Spanish version of There is a War, by Joaquín Sabina

Tributes & covers; Leonard's songs on the soundtracks and TV
User avatar
Quetzal
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:51 pm
Location: The most sordid room in Paris

Spanish version of There is a War, by Joaquín Sabina

Post by Quetzal » Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:21 pm

I can imagine most Spanish speakers in this forum will have heard of Joaquín Sabina, one of the greatests songwriters alive. He is closer to Dylan than to Cohen- I think, I don't know if he would agree- and he is a great fan of Leonard, he actually says he listens to him everyday. Yesterday his new CD came to the market- I guess in South America too, I am in Spain- and I was surprised at the fact the second song, Pie de guerra, had a very familiar melody. Although Sabina did what he calls a "traducción libérrima"- wich could translate as "too free to be acceptable translation"- the new lyrics are certainly amazing, after all, Sabina is close to Cohen in quality (close, but not equal). I offer here a translation of the lyrics and then I paste the original in Spanish. Of course, since this is a literal translation and my English is not that good, it dosen't sound very well, but you can get an idea:

Pie de guerra (In the war)

There is a war between the man and the woman,
the dumb, the smart, the fat and the skinny,
the black, the white, the duty and the assets,
Mesalina and the guy of the sack.

There is a war between mambo and hip-hop,
the ying, the yang, the young man and the old,
Jeckyll and Hyde, monsieur du Sade, Masoc,
Pilates, reason and one's skin.

Come on back to the war, lay down for once
in the middle of the railway.
As long as the world turns and a fish swims
there is still life.

There is a war between saliva and carmine,
the dream guardian and the nightmares,
the chevalier servant and the hedgehog,
the last rites and the pimples.

There is a war between the cripple and the centipede,
the lifts and the purgatory,
tomorrow is the eve of the next day,
next day flowers in the funeral.

From Conchinchina to Magreb
in Rolls Royce or in camel.
In every corner
they make web sites
or seal a seal.

In the war the martir and the deserter,
the lukewarm and the kamikaze,
if we are bleeding to death, you and me,
what about making peace?

There is a war between the knave and the ace,
the mirror and the cunning,
the orphan, the momma's boy,
the Einstein and the dumbass.

Yahvé, Mephisto, Buddha, Christe, Allah,
the old unmarried and the husbands,
Bin Laden, Che Guevara, Superman,
what was going to be, the shit it has been.

Come on back to the war, lay down for once
in the middle of the railway.
As long as the world turns and a fish swims
there is still life.

From Conchinchina to Magreb
in Rolls Royce or in camel.
In every corner
they make web sites
or seal a seal.

In the war the martir and the deserter,
the lukewarm and the kamikaze,
if we are bleeding to death, you and me,
what about making peace?

- Joaquín Sabina (well, more or less)


Edit: I can't seem to find the damn lyrics in Spanish on the internet, they will probably be copied in a thousand pages in two days. I don't feel like copying from the booklet right now.
User avatar
lizzytysh
Posts: 25386
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Post by lizzytysh » Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:30 pm

Very beautiful and different elements Joaquín brought to this song, fleshing it out full and voluptuously. I can only imagine how beautiful this must sound in Spanish. Thank you for bringing it here to share with us.

His last two lines are exquisite ~
if we are bleeding to death, you and me,
what about making peace?
I wish him success with his new CD, and I hope people will take special notice of this song.

GREAT avatar, Quetzal 8) ! Welcome to the Forum :D !

~ Lizzy
User avatar
Quetzal
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:51 pm
Location: The most sordid room in Paris

Post by Quetzal » Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:55 pm

Thank you for your welcome. The avatar is from the Ghibili studio movie "The cat returns", a film full of very charming characters.

I forgot a few verses while copying from the booklet. These go just before the first "in the war the martir...":

"There is a war between the cold and heat,
the calm and the furious sea,
the have-with-have*, the good fortune, the disgust,
the storage room of the everything and the nothing."

I thought it would be cool to share the song, as well...even if you don't understand Spanish, it's nice to listen to Sabina sing it. I uploaded the file, I hope there is not problem with that: if there is, then I hope the mods will just delete the URL.

http://membres.lycos.fr/discepolo/pie_de_guerra.mp3



*I literally translated from "ten con ten". It makes no sense, no, but I really don't know what the expression "ten con ten" means, so I can't find a similar in English.
User avatar
lizzytysh
Posts: 25386
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Post by lizzytysh » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:14 pm

Hi Quetzal ~

It looks like your asterisk placement would have the phrase be, "The haves with [the] have-nots" [those with money and resources ~ and those lacking them] ~ a timely sentiment with Hurricane Katrina, in fact; ironically, following the line "the calm and the furious sea."

I'll try that link later ~ and hope for the best! It seems I'm often blocked with those, in one way or another. Thank you so much for putting it here!

~ Lizzy
User avatar
Quetzal
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:51 pm
Location: The most sordid room in Paris

Post by Quetzal » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:44 pm

It seems like the link is not working, because it won't allow me to leech my own free space. That has a simple solution.

http://membres.lycos.fr/discepolo/pie.htm

Voilá, now it works
It looks like your asterisk placement would have the phrase be, "The haves with [the] have-nots" [those with money and resources ~ and those lacking them] ~ a timely sentiment with Hurricane Katrina, in fact; ironically, following the line "the calm and the furious sea."
Thanks for the idea, but I am not sure it would translate that way, even though I must say it is a very good line for the song. I don't think this song is related to the Katrina, since so little time has passed, one would think it was already recordered before this august, so it's just a coincidence.
User avatar
lizzytysh
Posts: 25386
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Post by lizzytysh » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:46 pm

Oh, dear, no, Quetzal ~ I wasn't suggesting that the line was directly related at all to Hurricane Katrina. Had I fleshed out my own response, I would have spoken of synchronicity and the CD's release with that song ~ and the coupling of those 2 lines. "A timely" meant to suggest that it arrives here for 'consideration' at the approximate time that this concept is being vastly considered ~ in fact, worldwide, with regard to the U.S. and its attitudes/policies toward some/a segment of its own citizens. The concept in the song doesn't pinpoint any particular initiating circumstance ~ but the preceding line, in view of these instant times, is yes, a coincidence, and an ironic one.

~ Lizzy
User avatar
Quetzal
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:51 pm
Location: The most sordid room in Paris

Post by Quetzal » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:54 pm

Umm...my mistake, English is not my first language, I sometimes confuse things, forgive me.
User avatar
lizzytysh
Posts: 25386
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Post by lizzytysh » Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:03 pm

No problem, Quetzal. I understand what you mean. Even speaking the same language, those kind of misunderstandings crop up a lot! I just wanted to make sure you understood exactly what I did mean :D .

~ Lizzy

No luck with either link :( .
User avatar
ForYourSmile
Posts: 447
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:38 pm
Location: So on battlefields from here to Barcelona
Contact:

Re: Spanish version of There is a War, by Joaquín Sabina

Post by ForYourSmile » Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:24 pm

Welcome to the forum!

And thank you for this interesting contribution.

Though I feel pacifist, I do not agree with the adaptation:
Quetzal wrote:if we are bleeding to death, you and me,
what about making peace?
I believe that it does not respect the spirit of the Cohen's song:
Why don't you come on back to the war?
Let's all get nervous
Yesterday we spoke with a few friends about this cover, we did not seem to be very happy. Personally I prefer Sabina constructing his own histories, where he is a great genius.

Sincerely I do not understand it "ten con ten" I would not even be able translate it. Maybe it's to give to you that to have.

I suppose that at once Jarkko will include it in his collection of covers.

Be carefully amigo, hereabouts there are ladies who adore the cats. The elegant and mysterious cats. :roll:
User avatar
Quetzal
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:51 pm
Location: The most sordid room in Paris

Post by Quetzal » Fri Sep 23, 2005 2:51 am

I believe that it does not respect the spirit of the Cohen's song
Sabina says it's a "versión libérrima", and that's what it is. Sabina makes his own version, and his own version, well, is not as hard as Cohen's. Someone could say Sabina's is more optimistic...although it's hard to speak about optimism with a song like this.
Be carefully amigo, hereabouts there are ladies who adore the cats. The elegant and mysterious cats.
/me puts his hat on and smiles with a rose in his teeth
User avatar
ForYourSmile
Posts: 447
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:38 pm
Location: So on battlefields from here to Barcelona
Contact:

Post by ForYourSmile » Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:04 pm

"Well, I see you there with a rose in your teeth"

Probably we have to think that it is a new song where Sabina remembers a Cohen's work and contributes with his own point of view.

I like the Velázquez's Meninas but I do not understand the interpretation cubist of Picasso.

I agree with Sabina's desire for reach the peace. Sabina, supports an attitude active and compromised against the war. (In my level also I try to do what I can.) But I believe that it is a mistake to mix the desires of the best world with the indefinite power of a song. Probably I am a purist :roll: .

The interpretations are, in the end, something personal, in There is a War, I can see worry. In this song and in some moments of the Cohen's work I perceive tension and desire to go out, to fight.

About this song Cohen said that the conflicts are ignored without, on the other hand, solving them. They are a fuel in an epoch of ecological crisis (1974) a source of energy. [Canciones y nuevos poemas 2, Alberto Manzano.]

Of course, the Cohen's song is not an allegation in favour of the war.
User avatar
Quetzal
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:51 pm
Location: The most sordid room in Paris

Post by Quetzal » Fri Sep 23, 2005 2:45 pm

About this song Cohen said that the conflicts are ignored without, on the other hand, solving them. They are a fuel in an epoch of ecological crisis (1974) a source of energy. [Canciones y nuevos poemas 2, Alberto Manzano.]
Mmm... I feel this song somehow expresses the dialectic confrontation (that sounds pedantic) of oposites, and somehow attempts to get the listener to act in this "war". I don't see the term "war" used here just as the literal war, but more as a confrontation of opposites. I personally don't think some of those "wars" have to end, I feel a confrontation of opposites is preety natural, with no thesis and antithesis, there is no sinthesis. I feel Cohen is aiming against apathy, Sabina is aiming against literal war. But that's my interpretation.
User avatar
ForYourSmile
Posts: 447
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:38 pm
Location: So on battlefields from here to Barcelona
Contact:

Post by ForYourSmile » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:32 pm

Yes, I agree with you; there is a confrontation between opposites. A tension between points, a voltage or accumulated energy. It is in the way of Cohen's comments about this song.

Sabina suggests we can make peace, Cohen not.
Quetzal wrote: I personally don't think some of those "wars" have to end, I feel a confrontation of opposites is preety natural...
... and maybe it's necessary, but let me to dream with a world without so many tension. :wink:
jurica
Posts: 626
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2002 2:31 pm
Location: Croatia

Post by jurica » Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:45 pm

"The interpretations are, in the end, something personal, in There is a War, I can see worry. In this song and in some moments of the Cohen's work I perceive tension and desire to go out, to fight"

---this i agree with. i think 'There is a war' is a song about 'taking arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing ending them?' (Shakespeare, Hamlet). as a proof i quote:

you cannot stan what i became
you much prefer the gentleman i was before
i was so easy to defeat
i was so easy to control
i didn't even know there was a war
Nasio
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:08 pm
Location: Madrid

Post by Nasio » Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:15 pm

Hi,

"Ten con Ten" is a Spanish popular expression meaning (according to the dictionary):

loc. col. Tiento, moderación, diplomacia: si no quieres discutir con él, tendrás que tener un ten con ten.

In my experience (I'm Spanish myself), to have a "ten con ten" with someone means having a (diplomatic) chat and try to solve the conflict.

Hope this helps...
Post Reply

Return to “Tribute concerts, Cover versions & Soundtracks”