Les deux oncles (traduzione in Inglese)

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traduzione in Inglese
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The Two Uncles

It was uncle Martin, it was uncle Gaston
One loved the Tommies, the other loved the Teutons1
Each one, for their friends, both of them are dead
Me, who didn't love anyone, well! I'm still alive
 
Now, dears uncles 2, that times have past
That your war widows have finally married
That have been restored in the Verdun sky
The tarnished stars of Marshal Pétain
 
Now that your controversies fell silent
That we have had a good time sharing the ropes of hangmen
Now that John Bull3 boycotts us, now
That the German quarrels are over
 
That your daughters and sons go hand in hand
Make love together and tomorrow's Europe
That they care about your battles nearly as much
As ourselves cared about the Hundred Year's Wars
 
We can confess you this, now, dears uncles
You the friend of the Tommies, you the friend of the Teutons
That, with your truthes, your untruthes
Everybody's like : "the hell with this" unanimously
 
With your epurations, with your collaborations
Your abominations and your desolations
With your sauerkraut dishes and your cups of tea4
Everybody's like : "the hell with this" unanimously
 
In spite of your memories that we commemorate
Of the flames we rekindle at the War Memorial
With the defeated, the vanquished, the others and with you
Forgive my words, nobody gives a damn
 
Life, like the man said, has come into its own again
They don't shade very much anymore, your two crosses
 
And, little by little, here you have become
Minus the Triumphal Arch, unknown soldiers
 
Now, I'm sure of it, dears unfortunate uncles
You, the friend of the Tommies, you, the friend of the Teutons
If you had lived, if you were here
You would be the ones singing this song
 
Singing, and sharing drink to your healths
It's such a madness to lose life for some ideas
Ideas, like this, that comes and that take
Three little rides, three little deads, and then go away
 
That no idea on earth is worthy of a death
That we must leave this role to the ones that don't have any
That take, straight away, the enemy as he turns out
It's like some mash for the cats and for the dogs5
 
That instead of taking aim at some vague enemy
It's better wait a moment for him to turn into a friend
It's better to turn seven times your gun grip in your hand6
It's always better to postpone a volley of shot until tomorrow
 
That the only generals that we should follow
Are the generals of the little tin soldiers
This way, you would sing both of you, following
Malbrough who goes to war7 in the land of children
 
Oh you, you who today take the key of skies8
You, lucky jolly fellows who, this evening, will see God
When you meet my two uncles, over there
Give them from me these "forget-me-not"
 
These two myosotys bloomed in my garden
A little forget me not for my uncle Martin
A little vergiss mein nicht9 for my uncle Gaston
Poor friend of the Tommies, poor friend of the Teutons...
 
  • 1. I'm not sure this word is very used in English; maybe "Krauts" or "Jerries" is more appropriate.
  • 2. Brassens uses here the word "Tonton", that is the affectionate word for "Uncle". I would say that "Tonton" is to "Uncle" what "Daddy" is to "Father"
  • 3. personification of Great Britain; in France it often has a pejorative connotation.
  • 4. According to French stereotypes, this is how the world's like : Germans eat sauerkraut at every meal, and Britishes can't live without their tea.
  • 5. I'm not sure the sense of these two last lines is still clear once translated : kill an enemy without any reasons, it's worthless and dirty
  • 6. Here Brassens plays with a purely French expression "il vaut mieux tourner sept fois sa langue dans sa bouche (avant de parler)" ("it's better to turn seven times your tongue in your mouth"), that means "it's better to think (before you speak), it's better to carve every word (before you let it fall)". So here the sense is "it's better to do some serious thinking before you shoot someone"
  • 7. It refers to a very popular French song, or rather a rhyme "Malbrough s'en va t'en guerre", that is for exemple sung by the kids in the school playgrounds or by the drunkards in the bars. It describes the sad story of a Mr. Malbrough that got his gun and finally died in war. Apparently it dates from 18th century and "Malbrough" would actually be John Churchill, first duke of Marloborough, injured in a battle against the French. Here are the lyrics of "Marlbrough s'en va t'en guerre" : http://lyricstranslate.com/en/le-po%C3%A8me-harmonique-malbrough-sen-va-...
  • 8. In French "prendre la clé des champs" (take the key of the fields) means "to run away, to head for the hills". So here Brassens means " to run away from life, to let oneself die"
  • 9. "Vergiss mein nicht" = "Forget me not" in German. In German, just like in English and in French, it refers to the myosotis flower and at the same time means "don't forget me". If only translations could always be as simple as that!
Postato da Keskonsmär PariciKeskonsmär Parici Mar, 02/02/2016 - 21:38
Ultima modifica Keskonsmär PariciKeskonsmär Parici Gio, 04/02/2016 - 19:01
Commenti dell’autore:

If you have any suggestions to improve this translation, I would be very grateful.

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Les deux oncles

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