BORIS VIAN : LE DÉSERTEUR [1956]

Η μουσική ήταν ένα από τα πολλά πράγματα με τα οποία ασχολήθηκε στη διάρκεια της ζωής του ο Boris Vian, γνωστός αποκλειστικά σχεδόν ως συγγραφέας. Πέρα από τη σχέση του με τη jazz [τρομπετίστας, εκ των πρωταγωνιστών της γαλλικής σκηνής, υπεύθυνος για τη μετάκληση εκεί καλλιτεχνών όπως οι Duke Ellington και Miles Davis] έχει γράψει αρκετά δικά του τραγούδια, γνωστότερο απ’ τα οποία και ταυτόχρονα επίκαιρο, βλ. αντιπολεμικό, είναι το ‘Le Déserteur’.

Boris Vian, known almost exclusively as a writer, dealt with many things during his lifetime, and music was one of them. Apart from his relation with jazz [trumpeter, among the protagonists of the French scene, responsible for the invitation of artists such as Duke Ellington and Miles Davis there] he has written quite a few songs himself, the best known of which and also relevant, meaning anti-war, is ‘Le Déserteur’.

Mister President
I am writing this letter
You will perhaps read
If you have the time.
I have just received
My enlisting papers
Recruiting me to go and fight in the war
Before Wednesday night
 Mister President
I don’t want to fight
I have not been put on this earth
To go and kill poor sods!
I don’t want to make you cross
But I have to tell you
My decision is made
I am going to be a deserter
 Since I ‘ve been born
I have seen my father die,
All my brothers leave, never to return
And my children cry!
My mother grieved so much
She is now in her coffin
She couldn’t care less about bombs
And about the maggots!
 When I was a prisoner
They stole my wife
They stole my soul
And my whole life.
Tomorrow at dawn
I will close the door behind me
Locking all the dead years away
And I will be on my way
 I will beg for my keep
All over France
From Brittany to Provence,
And I will tell the people:
“Do not obey,
Do not take part in this,
Do not go to war
Refuse to go!
 If blood has to be spilled
Go and spill yours!
You’re A fine one to preach,
Mister President!
If you look for me,
Tell your Police
That I will be unarmed
And that they can shoot…


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4 Comments

  1. Sue Dreamwalker October 12, 2023 at 8:25 pm

    Sad Lyrics… But true.. As we pray for all those called, who think they serve.. 🙏

    Reply
  2. Liz Gauffreau October 12, 2023 at 11:06 pm

    What a powerful song. It brought to mind the poster the was popular when I was growing up: “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”

    Reply
    1. Oannes October 13, 2023 at 5:55 am

      Well, that was my motto too. And then you wake up and find yourself in the real world… 😞

      Reply
      1. Liz Gauffreau October 13, 2023 at 1:08 pm

        Finding myself in the real world was a painfully rude awakening. 🙁

        Reply

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