Absolute Beginners (David Bowie)

This is the song of a young man, who has fallen in love with a young girl of his own age.  Both of them have little experience of love and are nervous of where this make take them and the mistakes that they may make.  However they gain reassurance that their very innocence will offer them full protection.

I found by chance on You Tube Carla Bruni’s version of this David Bowie song.  I was most impressed.  She makes it a very sensitive, romantic song.

 

The top comment  that followed the video was  written by a blogger called Ksylofone, who compared Carla Bruni’s song very favourably with Bowie’s original.  He said:

“I have to admit I like this version at least as much as Bowie’s, even though I do respect Bowie a lot more as an artist. I like how simple this is compared to the original; Bowie can make the chaos sound beautiful and is usually so EPIC, but there is something very beautiful in this stripped-down version. I think Carla Bruni’s voice is beautiful and even brings new aspects to this song”.

I have adopted a French/ English format for this blog.
 I found a very clear translation of Bowie's song on "Lyrics Translate" at

http://lyricstranslate.com/en/absolute-beginners-v%C3%A9ritables-d%C3%A9butants.html#RkCutDxTcZsKCrYp.99

The above translation is made by a very skilled professional, a French lady who uses the name: Émeraude-Aimée.


 In my own translations, I set myself an additional discipline of limiting the translated line to the same number of syllables as in the original line, as far as possible - in order to have a reminder of the poem's  rhythm.   I post my French version in this style below.
 

YouTube Video

 

Absolute Beginners

I've nothing much to offer
There's nothing much to take
I'm an absolute beginner
And I'm absolutely sane

 

As long as we're together
The rest can go to hell
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners

 

With eyes completely open
But nervous all the same

If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Could laugh at the ocean
Just like the films

There's no reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It's absolutely true

Nothing much could happen
Nothing we can't shake
Oh, we're absolute beginners
With nothing much at stake

As long as you're still smiling
There's nothing more I need
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners

 

But if my love is your love
We're certain to succeed

If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Could sail over heartaches
Just like the films

There's no reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It's absolutely true

 

Débutants absolus

Je n'ai ‘grand-chose à offrir
Il n'y a ‘grand-chose à prendre
Je suis débutant absolu
Et suis absolument sain.

 

Tant que nous sommes ensemble,
Au diable tout le reste
Je t'aime absolument, mais
Nous sommes débutants absolus.

 

On a les yeux grand ouverts,
Mais inquiets quand même

Si notr’ chanson d'amour
Pouvait survoler montagnes,
Et se rire de l'océan,
Juste comme les films.

Aucune raison
De ressentir temps durs,
De prévenir malheurs,
C'est absolument vrai

Il ne nous arriv’rait  grand’chose,
Rien qu’on n’ décharge pas
Oh, déb’tants absolus comme nous
N’ont pas
 grand-chose à parier

Tant que tu gardes ton sourire,
Il n’me manque rien d’ plus
Je t'aime absolument, mais
Nous sommes débutants absolus.

 

Mais si mon amour est le tien,
Nous sommes sûrs de réussite

Si notr’ chanson d'amour
Pouvait survoler montagnes,
Pouvait naviguer chagrins

Juste comme les films

Aucune raison
De ressentir temps durs,
De prévenir malheurs,
C'est absolument vrai


 
D.Y. 13/10/2014
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