Des de Moor
From Chanson: The Space In Between
Barb Jungr's chanson album including five original translations by Des.
Click here for details
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, including this one, which -- appropriately enough -- demonstrates just how close French chanson is to poetry.
They are the odd men out who live by ink and pen
Under a Paris bridge they’ll sate their souls on wines
They paint grey paving stones with colours as they tread
And sometimes they have dogs for company in pain
These are the odd men out that look at blooming flowers
They look at their bare arms and imagine them as wings
They walk among the clouds, their heads are in the street
There’s surely space on Earth to let their words fly free
Translation: Deptford, 29 June 1999
© Copyright 1960, 1999 Les nouvelles éditions Méridian, Paris/La Memoire et la Mer, Monaco. Translated by permission of Marie Christine Ferré and the publishers.
Originally recorded by Léo Ferré 1960, now available on Avec le temps... (Barclay)
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Quartier Latin (Léo Ferré)
Marieke (Jacques Brel/Gérard Jouannest)
La chanson des vieux amants (Jacques Brel/Gérard Jouannest)
Les poètes (Léo Ferré)