Thursday, 25 September 2014

Le vent - A lively song that celebrates Le Pont Des Arts in Paris

This is a very jolly, lively song, not too serious I would think, in which Brassens celebrates one of the most famous landmarks of Paris – the footbridge over the Seine called Le Pont des Arts.  The following photo beautifully captures its setting in the heart of Paris. 



For history of the bridge click this link to the Wikipediaarticle.  

Brassens is amused that the wind, no respecter of persons of whatever kind, mischievously strikes the bridge  with its strong gusts, discomforting and embarrassing stuffy people of all social classes.






- Le vent
(Refrain)
Si , par hasard ,
Sur l' pont des Arts ,
Tu crois's le vent(1) , le vent fripon(2) ,
Prudenc' , prends garde à ton jupon!
Si , par hasard ,
Sur l' pont des Arts ,
Tu crois's le vent , le vent maraud(3),
Prudent , prends garde à ton chapeau !

Les jean-foutre(4) et les gens probes(5)
Médis'nt(6)   du vent furibond(7)
Qui rebrousse(8) les bois ,
Détrouss'(9)   les toits ,
Retrouss'(10)   les robes ...
Des jean-foutre et des gens probes ,
Le vent , je vous en réponds(11),
S'en soucie(12) , et c'est justic' ,
comm' de colin-tampon(13)

(Refrain)
Si, par hasard,
Sur l' pont des Arts,
Tu crois's le vent, le vent fripon,
Prudenc', prends garde à ton jupon !
Si, par hasard,
Sur l' pont des Arts,
Tu crois's le vent, le vent maraud,
Prudenc', prends garde à ton chapeau !


Bien sûr , si l'on ne se fonde
Que sur ce qui saute aux yeux(14) ,
Le vent semble une brut'
raffolant(15)   de nuire à tout l' monde
Mais une attention profonde
Prouv' que c'est chez les fâcheux(16)
Qu'il préfèr' choisir les victim's de ses petits jeux

(Refrain)
Si, par hasard,
Sur l' pont des Arts,
Tu crois's le vent, le vent fripon,
Prudenc', prends garde à ton jupon !
Si, par hasard,
Sur l' pont des Arts,
Tu crois's le vent, le vent maraud,
Prudenc', prends garde à ton chapeau !

The wind
(Refrain)
If, by some chance,
On th’ Pont des Arts,
You meet the wind, the impish wind
Take care, hold tight onto your skirt!
If by some chance,
On th’ Pont des Arts
You meet the wind, the rascal wind
Watch out, hold tight onto your hat!




The bedraggled and prim'n proper
Malign the furious wind
Which lifts the woodwork,
Strips tiles off roofs,
Blows dresses high….
Of bedraggled and spick and span ,
The wind,  I guarantee you,
Frets about it, and quite rightly,
Not in the slightest bit.


(Refrain)
If, by some chance,
On th’ Pont des Arts,
You meet the wind, the impish wind
Take care, hold tight onto your skirt!
If by some chance,
On th’ Pont des Arts
You meet the wind, the rascal wind
Watch out, hold tight onto your hat!



Of course if you base yourself on
Only your first impression
Then the wind seems to be a brute
Crazy to do everyone harm
But a deep examination
Proves that it's  from the irksome people
He prefers to choose the victims of his little games.


(Refrain)
If, by some chance,
On th’ Pont des Arts,
You meet the wind, the impish wind
Take care, hold tight onto your skirt!
If by some chance,
On th’ Pont des Arts
You meet the wind, the rascal wind
Watch out, hold tight onto your hat!


Georges Brassens - 1953 - Les amoureux des bancs publics


Le Vent - Translation Notes (The Vocabulary)

1) crois's le vent ,= (Croiser quelque chose) to chance to run into/ to bump into something - to pass someone or something coming in the opposite direction.

2) le vent fripon - the mischievous/ cheeky wind

3) le vent maraud – the rascally wind

4) Jean-foutre – My Petit Larousse tells me that "Je m'en foutisme" = insouciance.  that means not giving a care about anything.

5) des gens probes ,  upstanding upright right-minded. (  There is a contrast here that can make you think that  Brassens is, typically, making a reference to social disparity.   In this context, I think though, that he is merely saying here that the two extremes of contrasting dress styles reveal the complete range of people picked on by the mischievous wind.)

 6) Médis'nt du vent  (Médire de) –slander –speak ill of

7) vent furibond – furious – livid – angry wind

8) rebrousse les bois – brush up (e.g. hair) in the wrong direction

9) Détrouss' les toits – Strip the roofs -Détrousser means to rob violently (eg in a hold up)- to fleece you of your possessions

10) Retrouss' les robes – hitch up/ hike up dresses – roll up (sleeves)

11) répondre de qch – to vouch for something

12) Il ne soucie pas de- he does not care about - he has no regard to

13) colin-tampon  a nothing – a trifle – a thing of no importance – 

14) cela saute aux yeux – it sticks out a mile – it’s quite obvious – you can’t miss it

15) raffolant de – raffoler de means – to be mad about – to be crazy about- to be wild about

16) fâcheux – upsetting – annoying ie something that is a nuisance or a pain – disagreeable/ unpleasant – unfortunate/ untoward.  I use "bad tempered." It is self-evident that those who, because their clothing has been violently blown about, become very annoyed or angry, will, at that moment at least, be the most bad tempered.  This is Brassens' little joke.

The following photo shows two characteristics of the bridge- the venue for young romance and the unpredictable gusts of wind:



Please click here to return to the alphabetical list of my Brassens selection





No comments: