Carpe Diem

Seize the Day

si tu t´imagines
si tu t´imagines
fillette fillette
si tu t´imagines
xa va xa va xa
va durer toujours
la saison des za
saison des za
saison des amours
ce que tu te goures
fillette fillette
ce que tu te goures
si tu crois petite
tu crois ah ah
que ton teint de rose
ta taille de guêpe
tes mignons biceps
tes ongles d´émail
ta cuisse de nymphe
et ton pied léger
si tu crois petite
xa va xa va xa
va durer toujours
ce que tu te goures
fillette fillette
ce que tu te goures
les beaux jours s´en vont
les beaux jours de fête
soleils et planètes
tournent tous en rond
mais toi ma petite
tu marches tout droit
vers sque tu vois pas
très sournois s´approchent
la ride véloce
la pesante graisse
le menton triplé
le muscle avachi
allons cueille cueille
les roses les roses
roses de la vie
et que leurs pétales
soient la mer étale
de tous les bonheurs
allons cueille cueille
si tu le fais pas
ce que tu te goures
fillette fillette
ce que tu te goures

This song was written by Raymond Queneau in 1942, set to music by Joseph Kosma and sung by a young Juliette Greco in 1950. The version here (1966) I find even more poignant, addressed by a woman in early middle age to her younger self and her contemporaries.

It is not easy to translate – Raymond Queneau was an admirer of James Joyce, which will give you an idea.

If you imagine, little girl, that the season of love will last for ever, what a mistake you are making.

If you believe, little one, that your pink complexion, your wasp-like waist, your sweet little biceps, your varnished fingernails, your nymph-like thigh and your fleetness of foot will last for ever, what a mistake you are making.

The beautiful days are passing, the beautiful days of partying. Suns and planets may still be turning but you, little one, are walking straight towards a future you do not see. Three deceivers approach: rapidly increasing wrinkles, fat that will weigh you down, a triple chin and wasted muscle. So gather, gather the roses of life and may their petals form a calm sea of every happiness.

So gather, gather  – for if you don’t, what a mistake you are making, little girl, what a mistake you are making.

About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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