CHANSONGS

01/01/2015

Jean Ferrat – Nuit et brouillard

Cela s’écoute sur YouTube.

Nuit et brouillard – 1963/64

Night and fog

Ils étaient vingt et cent, ils étaient des milliers
Nus et maigres, tremblants, dans ces wagons plombés
Qui déchiraient la nuit de leurs ongles battants
Ils étaient des milliers, ils étaient vingt et cent

Ils se croyaient des hommes, n’étaient plus que des nombres
Depuis longtemps leurs dés avaient été jetés
Dès que la main retombe il ne reste qu’une ombre
Ils ne devaient jamais plus revoir un été

La fuite monotone et sans hâte du temps
Survivre encore un jour, une heure, obstinément
Combien de tours de roues, d’arrêts et de départs
Qui n’en finissent pas de distiller l’espoir

Ils s’appelaient Jean-Pierre, Natasha ou Samuel
Certains priaient Jésus, Jéhovah ou Vichnou
D’autres ne priaient pas, mais qu’importe le ciel
Ils voulaient simplement ne plus vivre à genoux

Ils n’arrivaient pas tous à la fin du voyage
Ceux qui sont revenus peuvent-ils être heureux
Ils essaient d’oublier, étonnés qu’à leur âge
Les veines de leurs bras soient devenues si bleues

Les Allemands guettaient du haut des miradors
La lune se taisait comme vous vous taisiez
En regardant au loin, en regardant dehors
Votre chair était tendre à leurs chiens policiers

On me dit à présent que ces mots n’ont plus cours
Qu’il vaut mieux ne chanter que des chansons d’amour
Que le sang sèche vite en entrant dans l’histoire
Et qu’il ne sert à rien de prendre une guitare

Mais qui donc est de taille à pouvoir m’arrêter ?
L’ombre s’est faite humaine, aujourd’hui c’est l’été
Je twisterais les mots s’il fallait les twister
Pour qu’un jour les enfants sachent qui vous étiez

Vous étiez vingt et cent, vous étiez des milliers
Nus et maigres, tremblants, dans ces wagons plombés
Qui déchiriez la nuit de vos ongles battants
Vous étiez des milliers, vous étiez vingt et cent

They were a multitude, there were thousands of them
Naked and scrawny and trembling in those sealed wagons

They were ripping the night with their fighting nails
There were thousands of them, they were a multitude

They thought that they were men, yet were nothing but numbers
Their fates had long been sealed
As soon as a hand gives up, what remains is a shadow
They were never to see summer again

The monotonous leisurely flight of time
Surviving one more day, one more hour, obstinately
How many turns of the wheels, how many stops and starts
That endlessly kept distilling hope

Their names were Jean-Pierre, Natasha, Samuel
Some prayed Jesus, Jehovah or Vishnu
Others didn’t pray, but heaven wasn’t the point
They simply didn’t want to live life on their knees

They didn’t all reach the end of the journey
How could those that came back by happy
They are trying to forget, amazed that at their ages
The veins on their arms have turned so blue

The Germans were watching on top of miradors
The moon was silent and so were you
Looking far away, looking elsewhere
Your flesh was tender to their police dogs

I am told that these days these words are obsolete
That we’d better stick to love songs only
That blood dries up fast when it makes history
And that strumming a guitar is pointless

But who has what it takes to shut me up
The shadow has turned human, today summer is here
I’d dance these words if I had to
So that one day children’d know who you were

You were a multitude, there were thousands of you
Naked, scrawny and trembling in those sealed wagons
You were ripping the night with your fighting nails
There were thousands of you, you were a multitude

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