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I recently discovered this beautiful chanson. No, it was not the melody that caught my attention (which in fact is rather dated), but les paroles (the lyrics). I cried the first time I heard it. It moved me that much… And Charles Aznavour has this amazing talent for storytelling through his singing. I am loving him at the moment, for this very reason, the same way I have always loved Sinatra for English songs. I have attempted a translation in English. Again, I have not translated it word for word but I have tried to convey the feeling of the song. There are some sections which I find almost impossible to truly translate to English though. If you read French, I hope you enjoy the lyrics as much as I have.

Je n´aurais jamais cru qu´on se rencontrerait
Le hasard est curieux, il provoque les choses
Et le destin pressé un instant prend la pause
Non je n´ai rien oublié

Je souris malgré moi, rien qu´à te regarder
Si les mois, les années marquent souvent les êtres
Toi, tu n´as pas changé, la coiffure peut-être
Non je n´ai rien oublié

Marié, moi? allons donc, je n´en ai nulle envie
J´aime ma liberté, et puis, de toi à moi
Je n´ai pas rencontré la femme de ma vie
Mais allons prendre un verre, et parle-moi de toi
Qu´as-tu fait de tes jours? es-tu riche et comblée?
Tu vis seule à Paris? mais alors ce mariage?
Entre nous, tes parents ont dû crever de rage
Non je n´ai rien oublié

Qui m´aurait dit qu´un jour sans l´avoir provoqué
Le destin tout à coup nous mettrait face à face
Je croyais que tout meurt avec le temps qui passe
Non je n´ai rien oublié

Je ne sais trop que dire, ni par où commencer
Les souvenirs foisonnent, envahissent ma tête
Mon passé revient du fond de sa défaite
Non je n´ai rien oublié, rien oublié

A l´age où je portais mon cœur pour toute arme
Ton père ayant pour toi bien d´autres ambitions
A brisé notre amour et fait jaillir nos larmes
Pour un mari choisi sur sa situation
J´ai voulu te revoir mais tu étais cloîtrée
Je t´ai écrit cent fois, mais toujours sans réponse
Cela m´a pris longtemps avant que je renonce
Non je n´ai rien oublié

L´heure court et déjà le café va fermer
Viens je te raccompagne à travers les rues mortes
Comme au temps des baisers qu´on volait sous ta porte
Non je n´ai rien oublié

Chaque saison était notre saison d´aimer
Et nous ne redoutions ni l´hiver ni l´automne
C´est toujours le printemps quand nos vingt ans résonnent
Non je n´ai rien oublié, rien oublié

Cela m´a fait du bien de sentir ta présence
Je me sens différent, comme un peu plus léger
On a souvent besoin d´un bain d´adolescence
C´est doux de revenir aux sources du passé
Je voudrais, si tu veux, sans vouloir te forcer
Te revoir à nouveau, enfin… si c´est possible
Si tu en as envie, si tu es disponible
Si tu n´as rien oublié
Comme moi qui n´ai rien oublié

My English translation:

I would have never believed that we met
The curious coincidence, it causes these things
And hurried destiny, pauses for an instant
No I have forgotten nothing

I smile although I look only at you
If the months, the years
Place their mark on us
You, you have not changed, your hair perhaps
No I have forgotten nothing, forgotten nothing

Married, me? Come now, I have no want for that
I like my liberty, and also, between you and me
I have not met the woman of my life
But let’s have a drink, and tell me about yourself
What have you done with your life? Are you rich and satisfied?
You live alone in Paris? What of your marriage?
Between us, your parents must have consumed by rage
No I have forgotten nothing

Who would have told me that one day, without being provoked
Destiny would suddenly place us face to face again
I believed that my feelings would have died with the passing time
No I have forgotten nothing

I don’t know much to say, or from where to begin
The memories abound, flooding my head
And my past returns with its burden of defeat
No I have forgotten nothing, forgotten nothing

At the age when all I had to give was my heart
Your father had for you other ambitions
To shatter our love and to spill our tears
For a husband chosen by his situation
I wanted to see you again but you were shut away
I wrote to you a hundred times, but always without a reply
It took me a long time before I gave up hope
No I have forgotten nothing

Time is short and the café is already closing
Come yes come let me walk you across the silent streets
Like the time when we stole kisses beneath your door
No I have forgotten nothing

Each season was our season of love
And we did not fear neither winter nor autumn
It is always spring when you are young
No, no I have forgotten nothing, forgotten nothing

It has done me good to feel your presence
I feel different within me, a little lighter
We often need to be bathed in our adolescence
The source of our past softly returns
I would like to, if you want to, without obligation, to see you anew again at last if it is possible
If that is what you want, if you are available
If you have forgotten nothing
Like I, who have forgotten nothing

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