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“Le carnaval”

22 July 2010

One of my favorite songs from France last summer. Da Silva isn’t all that well-known–even in France–but I really, really enjoy his music. This is one of the only “happy” ones, but is somehow so much more incredibly optimistic than standard happy-go-lucky bands. Something more genuine. The verses are also 7 lines long instead of the normal 8 for rock, giving a sense of expectation.

English translation of lyrics below the French ones. NB: He uses an enormous amount of plays-on-words in all his lyrics, so I’ll note multiple meanings with “/” in the translation.

Je me suis jeté dans la parade
au milieu des cuivres et des tambours.
D’ici au moins j’étais sûr
que l’on entendrait pas ma peine.
J’ai pris la marche du carnaval,
j’ai défilé comme l’on dérive,
allongé sur le macadam.

Je n’ai pas touché la terre ferme
les bras levés, la tête lourde,
et le jour qui se lève
me rappelle, me rappelle
chaque instant oublié:
que si la vie est terrible,
les journées peuvent être si belles.

L’absence, comme une sœur,
ma plus fidèle des compagnes,
ma cavalière d’honneur,
est entrée dans la danse.
Où que j’aille, quoi que je fasse,
Elle sera toujours là pour moi.
Je ne sais, peut-être ; même plus, pourquoi ?

Je n’ai pas touché la terre ferme
les bras levés, la tête lourde,
et le jour qui se lève
me rappelle, me rappelle
chaque instant oublié:
que si la vie est terrible,
les journées peuvent être si belles.

Je me suis jeté dans la parade
au milieu des cuivres et des tambours.
D’ici au moins j’étais sûr
que l’on entendrait pas ma peine.
J’ai pris la marche du carnaval,
j’ai défilé comme l’on dérive,
allongé sur le macadam.

Et si la vie est terrible, les journées peuvent être,
les journées peuvent être
si belles. (3x)

English

I threw myself into the parade,
in the middle of the brass and the drums.
From here, at least, I was sure
that my pain wouldn’t be heard.
I took the pace of the carnival
I paraded/marched as we drift
extended/laid down on the tarmac.

I didn’t touch solid ground,
my arms lifted, my head heavy,
and the day that is rising
reminds me, reminds me
of every forgotten moment:
that if life is awful/awesome,
the days can be so beautiful.

Absence–like a sister,
my most faithful of companions/mates,
my (dance) partner/horse rider of honor–
entered the dance.
Wherever I go, whatever I do,
she (absence) will always be there for me.
I don’t know, maybe; even more, why?

I didn’t touch solid ground,
my arms lifted, my head heavy,
and the day that is rising
reminds me, reminds me
of every forgotten moment:
that if life is awful/awesome,
the days can be so beautiful.

I threw myself into the parade,
in the middle of the brass and the drums.
From here, at least, I was sure
that my pain wouldn’t be heard.
I took the pace of the carnival
I paraded/marched as we drift
extended/laid down on the tarmac.

And if life is awful/awesome, the days can be
the days can be
so beautiful. (3x)

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