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cairaguas in songlations

"Oro Negro" by Ana Tijoux, English translation of lyrics

"Black Gold"
Album: Vengo (I Come), 2014
Style: Poetry, string instruments, slow hip hop elements, anti-war song
Countries: Chile, France

Listen:

Ana Tijoux sings about the human cost of imperialism and instigating conflict for economic or dogmatic interests. Death and war are personified. Listen to Ana's anti-war song at YouTube. Also look at this list of charities that are helping migrants and refugees who crossed the Mediterranean Sea and also this list.

[Expand embedded video]

Songlations is expected to continue having less frequent (monthly) updates until the end of the year at least. I am writing my PhD dissertation on gene regulation in plants and looking for jobs in California right now, so... busy!

Happy independence days to almost all Latin American countries on September 15 and 16, as well as the start of Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States.

Translation:

No mira ni siente, nunca se detiene,
Solo camina con dolor permanente.


It doesn't see or feel, it never stops,
It only walks in permanent pain.

La muerte, mata y mata.
Nunca le basta, ataca y ataca a quien pasa
Por su caminar, sin importar la forma de pensar.


Death, it kills and kills.
It's never satisfied, it attacks and attacks whoever passes,
For how they walk, doesn't matter how they think.

Arrasa con todo, dispara su rojo
Y apunta en el ojo en nombre del oro,
En nombre de banderas y de fronteras,
En nombre de absurdos.


It demolishes with all it's got, it shoots red,
And it aims at eyes in the name of gold,
In the name of flags and borders,
In the name of fools.

Se llama guerra,
Se llama tontera en nombre de la paz.
Vaya locura de que somos capaz.


It's called war,
It's called idiocy in the name of peace.
Wow, what madness we're capable of!

Hijos, niños, familias, gritos,
Balas, bombas, conflictos malditos.
Con ira, con rabia, con tanto, con tanta impotencia,
Tus manos manchadas.


Sons, children, families, screams,
Bullets, bombs, damned conflicts.
With ire, with rage, with so much, with such impotence,
Your hands stained.

¿Cuántos hermanos tendrás que matar?
La tierra que llora se va a desangrar.


How many brothers will you have to kill?
The crying earth is going to bleed out.

Que llegue la vida como un vendaval.
Que brote la vida, que brille con fuerza,
Que irradie su luz y toda su esencia.


Let life come like a forceful wind.
Let life spring up, let it shine brightly,
Let it radiate its light and all its essence.

Ooooh oh oooh... (x6)
Oro negro, oro blanco, oro verde, oro sangre. (x4)


Ooooh oh oooh... (x6)
Black gold, white gold, green gold, blood gold. (x4)

No paran, disparan, deciden y matan,
De traje y corbata, con leyes arrasan.
Patriarcas y jefes o presidentes,
Patrones y amos o terratenientes.


They don't stop, they shoot, decide and kill,
With a suit and tie, they demolish with laws.
Patriarchs and bosses or presidents,
Employers and masters or landowners.

En nombre de Dios, o de seguridad,
En nombre de calma y de tranquilidad,
De cruces, de dogmas, de imperios, coronas,
De credos, petróleo, todo lo devoran.


In the name of God, or safety,
In the name of calm and tranquility,
Of crosses, of dogmas, of empires, crowns,
Of creeds, petroleum, they devour all.

Son terroristas de Estado,
Criminales sueltos, por todos lados.
Ahogan la vida desde su oficina,
Mandando sus tropas a la muerte fija.


They are terrorists of the State,
Loose criminals, everywhere.
They drown life from their office,
Sending their troops to certain death.

Culpables de hacer la tierra sangrar.
Culpables de comunidades matar.
Culpables, culpables de niños llorar,
Culpables de la vida sepultar.


Guilty of making the earth bleed.
Guilty of killing entire communities.
Guilty, guilty of making children cry,
Guilty of burying life.

¿Cuántos hermanos tendrás que matar?
¿Cuántas naciones tendrás que ocupar?
La tierra que llora se va a desangrar,
Por tu poder que no puedes saciar.


How many brothers will you have to kill?
How many nations will you have to occupy?
The crying earth will bleed out
For your power that you can't satisfy.

Que llegue la vida como un vendaval,
Para sembrar flores que quieran cortar.
Que brote la vida, que brille con fuerza,
Que irradie su luz y toda su esencia.


Let life come like a forceful wind,
To sow flowers that they'll want to cut.
Let life spring up, let it shine brightly,
Let it radiate its light and all its essence.

Ooooh oh oooh... (x6)

[Musical interlude]

Ooooh oh oooh... (x6)
Oro negro, oro blanco, oro verde, oro sangre. (x4)


Ooooh oh oooh... (x6)
Black gold, white gold, green gold, blood gold. (x4)

Translation Notes:

Nunca le basta, ataca y ataca a quien pasa
Por su caminar, sin importar la forma de pensar.


It's never satisfied, it attacks and attacks whoever passes
For how they walk, doesn't matter how they think.

To bastar means to be enough, to be sufficient. The reflexive bastarse indicates a minimum satisfaction, usually enough to stop whatever is going on. When people yell, ¡basta! it sounds like "stop!" (and it is used like that), but it literally means "enough!"

In the second line, su caminar means "their walking," but I translated it as "how they walk" for clarity.

---

La tierra que llora se va a desangrar.
The crying earth is going to bleed out.
The earth that cries will bleed itself out. [*lit.]
The earth that is crying will bleed itself out. [*lit.]

---

Que llegue la vida como un vendaval.
Que brote la vida, que brille con fuerza.


Let life come like a forceful wind.
Let life spring up, let it shine brightly.

Here, I wanted to say "forceful wind" for un vendaval (rather than, for example, a strong wind or a gust) because "forceful" has connotations suggesting direction and intention. However, since I used "forceful" in the first line, I didn't want to repeat it for con fuerza [*lit. with force] in the second line. To say "shine with force" sounds a bit strange in English anyway, so I used "shine brightly" instead. It is still a literal translation, but not word-for-word literal.

---

Oro negro, oro blanco, oro verde, oro sangre.

Black gold [petroleum], white gold [valuable metals], green gold [agricultural and forest resources], blood gold [the human toll that gathering riches costs].

---

No paran, disparan, deciden y matan.
They don't stop, they shoot, decide and kill.

The order is relevant here. This is similar to the English idiom "shoot first and ask questions later."

---

Culpables de la vida sepultar.
Guilty of burying life.

To sepultar something is to ceremonially bury it, as for a funeral.

Comments

(Anonymous)

An artist for you to look at when you have a moment

Hey. Hope the dissertation and job hunt are both proceeding smoothly!! Wondering whether you have come across a singer-songwriter called Mon Laferte? She's Chilean, although I understand from friends that she's probably as popular in Mexico as in her home country. The music is pop/rock (with a few heavy metal tracks), but this woman really has a special voice, a real way with words and good supply of simple catchy tunes. Check out "Tu Falta de Querer": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXD3Zm6P8sc (Accoustic version) Or alternatively: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT-VE9OyAJk (Beautifully shot, if somewhat unnerving, official video) Another great one is "Amor Completo": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQlG1gznMBE (You might like this one if you ever fancy translating a rather feisty chorus stuffed full of verbs in the command/imperative tense.) Best wishes, Dave R
purple urchin, dark background

January 2017

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