Die alten Lieder (traduzione in Inglese)

traduzione in IngleseInglese

The old songs

"Where are your songs -
Your old songs?"
We are often asked by those from other countries
When we're sitting by the fireside
Having danced to exhaustion and said all that was to say
Transpiring after the merriment!1
Yes, where are the songs -
Our old songs?
Not for a farthing or a shilling 2
My darling will walk barefoot 3
And no shrill call for the north
Will come out of our throat!4
Dead are our songs -
Our old songs!
Teacher have chewed them apart
Boys in shorts have played them with poor guitar accompanying - 5
Brown hordes have shouted them to death 6
Boots have tramped them into the mud!
Dead are our songs -
Our old songs!
  • 1. In the 60ies and 70ies the anglicism High-Life was used for having a party.
  • 2. Heller and Batzen are old coins, I used farthing and shilling to give a basic idea. Actually it's a title of a song, where the wanderer has spent both coins for beverages.
  • 3. Feinsliebchen du sollst mir nicht barfuß gehen (darling you should not walk barefoot), is another song.
  • 4. The shrill call comes from the geese flying north, also from a popular song "Wildgänse rauschen" (Wildgeese fly by) written in world war I.
  • 5. It means they were played by the members of the "Wandervogel" movement (I can't see what's wrong with it), Klampfe is a slangword for guitar
  • 6. Some Nazi organisations preferred brown shirts. Thus in the author's eyes, the songs were abused and sullied by them. That is the reason why noone wants to sing them any longer.
thanked 2 times
Postato da jemflowerjemflower Gio, 11/05/2017 - 14:19
Aggiunto su richiesta di marcos.sullivanmarcos.sullivan
Commenti dell’autore:

The song is difficult to translate because of the many allusions.

The record is from the late 60ies, meanwhile people changed their minds and some of our folksongs are returning.


Die alten Lieder

Franz Josef Degenhardt: 3 più popolari
Commenti fatti
marcos.sullivanmarcos.sullivan    Gio, 11/05/2017 - 15:51

Thanks. I had no idea this song would be so difficult to translate.

ScieraSciera    Gio, 11/05/2017 - 16:04

Thanks from me as well. The notes are really helpful for understanding it.
You could add them as footnotes as is explained here: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/filter/tips
In a few lines, literal translations could be added like that as well, .e.g. in the last line of the first paragraph.

I agree with most of your translation but you made some small mistakes or typos here:

"we'r" -> "we're"

" Teacher have chewed on them" -> " Teachers have chewed them apart" (I think that gets the meaning better)

"shouted them dead" -> "shouted them to death"

"tramped" -> "have tramped"

jemflowerjemflower    Gio, 11/05/2017 - 16:23

@ Sciera
Thanks, I'll correct it.

The difficulty was only that a literal transaltion wouldn't make sense. Luckily I knew all the songs Degenhardt mentioned.

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