FIRE by GUY SKORNIK

FRENCH POP LYRICS


Guy Skornik was just 19 when he released his debut EP “Les Quatre Saisons De L’Amour” which includes this song. “Fire” is a great slice of pop-psychedelia, perfect for 1967, though it wasn’t a hit. A couple of years later he wrote “Six Huit” for the actress Michèle Mercier. Also in 1969 he was one of the main members of the extraordinary Popera Cosmic project. All great stuff, but I don’t think any of it has been officially re-issued! Skornik went on to a solo career, and his albums from the Seventies have won critical acclaim.

Translation by Paraphera at Lyrics Translate, though I have made some tiny changes.

FIRE

Empire State Building,
Tunnel sous la Manche,
J'aurais voulu vivre,
Sur cette vieille Terre,
Où le ciel n'est pas de cuivre.
 
Fusée pour la Terre... BANG !
 
Pleine de Formica
Une fusée là-bas,
Un chien atomique,
Et une vieille dame avec un cœur électrique.
 
Des maisons de verre,
Des vues sur la terre,
Du silence partout,
Et des filles habillées d'argent jusqu'au coup.
 
Fusée pour la Terre... BANG !
 
Y'a plus de nation,
Plus de religion,
Tous les hommes sont frères,
Mais dans leurs cœurs, il n'y a plus de passion.
 
Leurs yeux sont éteins,
Le soleil est mort,
Et si Dieu existe,
Il a dû retourner sur la terre de ses fils.
 
Fusée pour la Terre... BANG !
 
Ici tout est blanc,
Même l'amour s'apprend,
Les enfants la nuit,
Relisent leurs cours sur des livres phosphorescent.
 
Y'a trop d'autoroutes,
Il n'y a plus d'arbres,
Mais l'herbe est brûlante,
Notre soleil, c'est devenue la république.
FIRE

Empire State Building
The Channel Tunnel
I wanted to live
Upon this old Earth
Where the sky isn't copper
 
Rocket to the Earth... BANG!
 
Full of Formica
A rocket over there
An atomic dog
And an old lady with an electric heart
 
The houses of glass
The sights on the earth
Silence everywhere
And the girls dressed in silver up to the neck
 
Rocket to the Earth... BANG!
 
There are too many nations
Too many religions
All men are brothers
But in their hearts, there is no more passion
 
Their eyes are switched off
The sun is dead
And if God exists
He had to return to land of his sons
 
Rocket to the Earth... BANG!
 
Here everything is white
Even love is learnt
Children the night
Re-read their lessons in phosphorescent books
 
There are too many highways
There aren’t enough trees
But the grass is burning
Our sun has become the republic
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LA LLUVIA by FRANCE GALL


France Gall, arguably the definitive ye-ye girl, died last month aged 70. Even in the joyful musical climate of the 1960s she stood out as a ray of pop sunshine. With this song she becomes the first artist to feature on this blog singing in three different languages: Spanish, French and German.

If three languages aren’t enough for you, it turns out the original version of this song was “La pioggia”, written in Italian for the 1969 Sanremo music festival. In that edition each song was sung by two different artists, and “La pioggia” was performed by Gigliola Cinquetti (who won Eurovision in 1964) and France Gall (who won the following year). They sang separately – a duet would have been awesome – and the song finished in sixth place. After the contest they released competing single versions in both Italian and Spanish.

The single was released in 1969 but I think this Spanish TV performance dates from a year or two later.

RIP France Gall.

LA LLUVIA

El periódico informó
que el tiempo cambiará
hay nubes negras en el cielo
y los pájaros allí
no volarán ya más
¿por qué será?
 
Yo no cambiaré,
No, no cambiaré
mas si el mundo loco está
no me importa a mi
 
ESTRIBILLO:
La lluvia
No moja nuestro amor cuando yo soy feliz
La lluvia
La lluvia ya no existe si me miras tú
El paraguas tíralo,
pues no sirve ya
 
…no sirve ya, no sirve ya
 
El termómetro bajó
el sol ya se ocultó
el frio ya llegó, mas nuestro amor
jamás se enfriará
y no se apagará
¿sabes por qué?
 
Yo no cambiaré,
No, no cambiaré
mas si el mundo loco está
no me importa a mi
 
ESTRIBILLO
 
La lluvia
No moja nuestro amor cuando yo soy feliz
THE RAIN

The newspaper reported
That the weather will change
There are black clouds in the sky
And the birds there
Won’t fly anymore
How could it be?
 
I won’t change
No, I won’t change
But if the world is crazy
I don’t care
 
CHORUS:
The rain
Don’t dampen our love when I'm happy
The rain
The rain’s no longer there if you look at me
The umbrella - throw it away
Since it’s no use now
 
…it’s no use now, it’s no use now 

The thermometer went down
The sun was hiding
The cold has arrived, but our love
Will never get cold
And it won’t die
Do you know why?
 
I won’t change
No, I won’t change
But if the world is crazy
I don’t care
 
CHORUS
 
The rain
Don’t dampen our love when I'm happy

SOUVENIRS, SOUVENIRS by JOHNNY HALLYDAY

FRENCH POP LYRICS


Johnny Hallyday, one of the biggest stars of French music, died last month. Here is one of his early recordings from 1960. Like many of his records it is a reworking of an English song, though the original version by Barbara Evans is fairly obscure.
Hallyday later married Sylvie Vartan and they were effectively the king and queen of French pop, though hipsters probably preferred Jaques Dutronc and Francoise Hardy.

Thanks to Gavier at Lyrics Translate for the translation.

SOUVENIRS, SOUVENIRS

Souvenirs, souvenirs
Je vous retrouve dans mon cœur
Et vous faites refleurir
Tous mes rêves de bonheur
 
Je me souviens d'un soir de danse
Joue contre joue
Des rendez-vous de nos vacances
Quand nous faisions les fous
 
Souvenirs, souvenirs
De nos beaux jours de l'été
Lorsque nous partions cueillir
Mille fleurs, mille baisers
 
Et pour mieux garder dans ma tête
Les joies de la belle saison
Souvenirs, souvenirs
Il nous reste nos chansons
 
Souvenirs, souvenirs
Quelque part dans le matin
Où le soleil semblait rire
Tout le long de nos chemins
 
Nous n'avions au fond de nos poches
Qu'un peu d'espoir
Mais nous partions comme Gavroche
Le cœur assez bavard
 
Souvenirs, souvenirs
Vous revenez dans ma vie
Illuminant l'avenir
Lorsque mon ciel est trop gris
 
On dit que le temps vous emporte
Et pourtant ça, j'en suis certain
Souvenirs, souvenirs
Vous resterez mes copains
MEMORIES, MEMORIES

Memories, memories
I find you in my heart again
And again you make flower
All my dreams of happiness
 
I remember a night of dancing
Cheek to cheek
Our holiday meetings
When we played the fool
 
Memories, memories
Of our beautiful summer days
When we left to gather
A thousand flowers, a thousand kisses
 
And to better keep in my head
The joys of the beautiful season
Memories, memories
We still have our songs
 
Memories, memories
Somewhere in the morning
Where the sun seemed to laugh
All along our paths
 
We had in the bottom of our pockets
Only a little hope
But, we left like Gavroche*
The heart rather chatty
 
Memories, memories
You come back into my life
Lighting the future
When my sky is too grey
 
They say that time carries you away
And yet I am certain
Memories, memories
You will stay my friends

* Character from ‘Les Misérables’ – an urchin, a street child

REBELDE by LOS BEATNIKS


Four years ago I posted my compilation of Spanish language rock from the Sixties. This year I have been adding lyrics for several of the “missing” songs to this blog, and with this entry all 28 songs are finally included…

This track from 1966 is generally considered the first original rock single in Argentina. The band had little money or equipment, which led to one member of the group imitating a “fuzz guitar” sound with his mouth. The only single by Los Beatniks was generally ignored, and it was Los Gatos with “La Balsa” the following year who broke through. The B-side of that single was written by ex-Beatnik Moris, who enjoyed a successful solo career. The other former members went on to the groups Manal (who have featured on this blog) and La Barra de Chocolate.

REBELDE

ESTRIBILLO:
Rebelde me llama la gente
rebelde es mi corazón
soy libre y quieren hacerme
esclavo de una tradición

Todo se hace por interés
porque este mundo es al revés
si, todo esto hay que cambiar
siendo rebelde se puede empezar

ESTRIBILLO

¿Por qué el hombre quiere luchar,
aproximando la guerra nuclear?
¡Cambien las armas por el amor
y haremos un mundo mejor!

ESTRIBILLO

Yeah, rebelde seré
Yeah, rebelde hasta el fin
Yeah, y así moriré
REBEL

CHORUS:
People call me a rebel
My heart is rebellious
I’m free and they want to make me
A slave to tradition

They do everything for self interest
Because this world is upside down
Yes, all this has to change
You can begin by being a rebel

CHORUS

Why do men want to fight
Bringing nuclear war closer?
Swap arms for love
And we could make a better world!

CHORUS

Yeah, I'll be a rebel
Yeah, a rebel untilthe end
Yeah, and that's how I'll die

HALBSTARK by THE YANKEES

GERMAN POP LYRICS

‘Beat Club’ was the most important German pop music show of the 1960s. It was only broadcast once a month and, unlike ‘Top of the Pops’ in the UK, most of the bands played live. Many big names from the US and the UK appeared on the show, alongside German bands who also sang in English. However, the first song on the first ever show in 1965 was sung in German. The Yankees were from Bremen, where the show was recorded, which presumably helped them get the gig. Thankfully the shows have all survived, unlike ‘Top of the Pops’ whose tapes from the 1960s have mostly been wiped.

HALBSTARK

REFRAIN:
Halbstark,
Oh Baby, Baby halbstark, 
Oh Baby, Baby halbstark,
Halbstark nennt man sie, 
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! 

Sie rasen 
durch die Straßen, 
und die Gassen, 
sie sind menschenleer. 
Blonde Bienen 
mit Bändern in den Haaren, 
und in schwarzen Leder, 
das sie tragen. 

REFRAIN 

Und die Maschinen 
sind alles was sie haben, 
heiße Melodien, 
sie heulen durch die Nacht. 
Sie rasen 
durch die Straßen, 
und die Gassen, 
sie sind menschenleer. 

REFRAIN
BEATNIK

CHORUS:
Beatnik
Oh baby, baby, beatnik
Oh baby, baby, beatnik
They call her Beatnik
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

They race 
through the streets
and the alleyways, 
they are deserted
Blond birds (women)
with ribbons in their hair,
and in black leather 
that they wear.

CHORUS

And motorbikes
are all they have,
hot melodies, 
they howl through the night.
They race 
through the streets
and the alleyways, 
they are deserted

CHORUS

GITANA by LOS SHAKERS


They only ever released two EPs and never sold many records, but Los Shakers (no relation to the Uruguayan group of the same name) were one of the toughest sounding Spanish groups of the mid-1960s.

In 1965 they were on the bill supporting the the Beatles in Barcelona, they recorded their first EP, and they had a cameo in the movie ‘Megatón Ye-Ye’. The film starred Micky y Los Tonys and not long after two of Los Shakers left to join this group, who were more successful at the time. Despite this setback Los Shakers continued (with a new member Ricky Morales) and recorded a second EP in 1966 which includes this track. “Gitana” was their rock reworking of an old Spanish copla, a type of Spanish song associated with Andalusia, which had been recorded by Marujita Diaz.

Meanwhile, Los Brincos were the most popular group in Spain. However, at this point their frontmen Juan and Junior both left the group to work together as a duo. Rather than collapse Los Brincos decided to take replacements from one of the hottest groups in Madrid – Los Shakers. They recruited Vicente Martínez and Ricky Morales, the latter being Junior’s brother! It worked and the group continued their success until the end of the sixties.

Having key members poached by bigger rivals for the second time must have been a bitter pill to swallow, but Los Shakers tried to carry on. However, they split up in 1967 without having recorded any more material. A sad end to a group who could have been contenders.

GITANA

Gitana, que de las cuevas granadinas
Vas recorriendo el mundo entero
Llevando el fuego de tu sol.
 
Gitana, de negro pelo y tez morena,
De suave talle de agarena,
Eres aroma de una flor.

ESTRIBILLO:
Por eso en tus danzas y coplas
Tú llevas el lindo color
Del bello cielo de España,
Que es tierra de celos y amor.

Gitana, de negro pelo y tez morena,
De suave talle de agarena,
Eres aroma de una flor.
 
ESTRIBILLO
GYPSY

Gypsy, from the caves of Granada
You go around the whole world
Carrying the flame of your sun
 
Gypsy, with black hair and dark skin
With the charming figure of a Moorish woman
You are the aroma of a flower

CHORUS:
That's why in your dances and coplas
You wear the pretty colour
Of the beautiful Spanish sky
That is a land of jealousy and love

Gypsy, with black hair and dark skin
With the charming figure of a Moorish woman
You are the aroma of a flower
 
CHORUS

SI TU GAGNES AU FLIPPER by CHANTAL GOYA

FRENCH POP LYRICS

Chantal Goya released this song in 1965. Her boyfriend is cheating on her and he won’t even let her win at pinball – brutal stuff!
Thanks to Whalebone at Lyrics Translate for the translation.

SI TU GAGNES AU FLIPPER

REFRAIN:
Si tu gagnes au flipper, 
tu as perdu mon cœur
Car je sais que tu es sorti, 
avec ma meilleure amie
 
Au stock américain, 
tu vas pour t'habiller
Tu viens faire le malin, 
en blouson chemise rayée
 
REFRAIN
 
Tes devoirs sont bâclés, 
on ne se voit plus jamais
Par les rues désertées, 
tu t'en vas pour te bagarrer
 
REFRAIN
IF YOU WIN AT PINBALL

CHORUS:
If you win at pinball, 
You have lost my heart
Because I know that you've gone out 
With my best friend
 
At the American store, 
You go to buy yourself clothes
You just try to show off, 
In your striped shirt and jacket
 
CHORUS
 
Your homework is sloppy, 
We never see each other anymore
You go through the deserted streets 
To get into fights
 
CHORUS

ES IST MIR EGAL by BERNHARD FRANK

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1960s – Postscript

When I was looking for songs for my series on German rock in the 1960s I was really excited to find this track, purportedly by an obscure singer from 1965. Sadly I couldn’t include it the series since it appears to be a (rather convincing) fake, probably recorded around 2009 by friends of Andreas Michalke, the original blogger.
Despite this disappointment I think it still merits our attention, and if you are ‘Bernhard Frank’ please get in touch – I would love to see your band play live!
Thanks to Milia13 and Hansi K Lauer at Lyrics Translate for their help with the text.

ES IST MIR EGAL

Oh, es ist mir egal, 
was du von mir hältst.
Und es ist mir egal, 
wie du dir das mit uns beiden vorstellst.
Und es ist mir egal, 
was du von mir denkst 
(oh, was du von mir denkst).
Und es ist mir egal, 
ob du mir Beachtung oder Geschenke schenkst 
(oh, Beachtung oder).
 
REFRAIN:
Es ist mir schnurzpiepegal
Schnurzpiepegal,
Es ist mir schnurzpiepegal, 
Verdammt noch mal!
 
Es ist mir egal, 
wie du zu mir bist.
Und es ist auch mir egal, 
ob du mich an- oder dich verpisst.
Und es ist mir egal, 
was du mit mir machst 
(was du mit mir machst).
Und es ist mir egal, 
ob du mit mir oder über mich lachst 
(du mit mir oder).
 
REFRAIN
 
(Was du von mir denkst
Beachtung oder
Was du mit mir machst
Mit mir oder)
 
REFRAIN

Total egal
Piepegal
Schnurzpiepegal…
I DON'T CARE

Oh, I don't care 
What you think of me
And I don't care 
What you think about us
And I don't care 
What you think of me 
(Oh, what you think of me)
And I don't care 
If you pay me attention or give me gifts 
(Oh, attention or)
 
CHORUS:
I couldn't care less, 
Couldn't care less
I couldn't care less, 
Damn it!
 
I don't care 
How you treat me
And I also don't care 
If you annoy me or piss off
And I don't care 
What you do to me 
(What you do to me)
And I don't care 
If you're laughing with me or at me
(With me or)

CHORUS

(What you think of me
Attention or
What you do to me 
With me or)

CHORUS

All the same to me
Couldn't care less
Couldn't care less…

VÁLGAME LA MACARENA by LOS CHEYENES

Brincosis was the Spanish equivalent of Beatlemania and it soon inspired a flood of Spanish beat groups. One of these was Los Cheyenes from Barcelona, and this track from 1965 attempts to emulate Los Brincos, not least their track “Flamenco”. They were scheduled to appear on TV to promote this track, but they pulled out when the station demanded that they cut their hair first!

¡Válgame! is an interjection that means something like “Goodness gracious!”. There is a related expression ¡Válgame Dios! which means “Good God!”.

In this song Macarena is the name of the woman. Using ‘La’ or ‘El’ with names is a kind of slang which is quite common is certain parts of Spain, including Catalonia. However, many Spaniards consider it rather vulgar or even insulting. I suppose in the context of the song it makes sense.

Thanks to Enjovher at Lyrics Translate for transcribing the Spanish lyrics which I have translated.

VÁLGAME LA MACARENA

ESTRIBILLO:
¡Válgame la Macarena,
sí te puedo comprender!
después de quererme tanto (¡eso!)
me has dejado de querer.
 
Tienes tu cara morena,
quemadita por el sol,
el reflejo de la pena
que te causa mi dolor.
 
Si sabes que yo te quiero (¡mentira!)
¿por qué pides tú perdón?
que a ti te hecho lo mismo
y me busqué otro amor.
 
ESTRIBILLO
 
Si sabes que yo te quiero (¡mentira!)
¿por qué pides tú perdón? (¡eso!)
que a ti te hecho lo mismo
y me busqué otro amor.
 
ESTRIBILLO
 
Me has dejado de querer...
GOODNESS GRACIOUS MACARENA

CHORUS:
Goodness gracious, Macarena,
Yes, I can understand you!
After loving me so much (so!)
You’ve stopped loving me
 
You’ve got your brown face
Burnt by the sun
The reflection of the sorrow
That my pain causes you
 
If you know that I love you (lie!)
Why do you ask for forgiveness?
I did the same to you
And I looked for another lover
 
CHORUS
 
If you know that I love you (a lie!)
Why do you ask for forgiveness? (so!)
I did the same to you
And I looked for another love.
 
CHORUS
 
You’ve stopped loving me…

SIE LIEBT DICH by THE BEATLES

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1960s – Coda

Click here to hear the song (not on YouTube)

I will end this series by going back to where it all started – Beatlemania. The Beatles released one German language single in 1964, comprising of reworkings of “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (the lyrics were adapted by Camillo Felgen). Apparently The Beatles were not too keen on the idea, since they realised that Germans were quite happy to buy the English originals. Despite this, and the fact that they learnt the lyrics phonetically, this version of “She Loves You” sounds pretty good. Wisely they refrained from changing “yeah, yeah, yeah” into “ja, ja, ja”!

Translation by absolutelsewhere at lyrics translate, but I have made a few slight changes.

SIE LIEBT DICH

Sie liebt dich, yeah, yeah, yeah
Sie liebt dich, yeah, yeah, yeah
Sie liebt dich, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
 
Du glaubst sie liebt nur mich
Gestern hab' ich sie gesehen
Sie denkt ja nur an dich
Und du solltest zu ihr gehen

REFRAIN 1:
Oh, ja sie liebt dich
Schöner kann es gar nicht sein
Ja, sie liebt dich
Und da solltest du dich freuen
 
Du hast ihr weh getan
Sie wusste nicht warum
Du warst nicht schuld daran
Und drehtest dich nicht um

REFRAIN 1
 
REFRAIN 2:
Sie liebt dich, yeah, yeah, yeah
Sie liebt dich, yeah, yeah, yeah
Denn mit dir allein
Kann sie nur glücklich sein
 
Du musst jetzt zu ihr gehen
Entschuldig dich bei ihr
Ja, das wird sie verstehen
Und dann verzeiht sie dir

REFRAIN 1
 
REFRAIN 2
 
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
SHE LOVES YOU

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
 
You think she loves only me
I saw her yesterday
She only thinks about you
And you ought to go to her

REFRAIN 1:
Oh, yes she loves you
It couldn't be any better
Yes, she loves you
And so you should be glad
 
You hurt her
She didn't know why
You weren't to blame
And you didn't turn around

REFRAIN 1

REFRAIN 2:
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
Because only with you
Can she be happy
 
You have to go to her
Apologize to her
Yes, she'll understand that
And then she'll forgive you

REFRAIN 1
 
REFRAIN 2
 
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah