Friday, May 04, 2012

Choisis le Nucleaire

Cute and only somewhat cringe worthy, this anthemic pro-nuclear song by a French group called ACDC (les Artistes Chanteurs de la Droite Conservatrice – Singers of the Conservative Right) may be an intervention into the Presidential election (the YouTube page says no) that will wrap up this weekend after the second round of voting or may just be a gesture at this juncture in time.

Or who knows? It could be an anti-nuclear parody. The lyrics are certainly weird enough in spots.

I started transcribing and translating the lyrics when I saw the YouTube page already has this. Lucky you – and me.

Song lyrics, like poems and jokes are murder to get from one language to another because they contain a lot of local knowledge and metaphors; it makes translation tough.

---

Sometimes, the effort to make a rhyme in the original foils interpretation:

Comme un oeuf dans un micro-ondes
Nous allons changer le monde...

or:

Like an egg in a microwave
We will change the world

Song lyrics don’t have to make literal sense, but yikes!

---

Other parts are just a bit clumsy to translate:

Au pays des éoliennes, on a besoin de vent
Au pays des barrages, on a besoin de l'eau
Au pays du pétrole, on a besoin d'argent
Et moi dans ma centrale, j'ai tout ce qu'il me faut

or:

In the land of wind farms, they need wind
In the land of dams, they need water
In the land of oil, they need money
But in my power plant, I've got everything I need

That’s literally right. I’d probably go with something closer to “When you have wind farms, you need wind.” And the last line, “And me, I have everything I need.”

---

Then there’s this:

If you want to save the Earth
Choose Nuclear Power
By sea and sky,
Spread it into the atmosphere

The original for that fourth line, which struck me as a bit sinister, is:

Répands-le dans l'atmosphère

So it’s literally right. But it might really mean something like “Spread the news.” – a lot less sinister.

---

And of course pop songs are pop songs:

Little child, little child
Tonight you will sleep
My power plant is taking care of you

Which no mother ever sang to any child.

---

Then, you’d have to make it all work as English lyrics. And figure out what to with “like an egg in a microwave.”

Give a listen, read the lyrics, see what you think.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Definitively this video is irony The young people filmed in Paris are such a caricature of the rich young french"bourgeois".
This was filmed by a movie student. In fact, he wanted to critic the way we accept the advertisement messages .

A french reader

jimwg said...

Well, has this group turned out at any anti-nuke rallies lately??

James Greenidge
Queens NY