Tuesday, August 9, 2011

For ABC Wednesday

“D” is for “Dead Leaves”

I know, I know. The title of the song is “Autumn Leaves.” But I wanted to go back to the French original, “Les Feuilles mortes,” or “Dead Leaves” – there’s a nuance of difference as far as meaning is concerned.
The song takes me back a few decades, back to the days when many Americans were fascinated by the work – the poetry and the films – of Jacques Prevert.

Students of the golden age of French cinema are familiar with Prevert's classic motion picture, “Les Enfants du paradis,” which many claim was the greatest French film ever made.


But what brings his work to the minds of some of us old-timers is of course Prevert’s famous song – especially as sung by Edith Piaf or Yves Montand. There were, of course, English versions, but I’ll stick with the original.


“C’est une chanson qui nous ressemble,
Toi, tu m’aimais et je t’aimais.”
It’s a song that resembles the two of us,
You who loved me and I who loved you.

“Et nous vivions tous deux ensemble,
Toi qui m’aimais, moi qui t’aimais.”
And the two of us lived together,
You who loved me and I who loved you.

“Mais la vie separe ceux qui s’aiment,
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit.
Et la mer efface sur le sable
Les pas des amants desunis.”
But life separates those who love,
Softly, making no noise.
And the sea erases on the sand
The footprints of lovers who are no longer together.



19 comments:

Gigi Ann said...

You have astounded me again with your knowledge of "Dead Leaves" The words of the song are lovely. Now if I just knew French, they would be even lovelier.

Liz said...

Oh so sad.

mrsnesbitt said...

Words, do Dramatic don't you think?
Great post for ABC Wednesday.
Thanks so much
Denise ABC Team

mrsnesbitt said...

so Dramatic I meant lol!

Leslie: said...

Profound! I was expecting more, but you left me hanging...that made much more of an impact!

Leslie
abcw team

Karen said...

Ahh yes, Yves Montand... the original version, Bravo! Andrea Bocelli does a beautiful version as well.

Sara Katt said...

Lovely song! I like the double text in two languages. And I am such a film-buff, this post suits me well.
I'll let you know the next time I'll be writing about films. I've got something planned for the letter R (which Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday soon will be).
Purrs,
Sara Cat

D is for Dog-SaraCat-ABC-Wed.rd-9-D

Gerry Snape said...

Wonderful last two lines especially in the french..what can it be I wonder? we had french visitors this week and it's just a joy to listen to them!

Jo Bryant said...

Such a beautiful post. :)

The Cello Strings said...

sad indeed, well put.

:)

Berowne said...

Karen: "Ahh yes, Yves Montand... the original version, Bravo!"
Another francophile in the crowd -- good. :-)

Berowne said...

What a pleasure to get such fine comments from Gigi Ann, Liz, mrsnesbitt, Leslie, Sarah K., Gerry S., Jo B. and The Cello Strings - thanks.

jabblog said...

So much lovelier in French than English, I think.

Berowne said...

jabblog: "So much lovelier in French than English, I think."
I might be persuaded to agree. :-)

Roger Owen Green said...

Dead leaves does make me so melancholy.
Great post as always.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Francisca said...

Methinks thee a romantic, Berowne. I agree with jabblog, the words sound less sappy in French. Besides, anything sung by Piaf was marvelous.

Berowne said...

My thanks to Roger O G and Francisca for some trenchant commenting.

Lisa said...

I didn't expect all this when I came here this morning. I have only have had one cup of coffee and I'm learning so much.

Jacques Prevert ~ I have never heard of him until now. I have looked him up and read quite a lot this morning. I think I will be sharing this post and Jacques Prevert with my children. I home school and I am always on the look out for anything that will enrich our lives.

Lisa

Berowne said...

Thanks, Lisa. Your children are fortunate to have such a good schoolmaster. :-)

 
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