Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Those People There

So, this weekend I've been working on an English-language adaptation of Jacques Brel's Ces gens-là, cause it's currently one of my favourite songs, and I think it would work pretty well in English, but all I can find is literal translations that don't scan worth shit. With a bit of tweaking here and there, I think you can get something pretty singable. Now if I can just find a latter-day Alex Harvey...



First, first, there’s the old man
Like a useless ball of dough
Like the nose that fills his face
Like the name he doesn’t know, my friend
So much does he binge
So much does he booze
He fumbles with his thumbs
His fat fingers are no use
He’s pickled in his drink
But he thinks himself a king
He’s drunken every night
On wine fit for the trash
But come the morning mass
He'll look slick
Tired and sick
Swollen as a prick
And Easter candle white
Who blabbers when he talks
With an eye that drifts across

I have to tell you this, my friend
You see those people there
They don’t think, my friend, don’t think
They pray

And then…
One more…
With tangles in his hair
That hasn't seen a comb in years
Of being wicked as his sneers
Even if he’d give his shirt
To a beggar in good cheer
He married a young flirt
A girl about the town
Not this town though
Oh, but there’s more
He makes his little deals
With his little hat
With his little coat
With his little wheels
He'd love to flaunt his flair
But he can’t play that game
How do you play the millionaire
Without a penny to your name?

I have to tell you this, my friend
You see those people there
They don’t live, my friend, don’t live
They don’t play fair

And then…
The rest…
The mum with nothing to report
Or nothing of import
And evening or morn
Beneath the statue of her saint
There in its wooden frame
Is the moustache of her dad
Who fell and broke his head
She watches as her brood
They swallow their cold soup
With slobberings and slurps
With slobberings and slurps

And then there’s the old maid
Who can’t control her shakes
And for her death they wait
Cause the money’s in her name
No-one listens to the tales
Her trembling hands recount

I have to tell you this, my friend
You see those people there
They don’t talk, my friend, don’t talk
They count

And then…
And then…
And then there is Frida
Whose sun of beauty shines
In love as true as mine
Who loves as I love her

And always we'll swear
We’ll have a home one day
With windows everywhere
We'll rip the walls away
And we’ll be happy there
And life will be so fair
And if it’s not ordained
Well maybe still one day
Oh, but the others don’t want this
Because the others don’t want this
They say that it will never be
They say that she's too good for me
They say to cut the throats of cats
They say I’m only good for that
I never killed no cats!
Or once upon a time
Or I forgot the crime
Or they deserved to die
In the end they don’t want this
But sometimes when we meet
And honestly it seems
Her eyes are full of tears
She says that she will leave
She says she’ll follow me
Then for a while
Just for a little while
I believe it and I smile, my friend
Just for a little while
Just for a little while

Because with those people there, my friend
You never go, oh no
You never never go, my friend
You never go, oh no

But it is late, my friend
It’s time for me to go
Go home

Labels:

1 Comments:

OpenID jimsteel said...

Latter-day Alex Harvey? That'll be Max, the current SAHB singer. And, weirdly, you're the owner of a cartoon he drew of you. It's a funny ol' world, innit?

4:18 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home