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Anglo French songs in English translation (36) RE: French songs in English translation 15 Aug 13


It goes the other way too. I always loved the French version of Hedy West's "500 miles," written with a very simple lyric. I think the Peter, Paul & Mary version already expanded the original:

If you miss the train I'm on, you will know that I am gone
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles,
A hundred miles, a hundred miles, a hundred miles, a hundred miles,
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.

Lord I'm one, Lord I'm two, Lord I'm three, Lord I'm four,
Lord I'm 500 miles from my home.
500 miles, 500 miles, 500 miles, 500 miles
Lord I'm five hundred miles from my home.

Not a shirt on my back, not a penny to my name
Lord I can't go a-home this a-way
This a-away, this a-way, this a-way, this a-way,
Lord I can't go a-home this a-way.

If you miss the train I'm on you will know that I am gone
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.''


Jacques Plante wrote the French version for Richard Anthony:

J'ai pensé qu'il valait mieux
Nous quitter sans un adieu.
Je n'aurais pas eu le cœur de te revoir...
Mais j'entends siffler le train, {2x}
Que c'est triste un train qui siffle dans le soir...

Je pouvais t'imaginer, toute seule, abandonnée
Sur le quai, dans la cohue des "au revoir".
Et j'entends siffler le train, {2x}
Que c'est triste un train qui siffle dans le soir...

J'ai failli courir vers toi, j'ai failli crier vers toi.
C'est à peine si j'ai pu me retenir !
Que c'est loin où tu t'en vas, {2x}
Auras-tu jamais le temps de revenir ?

J'ai pensé qu'il valait mieux
Nous quitter sans un adieu,
Mais je sens que maintenant tout est fini !
Et j'entends siffler ce train, {2x}
J'entendrai siffler ce train toute ma vie...


Hedy wrote a beautiful, simple song, and I wouldn't put her down for it at all, but the French adds so much more for me.


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