Hang up the Translation Habit

Well I finally managed to track down the lyrics to Laisse Tomber les Filles by Fabienne Del Sol. The trick of course was just to search merely for the song title, not for the song title plus ‘Fabienne Del Sol’ – as it turns out it’s a cover of a (seemingly) quite well known song. Or at least there seem to be dozens of recordings of it by various artists stretching back to the 50’s.

So now I have my lyrics, and can happily sing along whenever it comes on the radio. Or at least I could if I knew how to pronounce French. I’m quite sure that French spelling is fairly straightforward and logical but being poisoned with insane English spelling from birth my brain just refuses to see how Je dirai c’est bien fait pour toi, Je dirai ça t’apprendra could possibly come out as “Zher deela sev ya papal twa, Zher delyes satep onwa”. Actually, despite being no expert in French, I suspect Fabienne may be slurring her words a bit. Not that I care, it still sounds great.

One thing I was unable to track down however was an English translation. Or at least I could track down the lyrics of an English cover – but the author had clearly decided to just take the title of the song (“Drop the Girls”) and write some completely new words around that theme to fit the tune, resulting in a song called “Hang up the Chick Habit”. This is eminently sensible – translating lyrics from one language to another isn’t that hard, but trying to maintain meter, syllabylisation (is that even a word?), and rhyme is a nightmare – but it wasn’t what I was looking for.

So, for my own edification and amusement I decided to prepare my own translation (with the assistance of Babelfish). It doesn’t attempt to be singable – just to give an idea of what the song is actually about. So, without further ado I present Give up the Girls (which has to sound less dated than Hang up the Chick Habit at least…)

Give up the Girls

A hasty and somewhat dubious English translation of the French song Laisse Tomber les Filles

Give up the girls,
Give up the girls,
One day one is going to leave you,
Give up the girls,
Give up the girls,
One day you’ll be the one to cry,
Yes I cried, but not today,
No I won’t cry,
No I won’t cry,
I’ll say that you deserve it,
I’ll say that’ll teach you,
I’ll say that’ll teach you,

Give up the girls,
Give up the girls,
The ones you play cruel tricks on*This line could actually be “The ones that play cruel tricks on you“, but given the tone of the rest of the verse I decided to go with this lyric until someone tells me otherwise 🙂,
Give up the girls,
Give up the girls,
You will pay one of these days,
One does not play with impunity,
With an innocent heart,
With an innocent heart,
You will see what I mean,
Before very long,
Before very long,

The chance gives up,
That which does not know,
That to leave the wounded hearts*I can make neither head nor tail of these three lines, so leave them as Babelfish translated them in the hopes that readers smarter than me can make some sense out of them.,
You won’t have anyone,
To comfort you,
You will not have stolen it*Another line I’m confused about 🙂,

Give up the girls,
Give up the girls,
One day one is going to leave you,
Give up the girls,
Give up the girls,
One day you’ll be the one to cry,
To feel sorry for you there will be,
No one but yourself,
No one but yourself,
Then you will remember,
All that I told you,
All that I told you,

Then you will remember,
All that I told you,
All that I told you,

Then you will remember,
All that I told you,
All that I told you,

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