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Satie - Ludions


Satie (1923)

Air du Rat

Abi Abirounère
Qui que tu n'étais don?
Une blanche monère
Un jo
Un joli goulifon
Un œil
Un œil à son pépère
Un jo
Un joli goulifon.


Dans un vieux square où l'océan
Du mauvais temps met son séant
Sur un banc triste aux yeux de pluie
C'est d'une blonde
Rosse et gironde
Que tu t'ennuies
Dans ce cabaret du Néant
Qu'est notre vie

La Grenouille américaine

La gouénouille améouicaine2
Me regarde par-dessus
Ses bésicles de futaine.
Ses yeux sont des grogs massus
Dépourvus de jolitaine.

Je pense à Casadesus3
Qui n'a pas fait de musique
Sur cette scène d'amour
Dont le parfum nostalgique
Sort d'une boîte d'Armour.

Argus de table, tu gardes
L'âme du crapaud Vanglor
O bouillon qui me regardes
Avec tes lunettes d'or.

Air du Poète

Au pays de Papouasie
J'ai caressé la Pouasie4...
La grâce que je vous souhaite
C'est de n'être pas Papouète.

Chanson du Chat5

Il est une bebête
Ti Li petit n'enfant
C'est une byronette
La beste à sa moman
Le peu Tinan faon
C'est un ti blan-blanc
Un petit potasson?
C'est mon goret,
C'est mon pourçon
Mon petit potasson.

Il saut' sur la fenêtre
Et groume du museau
Pasqu'il voit sur la crête
S'découper les oiseaux
Le petit n'en faut
C'est un ti blo-blo
Un petit Potaçao
C'est mon goret,
C'est mon pourceau
Mon petit potasseau.

Léon-Paul Fargue

1A toy, often called a Cartesian diver, which has a floating object in a bottle which rises or falls depending on the pressure applied to the bottle.
2A mispronunciation, mocking an American accent, in which the french "r" sounds like a "w".
3Casadesus (1870-1954) French composer and music critic.
4A play on the words "poésie" and "poète".
5A piece of nonsence which plays on the type of mistakes made by a child learning to talk: "Enfant" has picked up an extra "n" because of the liason "un enfant" made in common speach. Later the same words, "Le petit enfant", are wrongly split "Le peu ti nan faon".

Bottle imps


The Rat's Air

Abi Abirounère
who then that you were not?
A white monère
a pre
a pretty goulifon
an eye
an eye to his papa
a pre
a pretty goulifon


In an old square where the ocean
of the bad weather puts its behind
on a sad bench with eyes of rain.
It is for a blonde
and buxom nag
that you pine
in this cabaret of Nothingness.
Which is our life.

The American Frog

The American frog
looks at me over
its fustian spectacles.
Its eyes are bulging grogs
devoid of prettiness.

I am reminded of Casadesus
who has not made music
on this stage of love
whose nostalgic perfume
comes from one of Armour's boxes.

Table Argus, you keep
the spirit of the toad Vanglor,
o froth who look at me
through your golden glasses.

Poet's air

In the country of Papua
I caressed the Papuane...
The fortune that I wish you
is not to be Papuan.

Song of the Cat

He's just a little beasty
ti li an little child.
it's a byronette
the beast of his mommy.
The li tult shild
it's an 'ittle blan-blanc
a little potasson?
it's my piglet,
it's my pourçon
my little potasson.

He jumps onto the window
and rummages with his muzzle
not that he sees in the tops
the shapes of the birds.
the little has need
it is an ittle blo-blo
a little Potaçao
it's my piglet,
it's my pourceau
my little potasseau.

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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