Mudcat Café message #724093 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37073   Message #724093
Posted By: Genie
06-Jun-02 - 03:11 AM
Thread Name: Translations mutilating songs
Subject: RE: Translations mutilating songs
Ferrara, Thanks for reminding me: "Lili Marlene" is, to me, the perfect example of Wolfgang's point. Though my grasp of German is rudimentary (one semester of study), I hear the earthy poetry in the German lyrics and am moved by the bittersweet love story. The popular English version sounds almost like a bad limerick to me. The rhymes seem sing-song and trite. [The German version does not have the internal rhymes and does not need them.] The story is pretty much the same, except in the US version, Lili and her lover are on opposite sides in the war. But I think the English lyrics are pretty poor poetry.

On the other hand, the English words to "La Vie En Rose" are nowhere near a literal translation of the French, but I think each song can stand on its own merit. In the case of "Bèsame Mucho," I actually prefer the meaning of the English words. I love to sing the song in Spanish, because it sounds good to the ear, but I can't really relate to the meaning of the Spanish words, because they're so melodramatic and anxiety-ridden, and.