Vive La Fête – Petit Colibri

I had originally posted this in Synthesize [at] Phosfate [dot] net, on September 25, 2011, back when it still had a NucleusCMS MySQL database installed. I had since deleted it, due to forgetting my password its comments being plagued with spam, and my frustration over its weaker spam filter. It was previously on a WordPress set-up on blog.phosfate.net, but that got compromised by hackers from Kuwait. I had quite a hard time searching for my old post from the latter blog, although having found its origins WHILE writing that first post made it a lot easier (but remembering the full name of the author of the poem from which this song gets its lyrics would have saved me even more trouble.)

I first tried to transcribe it with my limited knowledge of French, and ended up with a few mondegreens, one being “Entourée de flammes ferventes Notre-Dame la regardé à Chartres” au lieu of “m’a“, that and I thought “Chartres” in itself was a mondegreen – I thought it was an effect of my high school, and the religious congregation which ran it.

The song starts with Els Pynoo reciting what seems to be a monologue – which happens to be parts of Guillaume Apollinaire‘s “Zone“. After Pynoo finishes saying those verses, the song moves into Vive La Fête‘s signature synthpop-esque electroclash.

The “lyrics” of Pynoo’s monologue, from “Zone” follow after the cut.

In français:

L’avion se pose enfin sans refermer les ailes
Le ciel s’emplit alors de millions d’hirondelles
À tire d’aile viennent les corbeaux les faucons les hiboux
D’Afrique arrivent les ibis les flamants les marabouts
L’oiseau Roc célébré par les conteurs et les poètes
Plane tenant dans les serres le crâne d’Adam la première tête
L’aigle fond de l’horizon en poussant un grand cri
Et d’Amérique vient le petit colibri

De Chine sont venus les pihis longs et souples
Qui n’ont qu’une seule aile et qui volent par couples
Puis voici la colombe esprit immaculé
Qu’escortent l’oiseau-lyre et le paon ocellé
Le phénix ce bûcher qui soi-même s’engendre
Un instant voile tout de son ardente cendre
Les sirènes laissant les périlleux détroits
Arrivent en chantant bellement toutes trois
Et tous aigle phénix et pihis de la Chine
Fraternisent avec la volante machine

Maintenant tu marches dans Paris tout seul parmi la foule
Des troupeaux d’autobus mugissants près de toi roulent
L’angoisse de l’amour te serre le gosier
“Comme si tu ne devais jamais plus être aimé”
Si tu vivais dans l’ancien temps tu entrerais dans un monastère
Vous avez honte quand vous vous surprenez à dire une prière
Tu te moques de toi et comme le feu de l’Enfer ton rire pétille
Les étincelles de ton rire dorent le fond de ta vie
C’est un tableau pendu dans un sombre musée
Et quelquefois tu vas le regarder de près

Aujourd’hui tu marches dans Paris les femmes sont ensanglantées
C’était et je voudrais ne pas m’en souvenir c’était au déclin de la beauté
Entourée de flammes ferventes Notre-Dame m’a regardé à Chartres
“Le sang de votre Sacré-Cœur m’a inondé à Montmartre”
Je suis malade d’ouïr les paroles bienheureuses

L’avion se pose enfin sans refermer les ailes
Le ciel s’emplit alors de millions d’hirondelles
À tire d’aile viennent les corbeaux les faucons les hiboux
D’Afrique arrivent les ibis les flamants les marabouts
L’oiseau Roc célébré par les conteurs et les poètes
Plane tenant dans les serres le crâne d’Adam la première tête
L’aigle fond de l’horizon en poussant un grand cri
Et d’Amérique vient le petit colibri

English: (slightly modified from the translation of Donald Revell)

The plane descends at last, its wings unfolded,
Bursts into a million swallows,
Full speed come the crows, the owls, and falcons,
From Africa arrive ibis, storks, flamingoes,
The Roc-bird famous with writers and poets,
Glides Adam’s skull, the original head, in its talons,
The horizon screams; an eagle pouncing,
And from America, there comes a hummingbird.

From China, sinuous peehees,
Who have only one wing, and who fly in couples,
And here’s a dove, immaculate spirit,
Escorted by the lyre-bird and shimmery peacock,
Phoenix, the pyre, the self-resurrected,
Obscures everything ardently briefly with ash,
The sirens abandon their perilous channels,
Each one singing more beautifully; arrives,
Everyone, eagle, Phoenix, Chinese peehees,
Eager to befriend a machine that flies.

You are walking in Paris alone inside a crowd,
Herds of buses bellow and come too close,
The anguish of love clutches your throat,
“You must never again be loved,”
In the Dark Ages, you would have entered a monastery,
You are ashamed to overhear yourself praying,
You laugh at yourself and the laughter crackles like hellfire,
The sparks gild the ground and background of your life,
Your life is a painting in a dark museum,
And sometimes you examine it closely.

You are walking in Paris, the women are bloodsoaked,
It was and I have no wish to remember, it was the end of beauty,
In Chartres, from her entourage of flames, Our Lady beamed at me,
“The blood of your Sacred Heart drenched me in Montmartre,”
I’m sick of hearing blissful promises,
The love I feel is a venereal disease.

The plane descends at last, its wings unfolded,
Bursts into a million swallows,
Full speed come the crows, the owls, and falcons,
From Africa arrive ibis, storks, flamingoes,
The Roc-bird famous with writers and poets,
Glides Adam’s skull, the original head, in its talons,
The horizon screams; an eagle pouncing,
And from America, there comes a hummingbird.

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