Le Déserteur

Boris Vian
Back to the song page with all the versions

INGLESE / ENGLISH / ANGLAIS [3] - Gilles d'Ayméry/Jan Baughman Versione ...

[Men whose names are great, I am writing you a letter
That you will read perhaps If you have the time
Men whose names are great, I don't want to do that
I am not on Earth To kill miserable Mankind...]

Sirs, you who are called "great,"
I am writing you a letter
That you will read, perhaps,
if you have the time.
I have just received
my military papers
To go to war
before Wednesday evening.
Sirs, you who are called "great,"
I don't want to do that.
I am not on earth
to kill poor people.
This is not meant to annoy you,
but I must tell you:
Wars are insane.
The world has enough of them.

Since I was born,
I have seen brothers die.
I have seen fathers leave,
and children cry.
Mothers have suffered too much
while others prosper
And live at their ease
in spite of mud and blood.
There are prisoners
whose souls have been stolen,
Whose wives have been stolen,
and all their loved ones gone.
Tomorrow, first thing in the morning,
I will close the door
On the past.
I will go on the road.

I will beg for my livelihood
on land and sea,
From the old to the new world,
and I will say to people:
Profit from life.
Alleviate misery.
All men are brothers.
People of all countries:
If it is necessary to spill blood,
go spill your own.
Sirs, you good apostles
sirs, you who are called "great":
If you pursue me,
inform your police
That I will be unarmed,
and they can shoot,
And they can shoot.

Mr. President
I'm writing you a letter
that perhaps you will read
If you have the time.
I've just received
my call-up papers
to leave for the front
Before Wednesday night.
Mr. President
I do not want to go
I am not on this earth
to kill wretched people.
It's not to make you mad
I must tell you
my decision is made
I am going to desert.

Since I was born
I have seen my father die
I have seen my brothers leave
and my children cry.
My mother has suffered so,
that she is in her grave
and she laughs at the bombs
and she laughs at the worms.
When I was a prisoner
they stole my wife
they stole my soul
and all my dear past.
Early tomorrow morning
I will shut my door
on these dead years
I will take to the road.

I will beg my way along
on the roads of France
from Brittany to Provence
and I will cry out to the people:
Refuse to obey
refuse to do it
don't go to war
refuse to go.
If blood must be given
go give your own
you are a good apostle
Mr. President.
If you go after me
warn your police
that I'll be unarmed
and that they can shoot.

Back to the song page with all the versions

Main Page

Note for non-Italian users: Sorry, though the interface of this website is translated into English, most commentaries and biographies are in Italian and/or in other languages like French, German, Spanish, Russian etc.

hosted by