Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Heartbreaking French Song

Adapted from French poet Louis Aragon’s poem, “Il N’y A Pas d’Amour Heureux” is a song that Francoise Hardy has interpreted in heart-breaking perfection. The quiet melancholy of the poem is powerful and evokes readers’ emotions about the despair of love and life – for the poet, no true love can exist without sadness and pain. Hardy’s performance lets the lyrics gently drop like pebbles into a pond, making sad ripples in the audience’s hearts.

Famous French songwriter/poet/singer Georges Brassens was the composer and original singer of this song. He adapted Louis Aragon’s poem, which had been written during World War II, to his composition, cutting out the last stanza about the French Resistance and applying the tune of “La Priere” to it. Since then, the song has been interpreted at least sixty times by different artists.
“Il N’y A Pas d’Amour Heureux” (“There’s No Happy Love”):-
Rien n'est jamais acquis à l'homme, ni sa force
Ni sa faiblesse ni son coeur, et quand il croit
Ouvrir ses bras son ombre est celle d'une croix
Et quand il veut serrer son bonheur il le broie
Sa vie est un étrange et douloureux divorce
Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

Sa vie elle ressemble à ces soldats sans armes
Qu'on avait habillés pour un autre destin
A quoi peut leur servir de se lever matin
Eux qu'on retrouve au soir désarmes incertains,
Dites ces mots ‘Ma vie!’ et retenez vos larmes
Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

Mon bel amour mon cher amour ma déchirure
Je te porte dans moi comme un oiseau blessé
Et ceux-là sans savoir nous regardent passer
Répétant après moi ces mots que j'ai tressés
Et qui pour tes grands yeux tout aussitôt moururent
Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

Le temps d'apprendre à vivre il est déjà trop tard
Que pleurent dans la nuit nos coeurs à l'unisson
Ce qu'il faut de regrets pour payer un frisson
Ce qu'il faut de malheur pour la moindre chanson
Ce qu'il faut de sanglots pour un air de guitare
Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux
My English Rendition of the Lyrics:-

Nothing ever belongs to a man, not his strength,
Not his weakness, not his heart; and when he thinks
He’s opening his arms, his shadow forms a cross;
And when he wants to seize happiness, he crushes it.
His life is one strange and painful divorce;
There’s no happy love.

His life is like that of soldiers without arms;
Who are groomed as if for a different life.
What’s the point of getting up at sunrise,
Only to find themselves at dusk, daunted and in fear?
Say these words ‘My life!’ and hold your tears;
There’s no happy love.

My fair love, my dear love, my heartbreaker;
I carry you with me like a wounded bird.
And those who unknowingly watch us pass,
Repeating after me the words I’ve invented,
And who for your fair eyes have already died;
There’s no happy love.

The chance to learn to live is long gone;
Let our hearts weep at night in a bond.
How much in regrets must it take to pay for a thrill?
How much in sadness must it take to pay for one little song?
How much in sobs must it take to pay for one guitar tune?
There’s no happy love.

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