Thursday, May 6, 2010

J'passe pour une caravane




Words: Alain Bashung & Jean Fauque
Music: Alain Bashung


J'passe pour une caravane
I pass for a caravan
Pour un chien qui n'en démord pas

For a dog that doesn't bite
Le labyrinthe

The labyrinth
Conduit l'homme habile

Drives the clever man
À des étreintes

To restraints
Loin du réconfort

Far from comfort

J'passe de sas en sas
I pass from lock to lock
Et mes visites s'espacent

And my visits space out
Des ombres s'échinent

Shadows wear themselves down
À me chercher des noises

Looking for me to start an argument
Le plus clair de mon temps

The brightest of my time
Dans ma chambre noire

In my dark bedroom
De l'étuve au blizzard

From the oven to the blizzard
Des coups de latte

Blows from the floorboards (A kick)
Un baiser

A kiss
Des coups de latte

Blows from the floorboards
Un baiser

A kiss
Des coups de latte

Blows from the floorboards
Un baiser

A kiss

J'passe sous silence mes avatars
I pass my avatars under silence
J'passe sur tes frasques

I pass on your escapades
M'obnubiler pourquoi

Obsessing for what
Pour un vasistas
For a fanlight
Loin du réconfort

Far from comfort

J'passe de sas en sas
I pass from lock to lock
Et mes visites s'espacent

And my visits space out
Mes élans me courent et m'entraînent

My elan races me and leads me
Vers d'autres riveraines

Toward other river dwellers
Vers la grande inconnue

Toward the great unknown
Loin du réconfort

Far from comfort

J'passe de sas en sas
I pass from lock to lock
Et tes visites s'espacent

And your visits space out
Des ombres s'échinent

Shadows wear themselves down
À me chercher des noises

Looking for me to start an argument
Le plus clair de mon temps

The brightest of my time
Dans ma chambre noire

In my dark bedroom
De l'étuve au blizzard

From the oven to the blizzard
Des coups de latte

Blows from the floorboards
Un baiser

A kiss 
Des coups de latte
Blows from the floorboards
Un baiser

A kiss
Des coups de latte

Blows from the floorboards
Un baiser
A kiss




9 comments:

Anonymous said...

This and La nuit je mens are two of my favourite AB songs, but they're both so damn obscure! Couldn't someone force Jean F to explain them at least a little bit?? One suggestion, what about something like "from the steam room to the blizzard, blows with the canes"...which at least makes sense in terms of typical Scandinavian sauna practice!

Laura Tattoo said...

hahhhahhaaaaa!!!! :>>)))))

Frans said...

Very Nice translation. One remarque: 'des coups de latte' is not a blow on the floorboard, but with the floorboard. IT is slang for a kick. As opposed to a Kiss.

Laura Tattoo said...

fixed it, thank you, frans! xoxoxoox

robin hooppell said...

Love what you have done here and thanks so very much. You have made clear many, many words which would have been difficult to understand.
Un Was ist Das however is the name of the small window over a door that enables one to have a (small) view outside. Perhaps here just a glimpse of what life is about.

Laura Tattoo said...

Thank you, robin! I can't find "Was ist Das" in this song... am I missing something? Is it another song? Thanks again for taking the time. ~L

Kbbt said...

This one is full of puns. Love it.

"J'passe pour une caravane, pour un chien…" : pun on the French proverb "le chien aboie, la caravane passe".

"Pour un chien qui n'en démord pas", "démord" can be translated as "a dog that won't let go" as you did, but it's also a pun on "chien"/"(dé)mord" = "dog"/"bites".

"De sas en sas", small pun on the "sensas'" (= "arousing") slang word that was quite popular in the 90s.

"De sas en sas, et tes visites s'espacent", there's the rhyme, but there's also a pun between "sas" (= "airlock") and "espace" (= "space", as an airlock in the Space Shuttle or whatever).

"Les ombres s'échinent à me chercher des noises": it's already an extremely really beautiful sentence, but say it quickly, and it becomes "les ombres chinoises" (shadow play).

"Ma chambre noire" can be understood as "my dark bedroom" (then a pun again with "clair", the opposite of "dark"), indeed, but it also means "Camera obscura".

"Pourquoi, pour un vasistas", probably a pun between "Pourquoi ?" and "Was ist Das?". He grew up near Germany.

"Des coups de latte": not sure about this one, but I think "latte" is meant as the Lorraine slang (he grew up there) for "ruler". As having your hands hit by a school ruler.

Laura Tattoo said...

kbbi, thank you, thank you, thank you... for taking the time to write so extensively and for bringing so many valuable puns and word play to light! Just wonderful. ~L

Laura Tattoo said...

ps. I initially had "a dog that doesn't bite"... I'm changing it back! :>>))