Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte

A truly haunting song, by the great Marlene Dietrich...

7 Comments:

Blogger Shoshana said...

That's funny. I was going to ask about what happened to Music Mondays...and then I realized it wasn't Monday. Thanks for the music anyway!

June 11, 2008 3:58 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Music Mondays will resume shortly now that sefira is over. Consider today a virtual music monday.

June 11, 2008 4:39 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

e-kvetcher-
could we maybe get a translation of the lyrics? I think it might be more effectively haunting if I knew what she was saying. Although admittedly she sings it beautifully.

June 13, 2008 6:32 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Miri, I think the song is basically about being lonely and homesick - I am not sure, I don't really speak German and I can't find a good translation on the Web. If some reader speaks German, perhaps they can translate!

June 15, 2008 8:01 AM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Rough translation:

Man hat uns nicht gefragt
They did not ask us
als wir noch kein gesicht,
When we as yet had no faces
ob wir leben wollten oder lieber nicht.
Whether we wanted to live, or (would it have been) better not
Jetzt gehe ich allein
Now I go alone
durch eine grosse Stadt
Through a large city
und ich weiß nicht,
And I do not know
ob sie mich lieb hat.
If she (the city) likes me
Ich schaue in de stube,
I look into the rooms
durch Tür- und Fensterglas
Through door and window glass
und ich warte,
And I wait
und ich warte auf etwas.
I wait for something


Wenn ich ich mir was wünschen dürfte,
When I presume to wish for something
käme ich in Verlegenheit,
I become embarassed
was ich mir den wünschen sollte,
If I should wish for something
eine schlimme oder gute Zeit.
A bad or good time
Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte,
When I presume to wish for something
möcht ich etwas glücklich sein,
I would like to be a little bit happy
denn wenn ich gar zu glücklich wäre,
Because if I were too happy
hätte ich Heimweh nach dem Traurigsein.
I would have yearnings for my sadness.

June 18, 2008 10:26 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

BOTH, you are the Mann! I could not find a good translation on the web at all.

June 19, 2008 6:59 AM  
Blogger Phillip said...

Thanks very much for the translation!
I wonder about a few things in the translation:

als wir noch kein gesicht,
When we as yet had no faces

I wonder if the German is actually truncated:
als (ob) wir noch kein gesicht (hätten)
(as though we had no faces) (as though we didn't exist or didn't matter)
...That would make more sense to me.

Another one:
ob wir leben wollten oder lieber nicht.
Whether we wanted to live, or (would it have been) better not

I would translate more loosely,
"Whether we wanted to live, or would rather not."

April 17, 2011 4:14 AM  

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