Longtemps, longtemps… (bis)

Longtemps, longtemps… (bis)

law-TAH, law-TAH…

A long time, a long time… (again)

Yesterday I offered you Charles Trenet singing his song L’Âme des poètes (The Souls of Poets). Here he is again, and you can listen while you follow the words in English:

A long, long, long time
After the poets have disappeared
Their songs still run through the streets
The crowd sings them, a bit distractedly,
Without knowing the name of the author
Without knowing for whom his heart was beating
Sometimes you change a word, a phrase
And when you are out of ideas
You go la la la la la la
La la la la la la

A long, long, long time
After the poets have disappeared
Their songs still run through the streets
Someday, maybe, long after me
Someday someone will sing
This song to settle their sorrow
Or some happy fate
Will it make an old beggar live
Or a child sleep
Or, somewhere at water’s edge
In the spring will it go around on a phonograph

A long, long, long time
After the poets have disappeared
Their airy soul still runs through the streets

Their airy soul is their songs

Which bring joy or sadness
To girls and boys
Bourgeois, artists
Or vagabonds.

A long, long, long time
La la la…

This is a meta-song–a song about songs. I love Trenet’s gentle irony and wit, recognizing that his own song will someday be remembered (or half-remembered: la la la la la la) long after his own death. He died in 2001, and this song is certainly one of his enduring legacies.

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