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2016年7月31日 星期日

Isn't it time to off-load (是時候減輕負擔)?

From time to time, we may click into some video or other on the internet quite by accident but once we did, we felt compelled to continue viewing until we came to the very end. If you believe in Jung's theory of serendipity or in the Buddhist theory of karma spanning our past, our present or our future lives, you may say that what looks like an "accident" is not "really" an accident, but the result of some chain of causation the full extent or the operation of which we may not be aware if we continue merely to operate on the level of conscious mind, as we are wont to do in our everyday life and that whatever actually happens happens for a good reason. Even if you do not subscribe to any such beliefs, it's nonetheless a most welcome experience to meet with such an "accident". I did. 
I believe what I found through one such experience may perhaps be worth sharing. So....



2016年7月30日 星期六

Accountant's Jokes (會計師笑話)

Whenever we think of accountants, we tend to see them as solid staid and grim individuals who won't hesitate to spend $5,000 worth of work just to find out where the mistake/s was/were in your accounts that led to a 50 cents difference between the figures on the credit and the debit side of a set of ledgers or accounts. But sometimes, they may have a lighter side as well.  What do I mean?

1.  Inflation

Wife to Accountant husband: Darling, can you explain to me what exactly is "inflation" in terms that I can understand?
Accountant Husband: 

               Oh, that's really easy. 
               Earlier you were 36-24-36. 
               But now you are 48-40-48. 
               Though you have everything bigger than before, your value has become less than before.

2016年7月28日 星期四

Clouds, Water, Sky (雲水天)

 I haven't been to the Wetland Park for a while.


The clouds are white. The sky is blue.

2016年7月24日 星期日

Ne Me Quitte pas (Don't Leave me)(不要離開我)

"Ne Me Quitte pas" (Don't Leave me)(不要離開我) is one of the best songs composed by the Belgian singer-composer Jacques Brel together with his pianist  Gérard Jouannest. It was a song written in 1959, shortly after Brel's girl friend Suzanne Gabriello had his child aborted after he refused to admit to being its father and left him.  Later Brel admitted that it's a "hymn to the men's cowardice" and that it describes how far a man can go in humiliating himself in such situations but he also anticipated that it would probably be taken as a love song by many women who would take comfort in the thought. Édith Piaf , who gave one of the best renditions of this song, said : « Un homme ne devrait pas chanter des trucs comme ça ! » ("A man oughtn't sing of stuffs like it" ) But here it is, with my translations.  Marc Robine, Brel's biographer, suggested two writers might have influenced Brel in using the image of the dog: Dostoïevski  (A Gentle Creature 1876 ) and Garcia Lorca (Soneto de la Dulce Queja) and that in that song, Brel and Jousannest took a theme from Franz Liszt's 6th Hungarian Rhapsody.

2016年7月23日 星期六

George Brassens (喬治·巴頌) :Chanson pour l’Auvergnat (Song for the Auvergnese)( 奧媛之歌)

George Brassens always had his heart set on little people, those neglected, overlooked, ignored, marginalised by the bourgeois and seen by them with apprehension, contempt or disgust. So he uses his songs to expose their hypocrisy. His Chanson pour l'Auvergnat (Song for the Auvergnese)  is one of such songs. Auvergne is a hilly part of central France specializing in agriculture and dairy products. including such well known cheeses as Bleu d'Auvergne, Cantal, Fourme d'Ambert and Saint-Nectaire.




2016年7月21日 星期四

George Brassens (喬治·巴頌) : Les copains d'abord (Buddies first)(老友第一)

Les Copains D'abord is one of the most popular of George Brassens' songs. It expresses the feelings of the sailors for one another, their joys, their fears, their comraderie, their liberated views on life. Needless to say, it's the sailors' favorite. Like so many of his songs, it has a bouncy rhythm which is perfectly suited to the carefree attitude of those who make their living by the seas, who knows full well that huge billows of several tens of feet high in the vast expanses of the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean during a storm is not to be taken likely. Death threatens and may strike any time. Can we blame them if they'd lose no time in having some biological fun once they're ashore.


2016年7月20日 星期三

George Brassens ( 喬治·巴頌): Mourir pour des idées (Dying for Ideas)(為信念而死)





Georges Brassens (1921 –1981) was a very colorful French character from a small town Sète in southern France, near to Montpellier. He was a very poor student. He didn’t do at all well in his studies until he met his 9th grade teacher, Alphonse Bonnafé, who noted his gift for creative writing and encouraged him to develop his talents and read more poetry
His family is the scene of constant conflict, with a very liberal and indulgent father and a very fervent and strict Catholic mother who loved to sing with his half sister. So from an early age, he learned a great deal about the joys of music and the little ironies of life. He later learned to play the guitar and the piano by himself and made a living by singing in cafés in one of which he met by accident a famous singer at the time, Patachou, who saw the quality of his songs, in which he set to music the poetry some famous and not so famous poets and transformed his life. He wrote, set to guitar music and sang more than 200 sons, based on his own poems as well as those from some from other poets like Louis Aragon’s Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux, Victor Hugo’s La Légende de la Nonne, Gastibelza), François Villon’s La Ballade des Dames du Temps Jadis and Antoine Pol’s Les Passantes. . The most popular of his songs are Les copains d'abord, Chanson pour l'Auvergnat, La mauvaise réputation, and Mourir pour des idées. His songs are a complex mix of music and poetry. His poetic songs are set out in 14 song albums he produced between 1952-1976. When he started writing songs, he took as his model the songs of Charles Trenet, Tino Rossi and Ray Ventura. His songs usually have very strong and bouncy rhythms and evident sense of the joys of a simple life, tinged with occasional black humor.

2016年7月19日 星期二

Patrick Bruel (派屈克・布乃爾): Je te le dit quand même (I'm still saying it to you)( 我仍得這樣對你說)





Patrick Bruel is a French singer who has charisma. He's talented. He is a professional poker champion. He acts. He plays the guitar. He plays the piano. He composes some of his own songs. He's sings with his heart, in a voice, which, though not perfect, belongs to himself.  Recently a fellow blogger reminded me of one of his best songs. It gave me great pleasure when I first heard it. Even now, when I hear it again, it still touches me. Nothing of what I felt has dissipated through all those intervening years. Good things must be shared. There are not very many worth sharing.  For those who have never heard him and for those who would like to savor it again, I now offer one of his most memorable songs: Je te le dit quand même, with my translations for those who don't read French. Enjoy. And thanks Roger Liu.

2016年7月17日 星期日

Umi yorimo mada fukaku (After the storm) (比海還深)




Inside a small council housing estate flat in Kiyoshe, a Tokyo suburb, an aging mother, Shinoda Yoshiko (Kirin Kiki) and a middle aged daughter Chinatsu Nakashima (Satomi Kobayashiwere chatting about the only other man in the family, the mother's recently departed husband. The radio announced that a big typhoon was heading in the direction of Tokyo from Kyushu. The mother said she felt so relieved that her husband was finally gone and that her eldest son Shinoda Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) had just called that he'd be coming. His sister commented wryly that his brother, a prize winning novelist for his first novel which he wrote some 15 years ago, would only come for money. The mother didn't say anything.

Balm for the Soul: the music of Arvo Pärt (靈魂的香膏: 阿福·佩爾特的音樂)

The past week has been very traumatic. After the police shooting  of blacks in Minnesota and Louisiana and the shooting of five policemen in Dallas, the lorry massacre of more than 200  in Nice, the arson in Western District Hong Kong which killed all four and the shooting of hundreds of civilians in the failed coup d'état in Ankara and Instanbul, it seems the world has gone mad in a wave of violence. I reached my hands into my CD rack and instinctively picked out a disc I haven't heard for a long time:the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's Fur Alina.




The notes come out one by one, as if from a pitch dark background, each like a shining dew in the morning sunlight, crystal clear, shining, radiant. The silence between the notes in which the harmonics continue to reverberate in the air long after the principal tone has died out, has a strangely soothing effect. Just what I need.

2016年7月15日 星期五

Fundamentalism Must End (基要主義必須了結)

Yesterday was a day of celebration in France. It was a day in which the French people stormed the Bastille Prison to put an end to the ancien régime in 1789, an event which triggered the French Revolution which had as its motto the three notions "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity", the spirit of which has since been incorporated into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nation, 1948. But the day of celebration became the blackest day for Nice and for many of those who went there to celebrate the national festival at the Promenade des Anglais and for the Jazz Festival Nice 2016 which was originally scheduled to begin tomorrow. The Jazz Festival is now canceled.

A French-Tunisian Muslim drove his truck into the crowd there and swerved from side to side for more than a mile to maximize the carnage to the innocent people who were gathered there just to see the National Day fireworks. More than 80 people, including children, were confirmed dead with another 20 in critical condition.

The French President François Hollande just announced that the state of emergency which he proclaimed following another Muslim terrorist attack in Paris on Friday, November 13, 2015 in which 130 people were killed and which was due to expire on 26th July 2016 would be extended for another 3 months.

This horrendous tragedy has a special meaning for me. Many many years ago, I was on that very promenade in the evening of the 14th July, watching the fireworks.

There's little I can do except to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of those who were injured or died and to strengthen my own personal resolve to combat fundamentalism in all forms which threatened and continue to threaten and divide people in this world of ours and drive them towards holding on to separatist and apparently unalterable mindsets. Fundamentalism must end. Unless it does, there will never be any peace on this planet, our only home.  I shall do everything in my powers through my writings and other forms of communication to work towards the dissolution of such dualistic fundamentalism, whether it be left or right, whether it be religious, political or philosophical.






2016年7月14日 星期四

Je ne regrette rien( I regret nothing) (我一點不後悔) --Edith Piaf


Today is the National Day of France. a country which changed my life. So I 'll celebrate it with one of the greatest songs by one of its greatest female singers in the first half of the 20th century, Edith Piaf



Je ne regrette rien

Non! Rien de rien

Non! Je ne regrette rien
Ni le bien qu’on ma fait, ni le mal
Tout ça m’est bien egal.

Non! Rien de rien

Non! Je ne regrette rien
C’est payé, balayé, oublié
Je me fous du passé!


Avec mes souvenirs
J’ai allumé le feu
Mes chagrins, mes plaisirs

Je n’ai plus besoins d’eux


Balayés les amours avec leurs tremolos
Balayés pour toujours
Je repars á zero


 

Non! Rien de rien

Non! Je ne regrette rien
Ni le bien qu’on ma fait, ni le mal
tout ça m’est bien egal.


Non! Rien de rien

Non! Je ne regrette rien
Car ma vie, car mes joies
Aujourd'hui, ça commence avec toi !



I regret nothing


No!. Nothing from nothing.
No! I regret nothing
Neither the good done to me, nor the bad

They’re all the same to me

No!. Nothing from nothing.
No! I regret nothing
It’s paid, swept off, forgotten
I don’t care about the past



With my memories

I have lit the fire
My pains, my pleasures
I don’t need ‘em anymore.

 
The loves swept off, with their trembles
Swept away forever
I re-start from zero


No!. Nothing from nothing.
No! I regret nothing
Neither the good done to me, nor the bad.

They’re all the same to me

No!. Nothing from nothing.
No! I regret nothing
‘cause my life, ‘cause my joys
today, it starts with you
我一點不後悔

不!無到無
不!我一點不後悔
不論對我好的,壞的

我一點不後
 

不!無到無
不!我一點不後悔
不論對我好的,壞的

已付清,掃清,忘清

我不在乎過去  


我的記憶
我已點火

我的痛苦,我的快樂
我再不需要它們

 
段段愛情與其顫音已掃清

一一永遠掃掉

我從零再開始



不!無到無
不!我一點
不後
不論
對我好的,壞的

對我都是一樣

 

不!無到無
不!我一點
不後
因我的生命,因我的歡欣
今天,它從你開始!

2016年7月13日 星期三

Caminito del indio ( The tiny Indian Pathway) (印第安人的小徑)








Caminito del indio

Caminito del indio
Sendero colla
Sembrao de piedras.
Caminito del indio
Que junta el valle con las estrellas.
Caminito del indio
Que junta el valle con las estrellas.

Caminito que anduvo
De sur a norte
Mi raza vieja
Antes que en la montaña
La pachamama se ensombreciera.
Antes que en la montaña
La pachamama se ensombreciera

Cantando en el cerro,
Llorando en el río,
Se agranda en la noche
La pena del indio.
El sol y la luna
Y este canto mío
Besaron tu piedras,
Camino del indio.

En la noche serrana
Llora la quena su honda nostalgia
Y el caminito sabe
Quién es la chola,
Que el indio llama
Y el caminito sabe
Quién es la chola,
Que el indio llama

Se levanta en el cerro
La voz doliente de la baguala
Y el camino lamenta
Ser el culpable
De la distancia.
Y el camino lamenta
Ser el culpable
De la distancia

 

Cantando en el cerro,
Llorando en el río,
Se agranda en la noche
La pena del indio.
El sol y la luna
Y este canto mío
Besaron tus piedras,
Camino del indio.

Atahuapa Yupangui

The tiny Indian Pathway

The little Indian way
The high plain trail
Seeded with stones
The little Indian way
That hugs the valley with stars

The little Indian way
That hugs the valley with stars
 
 

The tiny pathway that ran
from south to north
my ancient race
that formerly in the mountains
Mother earth would darken
that formerly in the mountains
Mother earth would darken
  

Singing in the hills
Weeping in the river
Aggravated in the night
The Indian pain
The sun and the moon
And this song of mine
kiss your stones
The Indian pathway


In the mountainous night the Indian flute weeps its deep nostalgia
And the tiny pathways knows
who the mixed breed is
the Indian calls

And the tiny pathways knows
who the mixed breed is
the Indian calls

 
There rises in the trail
the sad voice of the mustang
And the path laments
being the guilty
of faraway

And the path laments
being the guilty
of faraway


 

Singing in the hills
Weeping in the river
Aggravated in the night
The Indian pain.
 The sun and the moon
And this song of mine
kiss your stones
The Indian pathway


tr. El Zorro

印第安人的小徑

印第安人的小徑
高原印第安人的小道
播滿石塊
印第安人的小徑
以星星襯著山谷
 以星星襯著山谷



 
那從南走至北的小徑
我那古老的民族
曾被大地之母
在山中晒黑
曾被大地之母
在山中晒黑




 在山中歌唱

在河中啜泣
印第安人的哀傷
在黑夜中越覺沉重。  
太陽與月亮
與我這首歌
同吻你的石塊
印第安人的道路。



在山夜中印第安笛
泣訴著深深的懷舊
那小徑懂得
印第安人叫
雜種的是誰
那小徑懂
印第安人叫
雜種的是誰。



山中響起
野馬的哀鳴
而那小路慨嘆著
那遙遠的
內疚
而那小路慨嘆著
那遙遠的
內疚。

 

在山中歌唱
在河中啜泣
印第安人的哀傷
在黑夜中越覺沉重。
太陽與月亮
與我這首歌
同吻你的石塊
印第安人的道路。
 
 


譯: 艾梭羅

2016年7月12日 星期二

Le tengo rabia al silencio (I'm angry at silence)(我惱恨沉默)


I love Spanish songs. For some, the Spanish may speak too rapidly.  But when they sing, they become completely transformed. It's as if they have been taken over by the ancient Muses and another part of their soul finally finds their own voice.





Le tengo rabia al silencio

Le tengo rabia al silencio
por todo lo que perdí.
Le tengo rabia al silencio
por todo lo que perdí. Que no se quede callado
Quien quiera vivir feliz.
Que no se quede callado
Quien quiera vivir feliz.

Un día monté a caballo,
Y en la selva me metí,
Y sentí que un gran silencio
Crecía dentro de mí.
Y sentí que un gran silencio
Crecía dentro de mí.

Hay silencio en mi guitarra
Cuando canto el yaraví,
Hay silencio en mi guitarra
Cuando canto el yaraví,  
Y lo mejor de mi canto
Se queda dentro de mí.
Y lo mejor de mi canto
Se queda dentro de mí.

Cuando el amor me hizo señas,
Todo entero me encendí.
Cuando el amor me hizo señas,
Todo entero me encendí.
Y á fuerza de ser callado,
Callado me consumí.
Y á fuerza de ser callado,
Callado me consumí.

Le tengo rabia al silencio
Por el amor que perdí,

Le tengo rabia al silencio
Por el amor que perdí,
Que no se quede callado
Quien quiera vivir feliz. 
Que no se quede callado
Quien quiera vivir feliz.
I am angry at silence

I am angry at silence
For all it destroyed

I am angry at silence
For all it destroyed
Not know how to keep silent
Whoever would live happy.
Not know how to keep silent
Whoever would live happy.

One day I mounted a horse
And placed myself in the forest
And felt a great silence
Grow in me.
And felt a great silence
Grow in me.

There’s silence in my guitar
When I sing the Indian song
There’s silence in my guitar
When I sing the Indian song
And the best in my song
Stays inside of me
And the best in my song
Stays inside of me.

When love gave me signs
All in me set on fire
When love gave me signs
All in me set on fire
From the need to keep silent
Silence consumed me.
From the need to keep silent
Silence consumed me.

I am angry at silence
For the love it destroyed

I am angry at silence
For the love it destroyed
Not know how to keep silent
Whoever would live happy.
Not know how to keep silent
Whoever would live happy.

(tr. El Zorro)
我惱恨沉默

我惱恨沉默
它熣毀的一切
我惱恨沉默
它熣毀的一切
因它不曉保持緘默
那望活得快樂的人。
因它不曉保持緘默
那望活得快樂的人。

一天我騎馬
我入森林內
一巨大沉寂
在我內升起
一巨大沉寂
在我內升起

當我唱一印第安歌時
我結他沉寂了
當我唱一印第安歌時
我結他沉寂了。
我歌內最好的
停在我內
我歌內最好的
停在我內。

當愛給我訊號時
我整個內心燒著
當愛給我訊號時
我整個內心燒著
被緘默所驅
我被沉默吞噬了。
被緘默所驅
我被沉默吞噬了。

我惱恨沉默
它摧毀的
 我惱恨沉默
毀的
因它不曉保持緘默
那望活得快樂的人。
因它不曉保持緘默
那望活得快樂的人。
(tr. El zorro)