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25 October 2004 @ 11:59 pm
For everyone who has a Russian soul  

This is what I have been listening to all day today.



Limonadeglazen wodka


o als je hier kon zijn vandaag mijn vreemde vriend
en dat je nuchter was en je geschoren had
wat zou je lachen om mijn shirt en mijn huis en mijn oude hoofd
ik zou je vragen hoe het is en ik had je niet geloofd

het was een mooie tijd als ik me niet vergis
we hadden zo'n gelijk altijd maar ja we zeiden niks
je had het eerder door dan ik er is zo weinig tijd
je zag er heel goed uit je deed als iemand van tv
zo kon ik toch nooit zijn niet ik niet met dat haar van mij
een cirkel op je arm ik niet want ik was veel te bang
ze had de juiste naam ze had de juiste huid
ze had iets prachtigs aan ook jij zag er fantastisch uit
ze woonde in madrid ze had een hele leuke baan

ik had een film gezien die nacht ik dacht op twee
er was iets met een oorlogsheld er werd niet veel gezegd
je zag hem eerst als kind maar het kon ook alweer de reclame zijn
toen ging de telefoon en dus ben ik toen maar gegaan
ik had zelfs een echte traan want de as kwam in mijn oog
ze had een poncho aan die dag als ik me niet vergis
wat zou je lachen om die vent met zijn cake en die foute tune
maar ik zweer je er komt een keer geheid een dag dat ie het nog een keer mag doen

ze had de juiste naam ze had de juiste huid
ze had iets prachtigs aan ook jij zag er fantastisch uit



Lemonade glasses full of vodka


oh if you could be here today my strange friend
and that you'd be sober and had had a shave
how you would laugh at my shirt and my house and my old head
I'd ask you what it's like and not believe a word you said

oh yes those were the days if I'm not wrong
we were so right always but then we held our tongues
you caught on before I did there is so little time
you looked great you acted like someone from tv
I could not be like that not me not with that shaggy hair
a circle on your arm not me cos I was far too scared
she had the right name she had the right skin
she wore something fabulous you looked terrific too
she was living in madrid she had a very nice job

I had seen a film that night I think on channel two
something about a war hero not much was said
you saw him first as a child but that might have been the commercial break
then the telephone rang and so I had to go
I even had a real tear because the ash got in my eye
she wore a poncho that day if I'm not wrong
how you would laugh at that guy with his cake and that cheesy tune
but I swear one day he will be allowed to do it once again

she had the right name she had the right skin
she wore something fabulous you looked terrific too



(Okay, I admit, nothing Russian about it except the vodka and the melancholy mood)


 
 
Current Mood: drunkdrunk
Current Music: Spinvis all day, Spinvis all the way
 
 
 
bieiris on October 26th, 2004 02:38 am (UTC)
I didn't know Spinvis' music. The song is great and so are the lyrics. This verse:
she had the right name she had the right skin
it's a perfect definition of nostalgia.
I like your translation very much, by the way.

Oh, I want to think I have a Russian soul even though I can't speak a word in this language. Along with French, Russians are my favourite composers.
Mnemosyne: oops_lethe_ on October 26th, 2004 07:06 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for your kind words! I love Spinvis, I find his lyrics and music very poetic and atmospheric. This is my favourite song after 'Voor ik vergeet' (= before I forget), after which I named my journal. :)

Just now I changed 'we said nothing' to 'we held our tongues', to introduce more rhyme. Don't you find it frustrating sometimes that a translation is never really finished, there is always room for improvement? Or maybe that is just me being obsessive. I had wanted to make a simple translation to let the non-Dutchies know what the song was about and of course I have to try and make it perfect again, *sigh*.

Alas, I can't speak Russian either. I can only recognise a few letters thanks to having studied ancient Greek in school.
bieiris on October 26th, 2004 11:13 am (UTC)
It's a SHAME that, apart from English bands and some French songwriters, European artists are totally unknown in Spain.
It's more than frustrating, I would said it is a torture not to be able to reach the simplicity and accuracy of an English poem, for example, in Spanish. We tend to complicate sentences, make them longer, because or poetic tradition is much more baroque. The secret is a perfect balance of words. Sometimes you can lose a night's sleep over a metaphor.
Mnemosyne: oops_lethe_ on October 26th, 2004 03:37 pm (UTC)
It's the same here, basically. Apart from English bands we know Belgian bands, some French and some German. Occasionally we hear music from other countries, but as far as I remember the last Spanish song to receive any airplay here was 'Hijo de la luna' by Mecano...

Sometimes you can lose a night's sleep over a metaphor.
Yes... but I also remember waking up in the middle of the night with the perfect word or expression in my head, the one that had stayed out of reach and that I could only catch a glimpse of during the day. It would be pure bliss finally to be able to write it down.
bieiris on October 26th, 2004 04:52 pm (UTC)
Mecano was a very good band with very beautiful lyrics, but in my opinion they were overrated. If you like Spanish eighties music I'm sure you'll like Duncan Dhu or the solo work of one of his members (it was a duo), Mikel Erentxun. The Smiths were a very important influence in their music.

Nights hours used to inspire me good poems. I have also waken up in the middle of the night with a nice sentence or metaphor on my lips thousands of times, but I was too lazy to write them down. Or too tired.
heartofdavidheartofdavid on October 27th, 2004 05:55 am (UTC)
Thanks for the translation, great lyrics. :)
Mnemosyne_lethe_ on October 27th, 2004 03:41 pm (UTC)
:)