Monday, June 22, 2009

Cry Cry Cry : Voir un ami pleurer

Jacques Brel : Voir un ami pleurer


"Voir un ami pleurer" ("To See A Friend Cry"), was on Jacques Brel's swan song album that he recorded in 1977, 3 years after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He had stopped touring since 1966, hadn't recorded a real album since 1968, and was living in French Polynesia, but he came back to France to record. He passed away in 1978.

Here's an attempt at an English translation

Of course, there are the wars in Ireland /And tribes without music
Of course, all this lack of tender / And there is no more America
Of course, money has no smell/ but lack of smell gets up our nose
Of course, we walk on flowers/ see a friend cry

Of course, there are our defeats/ And death at the very end
Our bodies already incline their heads/ Amazed to be still standing
Of course, there are unfaithful women / And assassinated birds
Of course, our hearts lose their wings / see a friend cry

Of course, our exhausted cities / By these 50 year old children
Our impotence to help them / And our loves which have a tooth ache
Of course, time that goes too fast/ These subway trains full of drowned people
Truth avoiding us/ see a friend cry.....

Of course, our mirrors are honest / Nor the courage of being jew
Nor the elegance of being negro /We think we are wicker, we're only tallow
And all these men who are our brothers/ So much so that we're no longer amazed
When out of love they lacerate us / see a friend weep......

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