Jacques Prevert: Barbara

If you are not familiar with the poetry of Jacques Prevert, today’s as good a day as any to start, well – maybe better than any other day, since he was born on this day in the year 1900.

Perhaps you are already familiar with Les Feuilles Mortes, or Johnny Mercer’s English version, Autumn Leaves, as set to music and sung by many great singers, including the great Piaf. This is from youtube, says Yves Montand is singing it.

Here’s a beautiful page with the poem, Barbara, translated into 3 other languages including English. I don’t know what’s up with the translation of ‘quelle connerie la guerre’ as ‘shitstupidity’, maybe it was an uncorrected mistake. I don’t know if this is the first page that had these translations online either, but more than a couple of pages will come up if you google ‘shitstupidity.’ Wouldn’t be the first time that an error was copied over and over online. It is rather out of place in the translation in any event. Barbara was also set to music.

More links:
Homage to Jacques Prevert in English (there is a link on there to the French version)
Poems of Jacques Prevert– English translations by Alistair Campbell

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