Monday, July 25, 2011

Elsass Blues



Words: Boris Bergman
Music: Alain Bashung


Bashung's sad, beautiful memory of childhood, colored w/ Alsatian patois.
All I can do is dedicate this translation back to him: for Alain with tears. 
(Thank you, Mr. Bergman.)

Je suis né tout seul près de la frontière
I was born all alone near the border
Celle qui vous faisait si peur hier
The thing that yesterday made you so afraid
Dans mon coin on faisait pas d'marmot
In my neighborhood no one made kids
La cigogne faisait toutle boulot
The stork did all the work

C'est pas facile d'être de nulle part
It's not easy to be from nowhere
D'être le bébé von dem hasard
To be the baby of an accident
Hey gipsy, t'as plus d'veine que moi
Hey gypsy, you have no vein but me
Le blues il sent bon dans ta voix
The blues feels so good in your voice

Elsass blues, Elsass blues
Elsass blues, Elsass blues*
Ca m'amouse
This amuses me
Va falloir que je recouse
I'm going to have to recuse myself

Elsa encore un verre de sylvaner
Elsa, another glass of sylvaner wine
Pour graisser l'rocking-chair de grand-mère
To grease the rocking chair of grandmother
Mets ton papillon noir sur la tête
Put your black butterfly on your head
J'te ferai un câlin ce soir après la fête
I will cuddle you tonight after the party

Faut pas que j'parle aux Levy d'en face
I don't have to speak to the conscription office
Mémé m'a dit reste à ta place
Grandma told me to stay in your place
Hey gipsy... j'aurai pas mon bac
Hey gypsy… I won't have my diploma
Je f'rai jamais la carrière de Bismark
I'll never have the career of Bismark

Elsass blues, Elsass blues
Elsass blues, Elsass blues
Ca m'amouse
This amuses me
Va falloir que je recouse
I'm going to have to recuse myself

Elsass blues, Elsass blues
Elsass blues, Elsass blues
Ca m'amouse
This amuses me
Va falloir que je recouse
I'm going to have to recuse myself

J'habite un blockhaus sous la mer
I live in a log cabin under the sea
Elsa est aussi belle qu'hier
Elsa is as beautiful as yesterday
Son pavillon se noie dans mon blanc sec
Her butterfly is drowning in my dry white wine
J'ai pas trouvé l'dernier Kraftwerk
I haven't found the last Kraftwerk album

Elsass blues, Elsass blues
Elsass blues, Elsass blues
Ca m'amouse
This amuses me
Va falloir que je recouse
I'm going to have to, going to have to recuse myself

*Elsass should not be translated as Alsace (even though that is where Bashung grew up and the song sings about that time), but it must be kept as Elsass because that is what amuses him... Elsa's, Elsa's ass, whatever you like, but definitively "Elsass". :>>>))))


Jerome Gouvet's marvelous "Elsass Blues". Click to enlarge
and please visit his website to see other great works




Homage in Strasbourg Sept 10, 2009, with Marc Besse, biographer, 
Jean Fauque, lyricist and friend, and Rodolphe Burger, songwriter


by dna_web


You can find the video "Elsass Blues" on this collection from 2009,
"Bashung: A l'arrière des Berlines"



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I imagine Kraftwerk refers to the great German band though...so that line would be "I haven't found the last Kraftwerk album"?
Great job, thanks for illuminating a truly wonderful artist!

Laura Tattoo said...

thank you, oh anonymous one. i'm sure you're right. how i struggled with that line!!! changed. xoxoxooxox