Cairaguas (cairaguas) wrote in songlations,

"Octavo Día" by Shakira, English translation of lyrics

"Eighth Day"
Album: ¿Dónde Están Los Ladrones? (Where Are The Thieves?), 1998
Style: Rock, brunette Shakira
Country: Colombia


This song wonders what God did after creation, and what he's doing now. Listen at YouTube here. Eleven years later, Lily Allen released a similarly speculative song about God called "Him". Both songs have rather pessimistic world views.

[Expand embedded video here]


El octavo día, Dios,
Después de tanto trabajar,
Para liberar tensiones
Luego ya de revisar,

The eighth day, God,
After so much working,
To relieve stress [*lit. To free tensions]
After looking over His work,

Dijo todo está muy bien,
Es hora de descansar,
Y se fue a dar un paseo
Por el espacio sideral.

Said everything is very good,
It is time to rest
And He went for a walk
In the celestial space.

Quien se iba a imaginar que
El mismo Dios al regresar,
Iba a encontrarlo todo
En un desorden infernal.

Who could imagine that
The same God, on returning,
Would find it all
In an infernal chaos.

Y que se iba a convertir en
Un desempleado más
De la tasa que anualmente
Está creciendo sin parar.

And that He would turn into
One more unemployed
In the pool that annually
Increases without stopping.

Desde ese entonces hay
Quienes lo han visto
Solo en las calles transitar.

Since then there's been
Those who have seen Him
Alone on the streets, walking.

Anda esperando
Paciente por alguien
Con quien al menos tranquilo
Pueda conversar.

He is waiting
Patiently for someone
With whom He can at least
Calmly chat.

Mientras tanto
Este mundo gira y gira
Sin poderlo detener.

This world spins and spins
Without stopping. [*lit. Without being able to be stopped.]

Y aquí abajo unos cuantos
Nos manejan
Como fichas de ajedrez.

And down here, a few handfuls
Rule us
Like chess pieces.

No soy la clase de idiota
Que se deja convencer,
Pero digo la verdad
Y hasta un ciego lo puede ver.

I am not the kind of idiot
That is easily convinced,
But I speak the truth
And even a blind person can see it.

Si a falta de ocupación
O de excesiva soledad
Dios no resistiera más
Y se marchara a otro lugar.

If for need of something to do
Or from excessive solitude
God no longer resisted [*alt. God no longer endured it]
And left for someplace else.

Sería nuestra perdición.
No habría otro remedio más
Que adorar a Michael Jackson
A Bill Clinton o a Tarzan.

It would be our undoing.
There would be no other remedy but
To worship Michael Jackson,
Bill Clinton, or Tarzan (instead).

Es más difícil ser rey sin corona
Que una persona más normal.

It is more difficult being king without a crown
Than (being) a more average person.

Pobre de Dios que no sale en revistas,
No es modelo ni artista
O de familia real.

Poor God who does not come out in magazines,
He is not a model, a celebrity,
Or of royal family.

[Chorus x2]

Translation Notes:

Originally translated in 2004 and posted on my Geocities website until October 2009 (here is the archived version). I edited the translation and added some notes in-text.
Tags: shakira

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