Friday, June 4, 2010

La Complainte du Progrès

France to U.S., France to U.S. (and Berlin...) : Can you read that little accent over the last "e" in my title ? The French language has been wrongfully amputated if you can't...

Along the lines of lightening up from the deadly heavy stuff in my previous posts, here is a little bit of fluff from Boris (Vian) that my daughter dutifully copied for me so that I could give you a somewhat lazy lump translation. (Boris is NOT the Bard, but he is an excellent modern day French prophet who wrote these delicious lyrics to a cha cha rhythm during the days when I was sucking on my bottle in the seven sleeper's den (thanks to John for that one). Boris was a great jazzman, and a guy who even invented a domain called "pataphysics" in the long line of critique against scientific materialism started by William Blake in his 18th century epic poems.) (My GOD, can you believe it, I just corrected "prophet" from "profit" above... thirty lashes with a wet noodle for such a DEADLY sin...) I'm talking about the 1950's for those of you who may still find my dates rather..obscure from above.

Here it is in French, for the Francophiles among you :

"Autrefois pour faire sa cour
On parlait d'amour
Pour mieux prouver son ardeur,
On offrait son coeur.
Maintenant c'est plus pareil
Ça change, ça change
Pour séduire le cher ange
On lui glisse à l'oreille...
"Ah, Gudule, viens m'embrasser et je te donnerai...
Un frigidaire un joli scooter un automixer et du Dunlopillo
Une cuisinière avec un four en verre des tas de couverts
Et des pelles à gâteaux.
Une tourniquette, pour faire la vinaigrette
Un bel aérateur pour bouffer les odeurs
Des draps qui chauffent
Un pistolet à gaufres
Un avion pour deux
Et nous serons heureux !!!"

Autrefois s'il arrivait
Que l'on se querelle
L'air lugubre on s'en allait en laissant la vaisselle..
Aujourd'hui, que voulez-vous ? La vie est si chère
On dit "Rentre chez ta mère", et on se garde tout...
"Ah Gudule, excuse-toi ou je reprends tout ça... :
Mon frigidaire mon armoire à cuillères mon évier en fer et mon poèle à mazout
Mon cire godasses mon repasse limace mon tabouret à glace et mon chasse filou
La tourniquette pour faire la vinaigrette le ratatine ordures et le coupe friture"
Et si la belle se montre encore rebelle
On la fiche dehors pour confier son sort..
Au frigidaire à l'efface poussière à la cuisinière au lit qu'est toujours fait
au chauffe savates au canon à patates à l'éventre tomates à l'écorche poulet
Mais très très vite
On reçoit la visite
D'une tendre petite qui vous offre son coeur
Alors on s'aide car il faut qu'on s'entraide
Et l'on vit comme ça jusqu'à la prochaine fois..."

My translation :

Once upon a time when wooing,
We spoke of love
To prove our passion
We offered our heart
Now things just aren't the same any more
Gotta keep up with the times
To seduce the dear angel
We whisper in her ear...

"Ah, Gudule, come kiss me
And I'll give you :
A refrigerator freezer a pretty scooter a robot mixer and a comfortable mattress
A stove with a glass oven a stainless steel cutlery service and cake servers
An electric whisker to make the vinaigrette salad dressing
A nice air cleaner to gobble up smells
Heated sheets
A waffle gun
A plane for two
And we'll live happily ever after.

Once upon a time, when we got into arguments
We would take off with a downcast look, leaving the dishes in the sink
These days, what do you expect, life is so expensive
We say "Go home to your mother"
And we keep all the loot.
"Ah Gudule, say you're sorry or I'll confiscate everything...
My refrigerator my spoon case my iron sink my kitchen stove
My electric shoe shiner my slug ironer my ice chest and my thief chaser
The electric whisk to make the vinaigrette salad dressing
The garbage compacter and the French fry cutter."

And if the damsel is STILL rebellious
We chuck her out, to hand over our fate to
The refrigerator the dust effacer the stove, the always made bed
The shoe warmer the potato gun the tomato eviscerator the chicken flayer

But before you can bat an eye
We get a visit from a tender morsel
Who offers her heart
And so we help her out, because we all need to help each other out
And we go on living this way...
Until the NEXT time."

Sorry you can't hear the luscious rhymes and the snazzy cha cha rhythm.
My favorite line is the "tourniquette pour faire la vinaigrette".
You would swear that Iseut has just consented to give herself to Tristan in the Wagner opera...
Boris was a genius. I haven't done him justice here.
You can probably download this song on Youtube. They've got... everything but the kitchen sink there, right ??

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