A Couple of Poetic French Songs

In my very young days, I used to be

(still am) a big fan of the Carpenters. I found Karen Carpenter’s deep velvety

voice very endearing and calming and knew many of her songs by heart. In later

years I heard of French singer Francoise Hardy (whose singing career took off before

the Carpenters’ did) through her rendition of “All Over the World”, which was adapted from the original “Dans Le Monde Entier” (music and lyrics

both written by her). Her irresistible husky yet delicate voice radiated a

certain warmth that reminded me of Karen’s. It was only quite recently when I

embarked on a discovery tour of Hardy’s repertoire that I became totally

bewitched. Her relaxed, coming-from-within, natural singing style has captured

my heart.

Two French songs to which Francoise

Hardy gave moving interpretation have very poetic lyrics and I’m tempted to

render them into English. One is “La Mer”

and the other is “Le Temps de L’Amour”.

The latter song was picked as a dance song for the 2012 movie Moonrise Kingdom.

“La Mer” (“The Sea”) (music and lyrics

by Charles Trenet):-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIupkp-khBA&list=FLlMBDFYTe8MGL_Z6TJc6LOg

La

mer qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs

A des reflets d'argent, la mer

Des reflets changeants sous la pluie

La

mer au ciel d'été confond ses blancs moutons

Avec les anges si purs, la mer

Bergère d'azur infinie

Voyez près des étangs ces grands roseaux mouillés

Voyez ces oiseaux blancs et ces maisons rouillées

La

mer les a bercés le long des golfes clairs

Et d'une chanson d'amour, la mer

A bercé mon coeur pour la vie

La

mer les a bercés le long des golfes clairs

Et d'une chanson d'amour, la mer

A bercé mon coeur pour la vie

My

English Rendition:-

The

sea that you see dancing along the clear bay,

Has

silvery reflections, the sea,

Reflections that change in the rain.

The

sea under a summer sky mistakes its white waves

For

the angels so pure, the sea,

An

infinite azure rocking chair.

Behold

the bushy wet weeds near the water,

Behold the white birds and the rusty mansions.

The

sea has cradled them all along the clear bay,

And

like a love song, the sea

Has cradled my heart, for life.

The

sea has cradled them all along the clear bay,

And

like a love song, the sea

Has

cradled my heart, for life.

“Le

Temps de L’Amour” (“Time of Love”):-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITYVXUvMtHI&list=FLlMBDFYTe8MGL_Z6TJc6LOg&index=2

C'est

le temps de l'amour,

Le temps des copains et de l'aventure

Quand le temps va et vient,

On ne pense a rien malgre ses blessures

Car le temps de l'amour

C'est long et c'est court,

Ca dure toujours, on s'en souvient

On se dit qu' a vingt ans on est le roi du monde,

Et qu' éternellement il y aura dans nos yeux

Tout le ciel bleu

C'est le temps de l'amour,

Le temps des copains et de l'aventure

Quand le temps va et vient,

On ne pense a rien malgre ses blessures

Car le temps de l'amour

Ca vous met au coeur

Beaucoup de chaleur et de bonheur

Un beau jour c'est l'amour et le coeur bat plus vite,

Car la vie suit son cours

Et l'on est tout heureux d'etre amoureux

C'est le temps de l'amour,

Le temps des copains et de l'aventure

Quand le temps va et vient,

On ne pense a rien malgre ses blessures

Car le temps de l'amour

C'est long et c'est court,

Ca dure toujours, on s'en souvient.

My English Rendition:-

It

is the time of love,

The time for friends and for adventure.

When the time comes and goes,

You

don’t give a thought despite the wounds,

Because

the time of love –

It

can be long and it can be short.

It always lasts, and you'll remember it.

One

says when you’re twenty you are the king of the world

And

that for eternity you’ll have in your eyes

All that blue sky.

It

is the time of love,

The

time for friends and for adventure.

When the time comes and goes,

You don't give a thought despite your wounds,

Because

the time of love –

It

will fill your heart with

A lot of ardor and happiness.

One

fine day love comes and your heart beats faster.

Because

life follows its own path,

And you are just happy to be in love.

It

is the time of love,

The

time for friends and for adventure.

When the time comes and goes,

You

don’t give a thought despite the wounds,

Because

the time of love –

It

can be long and it can be short.

It

always lasts, and you’ll remember it.