Below is my poetic translation of ‘Une île 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.
An island Off the coast of desire Where nobody’s afraid It’s cool and calm, just like a mirror An island Bright just like an Easter Day Surrounded by the tired seas With a mermaid at each wave Oh come, come my love To a place where there are no fools Who say we have to live in fear That our twenties are the good years Here it’s the time for living Here it’s the time for loving An island An island off the coast of love High on the alter of the sea Velvet ground and satin above An island Warm as tenderness Hopeful as a desert With a rain cloud’s caress Oh come, come my love To a place where there are no fools Here the sands are warm Come my love, let’s flee the storm Here it’s the time for living Here it’s the time for loving An island An island we still need to build A dream you’ve had since long ago Back when you were a child An island An island ready to depart And we’re still waiting at the gate That’s closing in our hearts Come, come my love Here’s where everything starts I believe in the last chance And you, you’re the one I want Here it’s the time for living Here it’s the time for loving
One thought on “Une île by Jacques Brel: English Translation”
Excellent. Please do more of this!