Brassens, Georges: A l'Ombre du cœur de ma mie
A l'Ombre du cœur de ma mie (French)
A l'ombre du cœur de ma mie
Et moi, me mettant à genoux,
Alors cet oiseau de malheur
Aux appels de cet étourneau(3),
Tant de rumeurs, de grondements,
Et c'est depuis ce temps, ma sœur,
2) Une manière de baiser = a way of kissing. However, French grammarians point out that in this construction “Baiser” can be either the noun or the verb. As “baiser quelqu’un” means to have sex with some-one, it is very likely that we should have a stronger verb than “kiss” here. Such double meanings were a great delight to Brassens. Commentators on this poem are very conscious that this is a poem on Brassens album: “Le Pornographe.” Some of the misinterpretations of this short poem come from the over-assiduous search for erotic references – for example one critic states categorically that the bird in line two is a symbol for an intimate part of the female anatomy.
3) cet étourneau – A double meaning – Usual meaning- Starling, the name of a bird but it is also a word of abuse when applied to a human being-= a scatterbrain. A dolt. Brassens keeps the bird image running.
4) Grand branle-bas dans Landerneau – The historical derivation is disputed but expressions which include the word “ Landerneau “ indicate a mighty commotion.
5) Tout le monde et son père – The great French writer of fables, La Fontaine, who was much loved by Brassens, had in his fable : « Le Meunier, Son Fils et l’Ane” the phrase “contenter le monde et son père” meaning to satisfy everyone.
6) Chasseur = hunter - but a « chasseur de femmes » is a Don Juan, a philanderer -which would seem a more likely consequence of this experience rather than becoming a hunter of game. However the next line talks of his crossbow which would make him a true hunter, unless it is some kind of symbol. The idea of a heartbroken hunter in the wilds seems too sugary an ending for Brassens.
As is the usual practice, the scoundrel blames other people for making him what he is, conveniently ignoring the fact that this “life- changing” incident occurred because he was sneaking into bed with another man’s wife.
Babám szíve árnyékába’ (Hungarian)
Babám szíve árnyékába’
Én meg térdre ereszkedek –
Erre a fene madárka
A vészmadárhangra hamar
Szitok, mocsok és hurítás
Kudarcomból hogy kimásszak,