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English Translations of La Belle Dame Sans Regrets
from Mercury Falling

Some of these translations were generously donated by Martin Nickel.

 

Translation by Chip T.

Here's a ROUGH translation of La Belle Dame Sans Regrets. Also, may want to check out another famous French "regret" song: Edith Piaf's "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien."
Disclaimer: I'm American, so check with a native francophone to be sure!



The Beautiful Woman Without Regrets

Let's dance you say
And me, I am (dancing)
(My footsteps are left/maladroit)=literal trans.  Actually means:  I'm    
      clumsy/awkward, or I'm not a good dancer.
You blow me (my feet) away
I'm afraid of the idiots/fools  (Author's note:  Not sure about this one!)
I search in vain for words
To understand/explain your life, Then

Chorus
You lie, my sister
You break my heart
I think, you know
Mistakes, Never
I listen, You talk
I don't understand well
The beautiful woman without regrets

I cry, You laugh
I sing, You scream
You sow the seeds
Of a bad oak
My wheat flies away????????
You're fed up with it
I wait, Always
My cries are muted

Repeat Chorus.
No, it doesn't make too much sense to me either. Think we'd better talk to a real Frenchman to figure this one out. It's still a great song. Hope it gets lots of airplay in Paris! The new CD is incredible! And, I like the country ditty, too!

Chip T.


Translation by Cristina Walstad Pulido

Okay, I'll give it a shot. To any French listeners out there, forgive me, I made a liberal interpretation of the Tu semes les graines/d'un mauvais chéne/mon ble s'envole/tu en a ras le bol:



You say let's dance
And me, I am
My steps are awkward
You ? my feet

In vain I search for the words
In order to understand your life, now
You lie, my sister
You break my heart
I think, you know
Am never wrong
I listen, you talk
I don't quite understand
The lovely lady without regrets.

I cry, you laugh
I sing, you shout
You harvest the seeds
Of a bad/old oak
All my money's gone
You've spent it all
I always wait
You don't hear my cries
You lie, my sister
You break my heart
I think, you know
Am never wrong
I listen, you spek
I don't quite understand
The lovely lady without regrets

Translation by Graham Robertson

Here it is, the english lyrics as closley as I could translate



THE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WITHOUT REGRETS

Dance you say
And I, I am
I've two left feet
My feet you angered
I .... (unknown)
I look in vain for words
To explain your life
You lie, my sister
You break my heart
I think, you know
Erros, never
I listen, you talk
I don't understand well
The beautiful woman without regret

I cry, you laugh
I sing, you scream
You seed the grain
Of an evil (unknown)
My wheat flies
you have (unknown)
I wait, always
My cries are silent

You lie, my sister
You break my heart
I think, you know
Errors, never
I listen, you speak
I don't understand
The beautiful woman without regrets
REMINDER: This is a direct translation, I'm not on drugs. I also no nothing of poetry, so it was difficult to make a decent rhyme.


Translation by Joe Navratil

Well, here's a (very) rough translation, more literal than poetic. If anyone wants to correct the literal translation, or present a more poetic one, feel free to tell me I'm wrong :-)

-Joe



Dansons tu dis                          Let's dance you say
Et moi, je suis                         And me, I am
Mes pas sont gauches                    My steps are clumsy
Mes pieds tu fauches                    You step on my feet
Je crains les sots                      I'm afraid of making mistakes
Je cherche en vain les mots             I search for the words in vain
Pour m'expliquer ta vie, alors          To explain to me your life, well...
Tu ments, ma soeur                      You lead, my sister
Tu brises mon coeur                     You break my heart
Je pense, tu sais                       I think, you know
Erreurs, jamais                         Errors, never
J'ecoute, tu parles                     I listen, you speak
Je ne comprends pas bien                I don't understand too well
La Belle Dame sans Regrets              The Beautiful Lady without Regrets

Je pleure, tu ris                       I cry, you laugh
Je chante, tu cries                     I sing, you yell
Tu semes les graines                    You sow your seeds
D'un mauvais chene                      Of a bad oak tree
Mon ble s'envole                        My wheat flies away
Tu en a ras le bol                      You've had enough
J'attends, toujours                     I wait, as always
Mes cris sont sourds                    My shouts are deaf
Tu ments, ma soeur                      You lead, my sister
Tu brises mon coeur                     You break my heart
Je pense, tu sais                       I think, you know
Erreurs, jamais                         Errors, never
J'ecoute, tu parles                     I listen, you speak
Je ne comprends pas bien                I don't understand too well
La Belle Dame sans Regrets              The Beautiful Lady without Regrets

Translation by Habib Khoury



"Let's dance", you say
And me, I follow
My steps are clumsy
You trip my feet
I fear the fools (who might laugh)
I search for the words in vain
To explain to me your life, so...
You lie, my sister
You break my heart
I think, you know
Errors, never (you're never wrong)
I listen, you speak
I don't understand too well
The Beautiful Lady without Regrets

I cry, you laugh
I sing, you yell
You sow the seeds
Of a bad oak tree
My money flies away
You have enough (you don't need me anymore)
I wait, as always
My shouts are silent
You lie, my sister
You break my heart
I think, you know
Errors, never
I listen, you speak
I don't understand too well
The Beautiful Lady without Regrets

Translation by Andrea Bergman



The Beautiful Girl Without Regrets

Dance, you say
and me , I am
my steps are left
my feet you anger
I look in vain for words
for me to understand your life

You lie, my sister
you break my heart
I think, you know
Errors never
I listen, you talk
I don't understand very well
The beautiful girl without regrets.

I cry, you laugh
I sing, you scream
you sow the seeds of a rotten bitch
my pain flies away
you make the good better
I'm always waiting
my screams are silent

You lie, my sister
you break my heart
I think, you know
Errors never
I listen, you talk
I don't understand very well
The beautiful girl without regrets

Translation by Samuel Latchman
February, 1999


"Let's dance" you say,
And I follow.
My steps are clumsy,
You trip me up.
I fear the fools.
I look in vain for words
to understand your life, then
You lie, sister,
You break my heart.
I think, you do know:
Mistakes, never.
I listen, you speak,
I don't quite understand
The Smart Lady Without Regrets.

I cry, you laugh,
I sing, you yell.
You sow the seeds
Of a bad oak. (you have a bad relationship in store for us)
My dough's vanishing,
You're fed up with it.
I'm still waiting,
My cries are muted.
You lie, sister,
You break my heart.
I think, you do know:
Mistakes, never.
I listen, you speak,
I don't quite understand
The Smart Lady Without Regrets.

Translation by Jean-François Fournier
June 20, 1999


Dansons tu dis              Let's dance you say
Et moi, je suis             And I am following (he joins the dance)
Mes pas sont gauches            My steps are clumsy (in a hesitant manner)
Mes pieds tu fauches            You sweep me off my feet (the cause of his clumsiness)
Je crains les sauts         I fear the steps (sauts : jumps as the complicated steps of ballet)
Je cherche en vain les mots     I search my words in vain
Pour m'expliquer ta vie, alors      To figure out your life, so...

Tu ments, ma soeur          You lie sister (lie as in not saying the truth)
Tu brises mon coeur         You break my heart
Je pense, tu sais           I think that you know OR I think, you know
Erreurs, jamais             Mistakes? Never!
J'ecoute, tu parles         I listen, you speak
Je ne comprends pas bien        I don't understand too well
La Belle Dame sans Regrets      The Beautiful Lady without Regrets

Je pleure, tu ris           I cry, you laugh
Je chante, tu cries         I sing, you yell
Tu semes les graines            You sow your seeds
D'un mauvais chene          Of a bad oak tree
Mon ble s'envole            My wheat flies away
Tu en a ras le bol          You've had enough
J'attends, toujours         I wait, again
Mes cris sont sourds            My shouts are muted (contrary of loud and resonant)

Tu ments, ma soeur          You lie, my sister (lie as in not saying the truth)
Tu brises mon coeur         You break my heart
Je pense, tu sais           I think that you know OR I think, you know
Erreurs, jamais             Mistakes? Never!
J'ecoute, tu parles         I listen, you speak
Je ne comprends pas bien        I don't understand too well
La Belle Dame sans Regrets      The Beautiful Lady without Regrets

Translation by PhR from Montreal. May 26, 2000

It seems no one has the French text for La Belle Dame, and everyone is going by ear. I have the further advantage of not having the song either, and remembering very little of it. So, here's my attempt. I've tried to keep the original syllable counts, and some of the ambiguity. I've also fixed the part about the "oak", as oaks grow from acorns, not seeds (assuming the original has a slight English accent).

La belle Dame sans regrets      Lady Fair With No Regrets

Dansons, tu dis.                Let's dance, you say.
Et moi, je suis.                And me, I follow,
Mes pas sont gauches,           My steps clumsy,
Mes pieds tu fauches.           My feet trampled.
Je crains les sauts,            I fear the gaps,
Je cherche en vain les mots     In vain I seek the words
Pour m'expliquer ta vie alors.  That would explain your life then.

Tu mens, ma soeur.              You lie, sister.
Tu brises mon coeur.            You break my heart.
Je pense, tu sais.              I think you know.
Erreurs jamais.                 Mistakes never.
J'ecoute, tu parles.            I hear you speak,
Je ne comprends pas bien        I don't really get you,
La belle dame sans regrets      Lady fair with no regrets.

Je pleure, tu ris.              I cry, you laugh.
Je chante, tu cries.            I sing, you scream.
Tu semes les graines            You sow the seeds
D'un' mauvais' gene.            Of awkwardness.
Mon ble s'envole,               My bread's going,
Tu en a ras le bol.             You've had your fill.
J'attends toujours,             I'm still waiting,
Mes cris sont sourds.           My screams muffled.

Tu mens, ma soeur.              You lie, sister.
Tu brises mon coeur.            You break my heart.
Je pense, tu sais.              I think you know.
Erreurs jamais.                 Mistakes never.
J'ecoute, tu parles.            I hear you speak,
Je ne comprends pas bien        I don't really get you,
La belle dame sans regrets      Lady fair with no regrets.

Translation by Guillaume Laurent

Ok. This song is really about french nuclear tests in the pacific. I'm finally convinced. So here's the REAL translation. The one you won't find anywhere else. Hang on to every inch of your screen, here goes :



In the small atoll of Mururoa
There are many cases of leukemia
As an effect of the threat
Of the frenches' nuclear tests

Mr Chirac said we must test anew
I don't subscribe to this point of view
It would be such an ignorant thing to do
If the french test their weapons too

How can I save my holidays
From being spoiled by radiation waves
There are so many carcinogenes
Hacking all of my precious genes

We share the same biology
Though I have a strange anatomy
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the frenches stop their testings too

There. Ah, what a relief to know that the truth has finally been told.
Guillaume.

 

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