The Partisan - French Lyrics

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
Nicolas
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Location: Brussels, BE

The Partisan - French Lyrics

Postby Nicolas » Tue Oct 17, 2006 3:44 pm

Hello,

I have noticed as many other have I am sure, that the French lyrics of this song have evolved over the years, at least in concerts.
Leonard originally sang :

J'ai changé cent fois de nom,
j'ai perdu femme et enfants
mais j'ai tant d'amis; [but I have so many friends]
j'ai la France entière.

The two last sentences have changed into

J'ai changé cent fois de nom,
j'ai perdu femme et enfants
Qui le savaient; [who knew]
Effacer mon passage. [erase my passage]

Does anybody know why? And what he exactly means by these two new sentences? The original lyrics make sence but although I speak French the new ones are not really clear to me.

Thank you

Regards,

Nicolas
Nicolas
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Location: Brussels, BE

Postby Nicolas » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:38 pm

Well, for those who would like to know, I just found an answer to my question here: http://www.leonardcohensite.com/partisaneng.htm

It also explains the whole story about this song.
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Maarten
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Postby Maarten » Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:03 pm

Hello Nicolas,

Nice to see that you found the answer yourself. Interesting to read too, it was the first time I've seen this page. Thanks for the link!

Have you made it to Ghent for the LC-movie at the festival? I enjoyed it a lot and I guess everyone else liked it too.

Bye,
Maarten

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Nicolas
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:15 pm
Location: Brussels, BE

Postby Nicolas » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:39 am

Hello Maarten,

This song has got indeed a long story and has been sung by many singers, I was surprised to read it.

Yes I made it to Ghent,
I was really interresting and I must say I was pleased to see that the show attracted so many people, the theatre was full. I just wonder if all these people were real LC fans or just curious or maybe invited by companies as incentives.
Well, sad that you didn't reply to the other post, we could have maybe met there; I am quite keen to meet other Belgian LC fans.

Cheers

Nicolas
Patyou
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Re: The Partisan - French Lyrics

Postby Patyou » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:41 pm

Qui le savaient; [who knew]
Effacer mon passage. [erase my passage]
Hi everybody

I think the two verses are :

Vous qui le savez (you who know)
Effacez mon passage(erase my passage)

Thanks and regards
Patyou
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in
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hydriot
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Re: The Partisan - French Lyrics

Postby hydriot » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:37 am

'Erase my passage' may be the technically correct translation, but to English ears sounds at best daft and at worst scatalogical. So let's loosen up and translate them as Joan Baez sung them, to get the sense across: "But those of you who know / You cover up my footprints."
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988

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