Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday en français

I am feeling very exotic today.

Thanks to the wonder of Youtube, I've been listening to Zazie, a terrific French singer/songwriter. She supported gay rights in
Adam & Yves on her 2001 album La Zizanie. Her 2007 Totem takes on environmental politics. The song I've been bopping to today is Je Suis Un Homme, an indictment of overpopulation, famine, the lack of proper drinking water and the folly of a hyperconsumer society. Sounds grim, but as they'd say on American Bandstand, it has a great beat and it's good to dance to. I give it a 10.

Yvan Attal directed the really interesting music video. I think it was shot at the Pompidou Center in Paris. It is tres avant garde! There is a beautiful naked woman! That is just so....French! I love the French. You can watch the video for Je Suis Un Homme here and bop around the house yourself. Here are the lyrics and a translation:

Je suis un homme de cro-magnon
Je suis un singe ou un poisson
Sur la terre, en toute saison
Moi je tourne en rond, je tourne en rond

Je suis un seul puis des millions
Je suis un homme au coeur de lion
A la guerre, en toute saison
Moi je tourne en rond, je tourne en rond

Je suis un homme plein d'ambitions
Belle voiture et belle maison
Dans la chambre, dans le salon
Moi je tourne en rond, je tourne en rond

Je fais l'amour et la révolution
Je fais le tour de la question
J'avance, avance à reculons
Oui je tourne en rond, je tourne en rond

Tu vois, j'suis pas un homme
Je suis le roi de l'illusion
Au fond qu'on me pardonne
Je suis le roi, le roi des cons

J'ai fait le monde à ma façon
Coulé dans l'or et le béton
Corps en cage et coeur en prison
Moi je tourne en rond, je tourne en rond

Assis devant ma télévision
Je suis de l'homme la négation
Pur produit de consommation
Mais mon compte est bon, mon compte est bon

Tu vois, j'suis pas un homme
Je suis le roi de l'illusion
Au fond qu'on me pardonne
Je suis le roi, le roi des cons

C'est moi le maître du feu, le maître du jeu
Le maître du monde, et vois ce que j'en ai fait
Une terre glacée, une terre brûlée
La terre des hommes que les hommes abandonnent!

Je suis un homme au pied du mur
Comme une erreur de la nature
Sur la terre, sans d'autres raisons
Moi je tourne en rond, je tourne en rond

Je suis un homme et je mesure
Toute l'horreur de ma nature
Pour ma peine, ma punition
Moi je tourne en rond, je trourne en rond

Here's a translation, thanks to http://www.paroleslyrics.net

I’m a Cro-Magnon man
I’m a monkey or a fish
On the Earth every season
Me, I pace around, I pace around

I’m only one, then a million
I’m a man with the heart of a lion
At war every season
I pace around, I pace around

I’m a man of ambition
A beautiful car and a beautiful house
In the bedroom or in the living room
I pace around, I pace around

I make love and revolution
I think the question through
I advance, I devolve
And I pace around, I pace around

You see, I am not a man
I am the king of illusion
At the end, one has to forgive me
I’m the king, the king of the idiots

I do what I want of the world
Set in gold and concrete
An entrapped body, thrown in prison
Me, I pace around, I pace around

Sitting in front of my television
I am the very opposite of man
A pure consumer product
Yes, I'm done for
I'm done for

You see, I’m not a man
I’m the king of illusion
In the end, one must forgive me
I’m the king, the king of idiots

It’s me, the Master of fire
The Master of the game, the Master of the world!
And see what I’ve done with it
A frozen Land, a scorched Land
The Earth of men which men have abandoned

I’m a man with no alternative left
Like an error of nature
On earth with any other reason
Me, I pace around, I pace around

I’m a man, and I measure
All the horrors of my nature
For my pain, my punishment
I pace around, I pace around

I’m a man, and I measure
All the horrors of my nature
For my sentence, my punishment
I pace around, I pace around

Me, I turn around, I turn around


The only sadness I have about this is that I am not super fluent in French, so I'm missing part of the cleverness of the song. The wizards of wikipedia say that "Her songs range from upbeat rock or pop songs to languid down tempo tunes and are characterised by the wit of their lyrics based on puns, alliterations, homophonies and double entendres."

It's hard to catch all the witty goodness when it's not my first language.
I feel the need coming on for a trip to Paris to improve my language skills ....

4 comments:

Lisa said...

Very cool! I think I heard this on the XM station L'air musique.

Tres bien!

Bee said...

I have this playing over and over again, FF. It is mesmerizing and so beautiful. The words, as she sings them, don't seem to match up to those complicated lyrics/ideas. There was a scientist on Radio 4 this week -- speculating that global warming is going to take care of the overpopulation problem for us.

Not to spoil the mood, but I've always been in dumb awe of pregnant women who just get a neat little bump and otherwise stay wonderfully lithe!

La Belette Rouge said...

I am still wearing out my Carla Bruni CD. Thanks for introducing me to another French singer I can't understand.;-)

khaye said...

It feels nice to be back here. I miss you.