Des de Moor

Quartier Latin
Barb Jungr: Chanson The Space In Between From Chanson: The Space In Between
Barb Jungr's chanson album including five original translations by Des.
Click here for details

Barb Jungr
Kim Burton
accordion, piano
Kevin Hathway
Rolf Wilson
Julie Walkington
double bass

When Barb Jungr asked me to get involved in her chanson project, we agreed that we would look for some material which is rarely, if ever, performed in English to include alongside the slightly better known Brel and Piaf repertoire. We settled on two songs from Monaco-born singer-songwriter, poet, eccentric and anarchist Léo Ferré.

This particular piece was a beautiful and very affecting song, but with its dense word-play, rhyme scheme and short lines it was one of the biggest challenges I've yet encountered as a translator.

All these streets
Echo still
In my head

Where the past
Sirens shrill
As I tread

On Bouleí-Micheí
Autumn day
Weather fine

Salad rolls
On display
In a line

Quartier Latin
Quartier Latin
Quartier Latin

At Dupontís
Hours we passed
Sitting here

The day off
That could last
For a year

Finals came
The next morning
To shake

Our sore heads
Without warning

Quartier Latin
Quartier Latin
Quartier Latin

That old dear
Offered young
Love for sale

For the drunkards
That clung
To her tail

Parting me
From my cash
Where loveís sold

Was no harder
Than catching
A cold

Quartier Latin
Quartier Latin
Quartier Latin

A professor
That shares
His wise words

Shame itís just
For the chairs
And the birds

When the reason
That you learn

Is the question
Of what
You can earn

Quartier Latin
Quartier Latin
Quartier Latin

The years fade
In a wink
Gone so fast

Then return
And you sink
In the past

Rows of shops
Rue Soufflot
Looks so grey

No more words
Time to go
Nought to say

Thatís where it began
Now Iím a different man
Quartier Latin

Translation: Deptford, 6 July 1999

Léo Ferré

Des de Moor

Léo Ferré

Kim Burton

© Copyright 1967 The Estate of Léo Ferré. Translated by permission of Marie Christine Ferré

Originally recorded by Léo Ferré 1967, now available on Avec le temps... (Barclay)
This version recorded by Barb Jungr on Chanson: The Space In Between (see opposite).

Buy original version on Léo Ferré: Avec le temps compilation from Amazon

All rights reserved. No material on these pages can be reproduced in whole or in part in any form, except for short passages for the purpose of quotation or review, without prior written permission of the copyright owner.

 More lyrics
Ne me quitte pas (Jacques Brel)
Quartier Latin (Léo Ferré)
Marieke (Jacques Brel/Gérard Jouannest)
La chanson des vieux amants (Jacques Brel/Gérard Jouannest)
Les poètes (Léo Ferré)
Lyrics Index