Le Père Noël et la petite fille, incl.Leggenda di Natale; La canzone di Marinella; Bocca di Rosa

Georges Brassens
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An English version of Bocca di Rosa by Simon Evnine

They called her Rosemouth,
she put love, she put love,
they called her Rosemouth,
she put love above everything else.

As soon as she got off at the station
in the small town of Sant’Ilario,
everyone noticed with one look
that she was nothing to do with a missionary.

There are those who make love out of boredom,
those that choose it as a profession.
Rosemouth was neither one nor the other,
she did it for passion.

But passion often leads
to satisfying its own wants
without investigating whether a partner in lust
has a free heart, or else has a wife.

And thus it was that from one day to the next
Rosemouth brought down upon herself
the black ire of the bitches
from whom she had taken a bone.

But nosy neighbors of a hamlet
aren't shining examples of initiative.
The countermeasures up until that point
were limited to invective.

We all know that people give good advice,
feeling like Jesus in the temple.
We all know that people give good advice
if they can’t set a bad example.

Thus an older woman, never a wife,
ever childless, with no more longings,
took the trouble, and certainly with relish,
to give everyone some proper advice.

And addressing the cuckolds
she held forth to them with sharp words:
"The theft of love will be punished," she said,
"by the established order."

And they went to the commissioner
and they said, without paraphrasing:
“That despicable woman already has too many customers,
more than a food co-op.”

And four gendarmes arrived
with their plumes, with their plumes,
and four gendarmes arrived
with their plumes and with their weapons.

Often the cops and the carabinieri
fail at their own duty,
but not when they are in dress uniform.
And they accompanied her to the first train.

A tender heart is not an endowment
the carabinieri are overflowing with.
But that time, to catch the train,
they grudgingly accompanied her.

At the station there was everyone
from the commissioner to the sexton.
At the station everyone was there
with red eyes and hat in hand

to greet one who just for a moment,
without pretense, without pretense,
to greet one who just for a moment
brought love to the village.

There was a yellow sign
with a black inscription, it said:
“Farewell Rosemouth,
springtime is parting with you.”

But news that’s a bit unusual
doesn't need any newspapers.
Like an arrow shot from a bow,
it flies fast by word of mouth.

And at the next station,
many more people than when she departed -
one who throws a kiss, one who tosses a flower,
one who makes reservations for two hours.

Even the parish priest, who doesn’t condemn -
between a "have mercy" and an annointment of the sick -
the ephemeral gift of beauty,
wants her beside him in the procession.

And with the Virgin in the first row
and Rosemouth not far behind,
he takes them out for a walk through the village,
Sacred Love and Love Profane.

Her name was Bocca di Rosa
and she thought that nothing, she thought that nothing,
Her name was Bocca di Rosa
and she thought that nothing was better than love.

When her train pulled into Sant’Ilario
by the time she had stepped to the ground,
the welcoming crowd, at a glance, saw it wasn’t
the Church that had sent her to town.

There are some who make love for a living,
others have nothing better to do.
Bocca di Rosa, she wasn’t like either:
love was her passion through and through.

But a life in the service of passion
often will lead you from bed to bed
without first finding out of your lover
whether his heart’s free or whether he’s wed.

And so, from one day to another,
Bocca di Rosa found herself prey
to the menacing wrath of those bitches
whose bones she had taken away.

But a village’s meddling gossips
great initiative hardly display,
so up to this point their revenge had been merely
to hurl a few insults her way.

Now you know how folks like to advise you –
in words Jesus himself might have said –
you know how folks like to advise you
once they’re too old to paint the town red.

Thus an elderly unmarried woman,
whose heart now within her was ice,
felt required to offer these villagers
the benefit of her advice.

And approaching the cuckolded wives,
she addressed them in words shrewd and wise:
“We can bring the love thief to her knees
if we call on the proper authorities.”

So they went to speak to the Police Chief,
and letting all niceties drop,
said “this baggage has too many customers
- even more than the local co-op.”

So the Chief sent around four Gendarmes,
wearing their plumes, wearing their plumes,
and the Chief sent around four Gendarmes,

All the villagers came to the station,
from Police Chief to Sacrestan,
all the villagers came to the station,
with red eyes and hats in hand,

to say farewell to one who, though briefly,
with nothing to hide, with nothing to hide,
to say farewell to one who, though briefly,
had brought love to the countryside.

There was a yellow banner
and on it, written in blue
it said, “Goodbye Bocca di Rosa. When you leave us,
Spring takes its leave of us too.”

News of such strange goings on didn’t need
to be published in print to get round;
and in no more than just a few minutes they’d heard
all the details in the next town.

So though many had bid her farewell when she left,
there were even more at the next station,
throwing kisses and flowers at Bocca di Rosa
and trying to make reservations.

Even the parish priest who enjoyed,
between saying Mass and Confession,
the ephemeral pleasures of beauty, decided
he wanted her in his procession.

So in front of them all went the Virgin
and Bocca di Rosa followed in train,
and the priest took the two of them out for a walk
love sacred and love profane.

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