Une île by Jacques Brel: English Translation

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.


Lyrics

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

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