L’Air De La Betise by Jacques Brel: English Translation

Below is my poetic translation of ‘L’Air De La Betise’ by Jacques Brel. Particular attention has been paid to keeping the rhyme and flow of the piece while retaining the poetic origins of the French lyric.


Lyrics

Goddess of those who speak without thinking 
Goddess of those who talk out of turn 
Goddess of those with a habit of misspeaking 
Princess of those that never learn
I salute you, Lady Stupidity 
Your reign is underestimated 
I salute you, Lady Stupidity 
But please tell me how you do it 
You have so many fiancés 
And even more lovers 
So many valets 
So many prisoners  

You weave them with your hands 
You muddle them around 
Persuading all the morons  
To never have a doubt  

You make our lives progress 
With your backstabbing advance 
Through narrow-minded envy 
And noble intolerance  


Goddess of all our femme fatals 
Goddess of all royal incest 
Goddess of all marriages for wealth 
Princess of those who should know best 
 
I salute you, Lady Stupidity 
Your reign is underestimated 
I salute you, Lady Stupidity 
But please tell me how you do it  
You who never lets us see 
Your smile that's growing bold 

As you've made of him and me 
Very noble cuckolds  
Because you've led just to forget 
That all the real whores 
The ones that we regret 
Charge us after, not before  

And so it leaves me in a haze 
When in the mirror, I see 
Your familiar gaze 
Staring back at me

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