replied that he was the best singer in the world
Me, I didn’t know him
Me, I knew Claude François
When I watched telly
Claude François was always on
So, as a result I believed
That it was him, the best singer in the world
But my dad, he said
"No way, that guy’s a clown"
We’re so stupid when we’re young
We’re so stupid but we don’t care
We’ve got our whole life ahead of us
A life to plant cabbages
A life to walk in the mud
A life to avoid the blows
The years go by…
We’re so stupid when we’re young
But girls can be so stupid too
We’re so stupid but we don’t care
We’ve got our whole life ahead of us
But the years go by…
  • 1. This french expression is roughly equivalent to "Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs" i.e. Don't go trying to teach a lesson to someone already well experienced
Submitted by Gavin on Mon, 11/09/2017 - 11:08
Last edited by Gavin on Mon, 02/10/2017 - 09:12

Sylvie, Jacques et les autres

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petit élève    Sun, 01/10/2017 - 19:42

I rather like this one. Pretty good tongue-in-cheek humor.

That I wasn’t her sweetheart anymore
That I wasn’t her sweetheart anymore -> one that too many

qu'est-ce qu'elles peuvent être connes aussi -> "qu'est-ce que tu peux être..." is idiomatic, like "you are such a..." ("but girls are such idiots too" or something)

Gavin    Mon, 02/10/2017 - 09:12

Nice isn't it! :-)

Ah yes, one "that" too many...

I know that structure, like in the Gainsbourg "que tu peux être belle quand tu t'y mets" - but we do the same thing.
Girls can be so stupid = girls are so (very) stupid (sometimes)

Gavin    Mon, 02/10/2017 - 09:49

Pas du tout! Regular smile

mk87    Fri, 03/11/2017 - 18:59

I've just finished the German translation, which made me think a lot about these three lines (even if a word-by-word translation can be done quite easily):

Une vie pour bien planter les choux
Une vie pour marcher dans la boue
Une vie pour éviter les coups

"Une vie pour marcher dans la boue" - when I read that line "Le Loir et Cher" by Michel Delpech immediately crossed my mind. So maybe this line stands for the idea of returning to where you come from facing difficulties (which is what "Le Loir et Cher" is about).

"Une vie pour bien planter les choux" might be a reference to the nursery rhyme "Savez-vous planter les choux ?", which, as far as I know, is used to teach children what the parts of the body are called.

So we've got one life to get to know our bodies and one life to return to where we came from.

However, I can't think of a French song that the line "Une vie pour éviter les coups" might be a reference to.

Maybe I've overthought this... but I just love the idea of using references to three different songs to mark three stages in one's life. Those three lines might also be seen as a reinvention of the good old "build a house, plant a tree, have a child" idea of how to become a man.

Any thoughts?

petit élève    Fri, 03/11/2017 - 19:52

I agree with your interpretation. The general idea is to summarize life in a rather disgruntled way (clumsily discovering oneself, coping with the unpleasant aspects of life, trying not to get hurt by them)

"planter les choux" is obviously a reference to the nursery rhyme, and maybe to having kids (with the cabbage/rose origin of babies). It can be an allusion to discovering oneself as you said, or more generally an allusion to the clumsy way we get acquainted with life.

I actually thought of this Michel Delpech's song, though I can't say if the author meant a reference to it. "Marcher dans la boue" is a common metaphor for "coping with life's unpleasant aspects". A bit like "mettre les mains dans le cambouis", i.e. facing life difficulties instead of escaping them.

I see no allusion either in "une vie pour éviter les coups". I think it"s just a straightforward statement.

Gavin    Tue, 07/11/2017 - 13:01

Ah good stuff! I did wonder about the significance of these cabbages. I think I just thought of it as gardening. Apparently it's a popular pass time although it doesn't do a lot for me! Wink smile