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[SOLVED] Initial line of "Karma Chameleon"

29 posts / 0 new
Editor (Resident Evil)
जुड़ा: 26.10.2015
Pending moderation

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/Culture-Club-Karma-Chameleon-lyrics.html

I've now listened to it several times, including at 1/2 and 1/4 speed on YouTube and I'm 100% certain it's "Is it loving...", not "Desert loving" (which LT and many sources have).

Apart from me not hearing any "d" sound, "desert loving" is also ungrammatical (most translators here, including myself, translated it as if it were "deserted love").
It makes much more sense to assume he's questioning whether it's really true love that he sees in his lover's eyes (given the general message of the song which is "why can't you stand up for our love?").

Any opinions?

अतिथि

yes, it's "Is it loving.
trust your ears.
no one but you actually listened to the song.
all other submitters just did "copy & paste".
i've experienced same nonsene "source"s several times @ echo & the bunnymen items.

Editor
जुड़ा: 18.10.2015

Well, actually he sings "There's a loving in your eyes all the way" To me, it sounds as clear as day

अतिथि

and

If I listen to your lies would you say
I'm a man without conviction?
I'm a man who doesn't know
How to sell a contradiction?

should be

If I listen to your lies would you say
"I'm a man without conviction.
I'm a man who doesn't know
How to sell a contradiction"

BTW who's that cool guy who plays the harmonica in the video??

Moderator
जुड़ा: 21.06.2013

I listened to the song 3 times and I still hear "desert loving". You know, sometimes lyrics aren't grammatically correct, so I'd say it is one of those lyrics.
It might be my Azerbaijani ears too... But I'm sure I heard "desert loving".

Moderator
जुड़ा: 16.01.2013

It's "Is it loving...". It's very clearly audible. No doubts about it.

Moderator
जुड़ा: 06.11.2013

To me it sounds like "There's a loving in your eye..."
This isn't great English either but it makes some sense.

Moderator
जुड़ा: 16.01.2013

On my notebook it sounded as I described, but I tried again using High-end Sennheiser headphones and both Nadia and Jamie are right.

Moderator
जुड़ा: 21.06.2013

I listened to it again slowing down the speed, yes, it seems like it is "there's a loving.." indeed.

Moderator
जुड़ा: 06.11.2013

From helping people learn English, I can testify that it's very easy to confuse the "d" and "th" sounds. I'm 99% sure that "there's.." is correct.

Editor (Resident Evil)
जुड़ा: 26.10.2015
tofumentaru wrote:

and

If I listen to your lies would you say
I'm a man without conviction?
I'm a man who doesn't know
How to sell a contradiction?

should be

If I listen to your lies would you say
"I'm a man without conviction.
I'm a man who doesn't know
How to sell a contradiction"

Oh, I've never understood it as direct speech. But it makes sense in the context of the song. Mind. Blown.

Editor (Resident Evil)
जुड़ा: 26.10.2015
ϕιλομαθής wrote:

From helping people learn English, I can testify that it's very easy to confuse the "d" and "th" sounds. I'm 99% sure that "there's.." is correct.

Problem is, I here neither. Not "d", not "th". Also I don't think I'd confuse "it" with "a" (second syllable).
In fact, when I first heard the song back in the day, I heard "Easy loving". So, combined with the majority opinion, I think "Is it loving" is what I should change it to. But I will give it a couple more rounds of listening to see if "There's a loving" has merit.

Thank you all for providing valuable input!

Editor (Resident Evil)
जुड़ा: 26.10.2015
Aldefina wrote:

On my notebook it sounded as I described, but I tried again using High-end Sennheiser headphones and both Nadia and Jamie are right.

Silly me. I should've done that in the first place, using a quality source like Spotify instead of the YouTube video with its low bit-rate audio (I'm using Sennheiser HD 430's, old but gold :)).

Moderator
जुड़ा: 06.11.2013

English is my first language. This is how I would have transcribed this song:

There's a loving in your eyes all the way.
If I listened to your lies would you say:
I'm a man (a man) without conviction,
I'm a man (a man) who doesn't know
How to sell (to sell) a contradiction?
You come and go, you come and go.

Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
You come and go, you come and go.
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams,
Red gold and green, red gold and green.

Didn't hear your wicked words every day
And you used to be so sweet, I heard you say
That my love (my love) was an addiction.
When we cling (we cling) our love is strong.
When you go (you go) you're gone forever.
You string along, you string along.

Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
You come and go, you come and go.
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams,
Red gold and green, red gold and green.

Every day is like survival (survival),
You're my lover (you're my lover), not my rival.
Every day is like survival (survival),
You're my lover (you're my lover), not my rival.

I'm a man (a man) without conviction,
I'm a man (a man) who doesn't know
How to sell (to sell) a contradiction.
You come and go, you come and go.

Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
You come and go, you come and go.
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams,
Red gold and green, red gold and green.

Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
You come and go, you come and go.
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams,
Red gold and green, red gold and green.

Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
You come and go, you come and go.
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams,
Red gold and green, red gold and green.

Moderator
जुड़ा: 16.01.2013

@magicmulder: My HD560 Ovation are also pretty old, but they still work perfectly. Perhaps because they were made in Germany and not in China. That's where they make all new models. Sadly...

Editor
जुड़ा: 18.10.2015

As I've never had any doubts about the first line (even when I heard it for the first time many years ago) I've taken the liberty of correcting the first line in the original lyrics. Regular smile

Moderator
जुड़ा: 06.11.2013

Sorry to reopen the same argument, but if the sheet music is right, I was wrong. I do not like this song enough to pay for the full version, but maybe someone else does.
https://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0060454

Moderator
जुड़ा: 16.01.2013

Jamie, I don't think they are right.

It's always better to trust your ears and not the lyrics that you can find on the net. Even in the booklets that you get with CDs sometimes there are some mistakes.

And how about Julio Iglesias? I found on his official site lyrics of his German songs and, believe me, what he sings is not always what it supposed to be. The worst thing is that sometimes it's even impossible to guess what he sings, because of his funny way of pronouncing German words, accompanied by his Spanish accent.

Editor True-to-original translations.
जुड़ा: 29.08.2015

If "There's a loving in your eyes all the way" then why would the singer be subjected to "listen to your lies"? Regular smile

Desert loving in your eyes all the way => I don't see any love at all in your eyes.

Moderator
जुड़ा: 06.11.2013

Though it sounds strange, it does seem to be a metaphor for a love that is barren and inhospitable.

Moderator
जुड़ा: 16.01.2013

Okay, I changed my opinion. I think that no matter what we are able to hear what Michael said makes sense and I assume it's "desert loving".

Editor (Resident Evil)
जुड़ा: 26.10.2015
MichaelNa wrote:

If "There's a loving in your eyes all the way" then why would the singer be subjected to "listen to your lies"? Regular smile

Which is why I insist on hearing "Is it loving in your eyes all the way?" Regular smile

Editor (Resident Evil)
जुड़ा: 26.10.2015
Aldefina wrote:

Even in the booklets that you get with CDs sometimes there are some mistakes.

Indeed. I've seen some terrible transcriptions in official liner notes. I still remember that line from Tanita Tikaram's "Harm in your hands" where "And if you call solace about the beginnings" was rendered as "When you call soulless about the beginnings".

And terrible translations, too. In Sting's legenday "Nothing like the sun" record, the title line of "Be still my beating heart" was translated into German as what translates back as "Remain my beating heart". :o

However it's indeed possible that that's the reason why so many sites have "Desert loving". Probably someone thought "Doesn't get any more authoritative than the album's liner notes".

Moderator
जुड़ा: 16.01.2013

I changed my opinion again. Indeed, we should concentrate on the meaning of the whole lyrics. "Desert loving" would be a very weird expression and "there's a loving" makes no sense. This way the only logical choice that remains is "Is it loving... ?".

अतिथि

hey guys
that song is about
a man ("i") loves a man ("you", who is a "chameleon")

begins with 2 lines of question's
is it loving..."?"
would you say (such and such) "?"

pretty catchy.

and no "desert" image found in the song or the video.
remember it's "chameleon" who changes his colour red - gold - green.

Moderator
जुड़ा: 16.01.2013
magicmulder wrote:

In Sting's legendary "Nothing like the sun" record, the title line of "Be still my beating heart" was translated into German as what translates back as "Remain my beating heart". :o

Actually the translation was also correct. Teeth smile This is what can happen when a translator never heard the song and tries to interpret the line not knowing that it doesn't make sense in particular lyrics. Or maybe it was Google's fault? Wink smile

Moderator
जुड़ा: 16.01.2013

I just checked and indeed GT translates it as "Sei immer noch mein schlagendes Herz" or "Seien Sie noch mein schlagendes Herz". Teeth smile Teeth smile Teeth smile

Moderator
जुड़ा: 16.01.2013

But I came to the conclusion that it was perfectly translated. The lyrics were wrong and they are wrong everywhere you can find them, because it should be "Be still, my beating heart". This example shows how important the correct punctuation is and how much it can influence the meaning. After adding the missing comma even GT gives correct results.

Editor (Resident Evil)
जुड़ा: 26.10.2015

I think it's uncommon to include punctuation in the titles themselves anyway.

Still the translator should've known it as a quasi-idiomatic expression. And infer meaning from context. There were other problems as well, like the title line "rock steady" not being translated at all (the French translator did it right). Probably the translator didn't know whether it meant "steady as a rock" or "move your body forward and backward in continuous motion". Teeth smile

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