Ta marinière (English translation)

English translation

Of striped jerseys and sailorwomen

Lighting your cigarette
you set my heart on fire1
I'm seeking happiness,
maybe it's in your bed?2
You hacked into3 my soul
while I was surfing the wave
and I failed miserably, I'm struggling4 now
while I had enticed you in my net5.
Stuff your moods in your socks or in your hat6
You're so cute, you drive me crazy
I dream of you coming to my boat
and us partying every night.
Port and starboard
we'll drift away.
I want your body, my treasure.
I'll wait for you on the other side.
And on your striped jersey
I'm looking for this link of ours7
You threw it to the sea
to feed the bloody fish.
Here's to our April fool's toxic jokes8
Our story is harder to swallow than a bitter pill9
Wait for summer to take off your jersey10,
your mirror would fall for you. (x2)
The ocean carries us away.
I don't know if you're up to speed11
but water coming under my door12
might be a disaster, but it's a funny one.
Come join my crew,
catch up with me on the pier.
No doubt we'll end up shipwrecked
but at least we'll try.
So, if today I jump into love
shouting "Hoist the colours!"
that's because I extend my stay
even if that means coming home swimming.
I can see you're losing it,
and you're even retaliating.
So let's run on the sand
before some other guy hits on you13.
And on your striped jersey
I'm looking for this link of ours
You threw it to the sea
to feed the bloody fish.
Here's to our April fool's toxic jokes
Our story is harder to swallow than a bitter pill
Wait for summer to take off your jersey,
your mirror would fall for you. (x2)
Single until tomorrow
she's showing off in her swimsuit
Sailorwoman seeks sailorman
willing to stay ashore just to marry her14 (x2)
And on your striped jersey
I'm looking for this link of ours
You threw it to the sea
to feed the bloody fish.
Here's to our April fool's toxic jokes
Our story is harder to swallow than a bitter pill
Wait for summer to take off your jersey,
your mirror would fall for you. (x2)
Wait for summer to take off your jersey,
your mirror would fall for you. (x2)
  • 1. lit. "behind your cigarette you made a tobacco in my heart". "faire un tabac" means "be a hit" or "bring down the house"
  • 2. lit. "in your bedsheets". That sounds nearly like "dans tes bras"(in your arms)
  • 3. French uses "piracy" for computer hacking
  • 4. lit. "rowing"
  • 5. "madrague" is a big fishing net, but "drague" means "hitting on people", so it sounds like "I ma-managed to get you hooked" (whith a slight stutter)
  • 6. lit. "remove your stockings or your upper clothes" / "stop being up and down", hinging on "bas"(stockings/low)
  • 7. lit. "hyphen", but word for word "line of union"
  • 8. an April fool's joke is called an "April fish", and "poisson"(fish) sounds very close to "poison"
  • 9. "c'est pas la mer à boire"(it's not [as difficult as] the whole sea [for you] to drink) means "it's not that much to ask". Here she says "you and me, it's worse than drinking the whole sea". That complete hijacking of the idiom is quite funny in French, but I can't see how to render that in English
  • 10. that alludes to a saying that goes "stay covered in April and do whatever you please in May", since the weather in France can be pretty cold in April and much milder in May. This is a continuation of the "April fish" pun two lines above
  • 11. "courant" also means "[water] flow"
  • 12. that sounds nearly like "when someone steps into my house"(lorsque l'on passe ma porte)
  • 13. lit. "accost you"
  • 14. that sounds like a lonely hearts ad! "marinière" is the feminine of "bargeman" here
This translation does not claim to be of any particular value.
Glad if you liked it, sorry if you didn't.
You can reuse it as you please.
Glad if it's for knowledge or understanding, sorry if it's just for money or fame.
Submitted by petit élève on Tue, 17/04/2018 - 03:50
Added in reply to request by Lolaska
Last edited by petit élève on Fri, 20/04/2018 - 13:48
Author's comments:

J'aime vraiment bien cette chanson. Sa voix a quelque chose de touchant. Les jeux de mots sont bien trouvés et souvent marrants. La musique a la pêche (si j'ose dire). C'est sans prétention. Bref, ça m'a bien plu.
Je ne sais pas si ça parlera à des Anglais, mais en tous cas c'était carrément rigolo à traduire !

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Ta marinière

More translations of "Ta marinière"
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Gavin    Thu, 19/04/2018 - 09:37

That's sure is fun to read and good work chewing through all that word play - I'm still digesting it and will surely have a few thoughts presently. But first I must question the title - I get the "Striped" jersey but where do these barge women come from. Also - pay attention to spelling of striped - stripped means something altogether different! Wink smile

/edit - oh, can marinière be read as "sailorwoman"?

petit élève    Fri, 20/04/2018 - 07:27

Oops yes, I just put one p too many there.
A "marinier" is someone sailing barges on rivers. Apparently that translates as "bargeman". Not sure what the feminine would be.
That's in the "lonely hearts ad" near the end : "Marinière cherche son marin..."

Gavin    Fri, 20/04/2018 - 09:46

So a marinière is usually a striped jersey (as worn by all frenchmen Wink smile ) and also could be a female marinier - rather good that!

Bargeman/woman is a bit specific though - I wonder if a more general "Sailorwoman seeks sailorman" would be better? Sounds a bit more natural (if a little less accurate). It's the sort of thing one might read in such an ad. I imagine...

That would also give the title a rather pleasing sibilance. Regular smile

petit élève    Fri, 20/04/2018 - 09:58

Striped jersey is nearly as pivotal as béret, baguette and camembert Regular smile
"sailorwoman" sounds pretty good. The kind of boat doesn't really matter.
I really have no idea what a lonely hearts ad looks like, I'm counting on you to make it sound realistic!

Gavin    Fri, 20/04/2018 - 14:28

I think it all looks pretty perfect already (except for one missed "stripped")

c'est pire qu'la mer à boire - perhaps some play on "hard to swallow" (difficult to accept)
Maybe "harder to swallow than a bitter pill" - that's conflating two idioms but maybe appropriate in this company?

J'sais pas si t'es au courant - seems a shame to lose that bit of wordplay. You can say "keep me current" in English but it's not half as common as it is in French...
Hmm - maybe "I don't know if you're up to speed" - no water but at least it evokes movement.

Qu'en penses-tu?

petit élève    Fri, 20/04/2018 - 13:50

harder to swallow than a bitter pill -> I like that! Just the same kind of idioms hijacking.

I don't know if you're up to speed -> that's already better than my rather bland sentence. I can't think of anything that would be water-related here.

So you think the lonely hearts ad sounds convincing enough?
I rather like that part, it's as amusing as picturing her shouting "Hoist the colours!" or swimming back home Regular smile

Gavin    Fri, 20/04/2018 - 14:28

Yep, sounds just like a lonely hearts ad to me - they are generally of the x seeks y for I think. I can quite imagine "Sailorwoman seeks sailorman for romantic adventures and new horizons, could you be the captain of my heart?" - that kind of thing. Wink smile

alex.nn    Mon, 28/05/2018 - 10:49

Thank you for this amazing effort of not just translating but also adding the notes explaining all the double entendre that the song is riddled with.

I though i was quite fluent in French, but only now i realise i had missed half of the wordplay in this song, so this was quite educational :)

Thx again!

petit élève    Mon, 28/05/2018 - 11:12

I'm glad you found the notes useful.

This song is really a funny nonsense crawling with puns, The girl is really good at this, not many singers manage to pull that kind of trick.

If you like well written French chanson, you might want to have a look at Leïla Huissoud or Pauline Croze.

alex.nn    Mon, 28/05/2018 - 15:35

Oh thanks for the suggestions, i do like well written music, i'll surely check them out!