Cairaguas (cairaguas) wrote in songlations,

"Las Botas Locas" by Sui Generis, English translation of lyrics

"The Crazy Boots" (1974)
Style: Sing-song rock, anti-war song from a young soldier’s perspective
Country: Argentina

Listen:

At YouTube here. The tone reminds me of the novel Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Excellent satirical book, by the way.



Translation:

Chorus:
----------------------------------------------
Yo forme parte de un ejército loco,
Tenía veinte años y el pelo muy corto,
Pero, mi amigo, hubo una confusión,
Porque para ellos el loco era yo.


I was part of a crazy army,
I was twenty years old with very short hair, [*lit. I had twenty years and very short hair]
But, my friend, there was a confusion,
Because for them the crazy one was me.
----------------------------------------------

Es un juego simple el de ser soldado:
Ellos siempre insultan; yo siempre callado.
Descansé muy poco y me puse malo.
Las estupideces empiezan temprano.


It’s a simple game, (the one about) being a soldier:
They always insult; I always keep quiet.
I rested very little and I fell ill.
The stupidities started early. [*lit. The stupidities start early. (tense)]

Los intolerables no entendieron nada,
Ellos decían "Guerra,"
Yo decía: "no, gracias."


The intolerables did not understand anything,
They said, "War,"
I said, "No thanks."

Amar a la Patria bien nos exigieron.
Si ellos son la Patria, yo soy extranjero.


Love your country right, they urged us.
If they are the country, I am a foreigner.

[Chorus: "Yo formé parte de un ejército loco..."]

Se darán cuenta que aquel lugar
Era insoportable para alguien normal,
Entonces me dije: "Basta de quejarme, yo me vuelvo a casa,"
Y decidí largarme.


You will find out that that place
Was intolerable for someone normal,
So I said to myself, "Enough complaining, I am going home,"
And I decided to get out of there.

Les grité bien fuerte lo que yo creía
Acerca de todo lo que ellos hacían.
Evidentemente les cayó muy mal
Y así es que me echaron del cuartel general.


I shouted at them plenty loudly what I believed
About everything they were doing.
Apparently they took it badly
And so they threw me out of headquarters.

[Chorus: "Yo formé parte de un ejército loco..."]

Si todos juntos tomamos la idea
Que la libertad no es una pelela,
Se cambiarían todos los papeles,
Y estarían vacíos muchos más cuarteles.


If we all together run with the idea
That liberty is not a fight,
All the roles (in the script) would change,
And many more barracks would be empty.

Porque a usar las armas -- bien nos enseñaron
Y creo que eso es lo delicado.
Piénselo un momento, señor general,
Porque yo que usted me sentiría muy mal.


Because to use arms -- they sure taught us [*alt. Because they taught us to use arms right]
And I think that is the trouble.
Think about it a moment, Mr. General,
Because I in your shoes would feel very bad.

[Chorus: "Yo formé parte de un ejército loco..."]

Translation Notes:

Evidentemente les cayó muy mal / Y así es que me echaron del cuartel general.
Apparently they took it badly / And so they threw me out of headquarters.

caer mal = to be displeasing; to be disliked; *lit. to go down badly; **super lit. to fall badly

---

Y creo que eso es lo delicado.
And I think that is the trouble.

delicado [adj.] = delicate; sensitive
algo delicado = something delicate; something troublesome; something awkward; some sensitive subject

---

Porque yo que usted me sentiría muy mal.
Because I in your shoes would feel very bad.

yo que usted... = if I were you... [idiomatic]

---

I found the lyrics at this website:
http://www.me.gov.ar/efeme/24demarzo/lasbotas.html

They listed this song as coming from:
"Antología", 1991 - Tema censurado de Pequeñas anéctdotas sobre las instituciones, 1974
"Anthology", 1991 - Censored subject from Short anecdotes about the institutions, 1974

Why is it so hard to find good a good website with relevant mid-20th century history of Argentina? This post feels incomplete without more history links. I just have one.
Tags: sui generis
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