Tu es venu (English translation)


Tu es venu

En ce temps-là j'errais de clocher en clocher
J'enviais les pigeons qui savaient où nicher
Auprès du Vert Galant, je m'endormais dans l'herbe
Mes vingt ans dans Paris cherchaient je ne sais quoi
Et quand la nuit venait me prendre dans ses bras
J'avais peur de mon ombre et la bravais, superbe
Et puis, tu es venu
Vois, le monde est en gerbe
J'avais pour tout bagage une paire de bas
Une robe trop longue et le panier du chat
Serré contre mon cœur comme une rose tendre
Je claquais à tous vents mes vingt ans au beffroi
J'étais sarment dans l'âtre et la flamme à la fois
Mes lèvres en gardaient toujours un goût de cendre
Et puis, tu es venu
Vois comme mes mains tremblent
Je prenais les amants comme on prend le métro
Lorsqu'on est lassé d'avoir attendu trop
Un taxi dans la rue et, qu'il vente ou qu'il neige
J'attendais de les voir s'endormir contre moi
Puis je déménageais à la cloche de bois
Les chiens de l'aube errants me suivaient en cortège
Et puis, tu es venu
Vois, il fait beau, il neige
Je ne sais pas moi-même au juste qui j'étais
Etais-je folle ou sage ou les deux ? Je ne sais
Tant je cognais partout mes ailes malhabiles
Mais je sais aujourd'hui, mais je sais qu'avec toi
Je suis restée semblable à celle d'autrefois
Qui ne rêvait que d'être à quelque chose utile
Puisque tu es venu
Vois, tout devient possible
Submitted by Romaint on Sat, 27/10/2018 - 16:03
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English translation

And then you came

Back then I was wandering from place to place,1
envious of the pigeons who knew where to nest.
I fell asleep on the grass in Henry IV2 square.
My roaring twenties sought I don't know what,
and when night came to take me in its arms,
I was afraid of my own shadow, and yet stood up magnificently to it.
And then you came
See, the world is in full bloom3
My only possessions were a pair of stockings,
a too long dress and the cat's basket
that I clasped to my heart like a tender rose.
I was conspicuously squandering my youth4
I was both the wine shoot and the fire in the heart,
that left a constant taste of ashes on my lips.
And then you came
See how my hands are shaking
I had lovers like you ride the subway
when you've had enough of waiting
for a cab in the street and, regardless of the weather,
I waited for them to fall asleep against me
then resumed my vagrant life5
Dawn dogs wandered behind me like a parade.
And then you came
See, nice weather, it's snowing
I don't know myself who I really was.
Whas I a fool or wise or both? I couldn't say,
what with me banging my clumsy wings around.
Still I know that today, with you,
I remained true to who I was before,
when my only wish was to be of some use.
Since you came,
see, everything is possible now.
  • 1. "clocher" is a church bell tower, but "la cloche" means to live as vagrant. For some obscure reason, the bell is a symbol for vagrancy in French. Even "clochard" (tramp) derives from it.
  • 2. le Vert Galant was a nickname of French king Henry the 4th. There is a famous square with that name in Paris. "vert galant" means something like "old womanizer" so the line sounds like she would be a sugar daddy's girl while she actually just sleeps in a square Regular smile
  • 3. "en gerbe" refers to harvested wheat tied in sheafs, but the idea is the same
  • 4. "beffroi"(belfry) is mostly there for the rhyme, but "au beffroi" evokes a conspicuous attitude, like shouting something from the rooftops. The line can evoke two images based on two meanings of "claquer", either "burn through your money" or "flap" like a flag. Either she dillapidated her youth (perched on a belfry!), or she was like a piece of laundry (hung from a belfry!) flapping aimlessly in the wind.
  • 5. "déménager à la cloche de bois" ("moving into the wooden bell inn") means living in the street.
Submitted by ingirumimusnocte on Sun, 28/10/2018 - 01:19
Added in reply to request by Romaint
Author's comments:

Not my kind of music, but the lyrics are more refined than your average pop song.

More translations of "Tu es venu"
Idioms from "Tu es venu"
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Romaint    Sun, 28/10/2018 - 07:55

Merci beaucoup pour cette traduction rapide et de qualité.

ingirumimusnocte    Sun, 28/10/2018 - 11:49

C'était amusant à traduire, surtout cette histoire de beffroi Regular smile