Mudcat Café message #2856640 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2761   Message #2856640
Posted By: Monique
05-Mar-10 - 07:04 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Les Trois Hommes Noirs (Barde)
Subject: RE: Barde: 'Trois Hommes Noirs'
LES TROIS HOMMES NOIRS

Le soir des noces après l' souper
Trois hommes noirs sont arrivés
Trois hommes noirs sont arrivés
Ont demandé la mariée.

La mariée n'est pas ici
Venez donc vous y mettre à table
Nous n' voulons ni boire ni manger
Mais nous voulons fort bien danser.

Ils ont pas fait trois pas de danse
Qu' la mariée fut enlevée
Qu' la mariée fut enlevée
Sans que personne pût l'empêcher.

Le lendemain dans son jardin
Le beau galant qui s'y promène
C' qu'il aperçoit venir vers lui
Le diable en forme de cavalier

"Oh dis-moi donc mon cher galant
Tes belles noces d' hier au soir"
Mes belles noces d' hier au soir
Ma mariée fut enlevée.

Mets donc ton pied dessus le mien
Je t'y f'rai voir Marie ta mie
Je t'y amènerai je t'y ramènerai
Sans aucun mal je t'y ferai.

Quand il fut rendu aux enfers
Il aperçoit Marie sa mie
Marie ma mie suis-je la cause
Qu'aujourd'hui-ci tu es ici ?

Oh non, oh non, mon cher galant
Ce n'est pas toi qu'en est la cause
C'est les trois méchants frères qui j'ai
Qu'ont fait jurer de pas m' marier

L'anneau d'or que j'ai dans le doigt
Je t'en supplie de m' le laisser
Si tu lui ôteras ça du doigt
Je m'en vais y tranchir le cou.

Oh j'en n'avais que pour trois mois
Trois mois et puis quelques semaines
Après qu' ça ma bague est ôtée
J'en ai pour tout' l'éternité.


THE THREE BLACK MEN

On the wedding night after dinner
Three black men arrived
Three black men arrived
They asked for the bride.

The bride is not here
Do come to sit at the (dinner) table
We want neither drink nor eat
But we'd dance willingly.

They had not done three steps of dance
That the bride was taken away
That the bride was taken away
Without anyone could stop it

The morrow in his garden
The handsome lover who is having a walk
Sees the devil in form of horseman
Come towards him.

Oh do tell me my dear lover
Your beautiful wedding of yesterday night
My beautiful wedding of yesterday night
My bride was taken away

Do put your foot on top of mine
I will make you see Marie your love
I will take you there I will you bring back
Without doing you any harm.

When he was arrived in hell
He glimpses his love Marie.
Marie my love am I the reason
Why you are here today?

Oh no, oh no, my dear lover
You are not the reason/ you're not involved
It's the three evil brothers that I have
That have done me swear not to get married

The gold ring I have on my finger
I pray you to leave it to me
If you take it out from her finger
I'm going to cut/chop the neck*

Oh I had only three months left
Three months and also a few weeks
Now my ring has been taken out
It will last (I'll stay here) forever.


The two last lines are unclear "Si tu lui ôteras ça du doigt / je m'en vais y tranchir le cou" that translate as "If you will take it out from her finger, I'm going to chop the neck" seem to be told by devil speaking to the young man. It's weird that the young man would take the ring out from her finger if his or her neck is to be chopped. In a variant from the book I linked to in my previous post, the verse goes:

-Le jonc que j'ai dedans le doigt / je vous prie bien de me l' laisser
-Mais si tu ôtes pas du coup / je m'en vais te râper le cou

"The ring/band I have on my finger, I pray you to leave it to me"
"But if you don't take it at once, I'm going to shred your neck"

… which would explain why the young man takes the wedding band from her bride's finger if the last lines are said by the devil so that the young man would take it out from her finger causing her to stay forever in hell, or why the bride removes her wedding band from her finger if the last lines are said by the jealous young man.

I'd want also to confirm that "black" doesn't refer to race nor to the color of their hair or clothes. They're "dark" men coming from hell, so they're supposed to be swarthy/dark grayish.
Grammar points: 1- in these old songs "y" seldom means "there" as in present French, it's just an expletive and can be omitted in translations. 2- in command sentences, "donc" doesn't mean "then", it's a way to insist: "Venez donc vous y mettre à table" (2nd verse) translates as "Do come to sit at the dinner table" with an expletive –then useless- "y".