Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Raning pleasure / Βασίλης Λέκκας - Kemal

This is the story of foolish Prince Bass Fiddle and wise Jerry Kemal.
As you remember, last time, the Prince was found without a dime on the Ponce Valdez while Jerry watched from a tree...

In the land of Ali Baba near the Sea of Babalee,
Lived a man who played the zither with a pronoun on his knee.
He would dance among the fuzzy trees and bring the birds to life
And his name was Prince Bass Fiddle and he loved his ugly wife.

He would sing the songs of Lutvee in his very special way
And he puffed tea with his lumpy head and sleep all night and day.
With his turban and his leicester faced the thieves of Germany
But beware great Prince Bass Fiddle, you´ll be hanging from a tree.

Fifty days and nights they waited for a sign from old Ratan
To pretend to wear the colours of the Emperor Charlie Chan.
So they strolled into the forest with a song and energy
To find bay leaves in the cauldron of the mad witch Betty Lee.

Came the answer from a leaf top that was found upon the ground
"Only time and Prince Bass Fiddle will repair your bellies round.
Search the highlands search the lowlands, cruise the Sea of Babalee,
But remember that your children need the food from filigree."

Then one day in Abalone came a messenger to say
That onion-head Bass Fiddle broke in half no more to play.
Will we lose our land of Lutvee to the bearded men of Cleaves?
Only miracles can save us and some tricks inside our sleeves.

From the sky there was an answer to the question of the plebes
"You will meet a tall dark stranger wearing black and blue cannives.
Who is Lucy, who is Nestor? We should only be there now.
Why it’s Aphrodite Milton and his keeper Prince Kemal.

Goodnight Kemal, this world will never change

Ακούστε τώρα την ιστορία του Κεμάλ
ενός νεαρού πρίγκιπα της Ανατολής
απόγονου του Σεβάχ του Θαλασσινού
που νόμισε ότι μπορούσε ν’ αλλάξει τον κόσμο.
Αλλά πικρές οι βουλές του Αλλάχ
και σκοτεινές οι ψυχές των ανθρώπων…

Στης ανατολής τα μέρη μια φορά κι έναν καιρό
ήταν άδειο το κεμέρι, μουχλιασμένο το νερό
Στη Μοσουλη, στη Βασόρα, στην παλιά τη χουρμαδιά
πικραμένα κλαίνε τώρα της ερήμου τα παιδιά

Μα ένας νέος από σόι και γενιά βασιλική
αγροικάει το μοιρολόι και τραβάει κατά κει
Τον κοιτάν οι βεδουίνοι με ματιά λυπητερή
κι όρκο στο Αλλάχ τούς δίνει πως θ’ αλλάξουν οι καιροί

Σαν ακούσαν οι αρχόντοι του παιδιού την αφοβιά
ξεκινάν με λύκου δόντι και με λιονταριού προβιά
Απ’ τον Τίγρη στον Ευφράτη κι απ’ τη γη στον ουρανό
κυνηγάν τον αποστάτη, να τον πιάσουν ζωντανό

Πέφτουν πάνω του τα στίφη σαν ακράτητα σκυλιά
και τον πάνε στο Χαλίφη να τού βάλει τη θηλιά
Μαύρο μέλι, μαύρο γάλα ήπιε εκείνο το πρωί
πριν αφήσει στην κρεμάλα τη στερνή του την πνοή

Με δυο γέρικες καμήλες κι ένα κόκκινο φαρί
στου παράδεισου τις πύλες ο προφήτης καρτερεί
Πάνε τώρα χέρι-χέρι κι είναι γύρω συννεφιά
μα της Δαμασκού τ’ αστέρι τούς κρατούσε συντροφιά

Σ’ ένα μήνα, σ’ ένα χρόνο βλέπουν μπρος τους τον Αλλάχ
που απ’ τον ψηλό του θρόνο λέει στον άμυαλο Σεβάχ
Νικημένο μου ξεφτέρι, δεν αλλάζουν οι καιροί
με φωτιά και με μαχαίρι πάντα ο κόσμος προχωρεί

These two songs although they share the exact same music and are both performed from Greek performers are significantly different in the lyrics.
A quite good translation and some talking about the song was found in Anatomy of Melancholy and another performance by Marios Fragoulis

Hear now the story of Kemal
A young prince from the East
A descendant of Sinbad the Sailor,
Who thought he could change the world.
But bitter is the will of Allah,
And dark the souls of men …

Once upon a time in the East,
The purses are empty, the waters are stagnant.
In Mosul, in Basrah, under an old date-palm,
The children of the desert are bitterly crying.
A young man of ancient and royal race
Overhears their lament and goes to them.
The Bedouins look at him sadly
And he swears by Allah that things will change.

When they learn of the young man’s fearlessness,
The rulers set off with wolf-like teeth and a lion’s mane.
From the Tigris to the Euphrates, in heaven and on earth,
The pursue the renegade to catch him alive.
They pounce on him like uncontrollable hounds,
And take him to the caliph to put the noose around his neck.
Black honey, black milk he drank that morning
Before breathing his last on the gallows.

With two aged camels and a red steed,
At the gates of heaven the prophet awaits.
They walk together among the clouds
With the star of Damascus to keep them company.
After a month, after a year, they find Allah
Who, from his high throne, tells foolish Sinbad:
‘O my vanquished upstart, things never change;
Fire and knives are the only things men know.’*

Goodnight, Kemal. The world will never change. Goodnight…

2 comments:

Cheri said...

Is it possible to give me the translation in english of
Ξέρω κάποιο αστέρι sung by Nana Mouskouri on music of Hadjidakis?

I can, in return translate it to you into french and/or portuguese

Many thanks

Nicholas said...

finally done