Because you're gone (Puisque tu pars)

Jean-Jacques Goldman

Because the dark has won;
because there's no high mountain
where the winds of forgetfulness
are blowing strong enough;

because we have to learn
that we failed to understand,
to dream into our wishes
and to live what might have been.

Because it seems to you,
from the closest evidence,
that sometimes giving everything
still is not enough;

because you think your heart
will beat better somewhere else;
because we love you far too much
to hold on to you now.
Because you’re gone . . .

May the good winds bring you
where other, kinder souls
will learn to love you better,
since we cannot love you more.

May life always teach you,
but may you remain the same—
for if you had betrayed yourself,
we truly would have lost you.

So go and take this chance,
while in silence we must envy
the strength to keep believing
that the best is yet come,

and, as far from each of us
as October is from April,
know that you have left
an indelible footprint here.

No drama and no tears—
those pitiful, poor weapons—
because there are some sorrows
that can only rage inside,

because today your only home
is that far horizon,
try, in your exile, to learn
how to come back.
But not too late …

In days to come
recall this night
and our goodbye—
because you’re gone.

I could have closed these doors
and simply walked away—
but that’s not what you did.
I could have given so much love,
given so much strength,
but all that I could do was not enough,
not enough, not enough.

In days to come
recall this night
and our goodbye—
because you're gone.

"Puisque tu pars" - Words and music by Jean-Jacques Goldman; translation by Frank Beck

Many Americans misunderstand French pop music, and that's understandable. The music is usually secondary to the words, so knowing some French is crucial to appreciating many French songs. Jean-Jacques Goldman is a prime example: he's a master lyricist, and "Puisque tu pars" is one of his best efforts.

With the help of my translation, I hope you'll see why he's still one of the popular entertainers in France, years after releasing his last album.

1 comment:

  1. Good job, Frank--much better than most of the other stilted translations online.