Cairaguas (cairaguas) wrote in songlations,
Cairaguas
cairaguas
songlations

"Me Llaman Calle" by Manu Chao, English translation of lyrics

I'm back from hiatus! :-)

"They Call Me Street"
Style: Salsa, reggae, ska fusion
Countries: France (born), Spain (parents)

Listen:

Listen to Manu Chao’s song about a prostitute’s thoughts on her identity at YouTube here.

[Expand embedded video]

Translation:

Me llaman calle, pisando baldosa,
La revoltosa y tan perdida.


They call me street, stepping on floor tiles,
The naughty one, and so lost.

Me llaman calle, calle de noche, calle de día.
Me llaman calle, hoy tan cansada, hoy tan vacía.
Como maquinita por la gran ciudad.


They call me street, street by night, street by day.
They call me street, today so tired, today so empty.
Like a little machine around the vast city.

Me llaman calle, me subo a tu coche.
Me llaman calle de malegría.
Calle dolida, calle cansada de tanto amar.


They call me street, I climb onto your car.
They call me street of sorrowful joy.
Street in pain, street tired of so much loving.

Voy calle abajo, voy calle arriba,
No me rebajo ni por la vida.


I go to the low street, I go to the high street,
I do not cut my prices even for my life. [*alt. I do not reduce myself even for life.]

Me llaman calle y ése es mi orgullo.
Yo sé que un día llegará,
Yo sé que un día vendrá mi suerte.


They call me street and that is my pride.
I know that one day it will come,
I know that one day my luck will come.

Un día me vendrá a buscar
A la salida un hombre bueno
Pa’ to’a la vida y sin pagar,
Mi corazón no es de alquilar.


One day he will look for me
As I leave, a good man,
For all of life and without paying,
My heart is not for hire.

Me llaman calle, me llaman calle,
Calle sufrida, calle tristeza de tanto amar.


They call me street, they call me street,
Suffered street, sad street from so much loving.

Me llaman calle, calle más calle.
Me llaman calle, la sin futuro.
Me llaman calle, la sin salida.
Me llaman calle, calle más calle.


They call me street, street the most street.
They call me street, the kind without future.
They call me street, the kind without exit.
They call me street, street the most street.

La que mujeres de la vida
Suben pa’ bajo, bajan para arriba,
Como maquinita por la gran ciudad.


The kind where world-wise women
Rise to the bottom, sink to the top,
Like a little machine over the vast city.

Me llaman calle, me llaman calle.
Calle sufrida, calle tristeza de tanto amar,
Me llaman calle, calle más calle.


They call me street, the call me street.
Suffered street, sad street from so much loving,
They call me street, street the most street.

Me llaman siempre, y a cualquier hora.
Me llaman guapa siempre a deshora.
Me llaman puta, también princesa.


They always call me, and at any hour.
They call me gorgeous always at odd hours.
They call me whore, also princess.

Me llaman calle, es mi nobleza.
Me llaman calle, calle sufrida,
Calle perdida de tanto amar.


They call me street, it is my nobility. [*note: It is like saying that "street" is her noble title.]
They call me street, suffered street,
Street lost from so much loving.

Me llaman calle, me llaman calle,
Calle sufrida, calle tristeza de tanto amar.


They call me street, they call me street,
Suffered street, sad street from so much loving.

A la Puri, a la Carmen, Carolina, Bibiana, Nereida, Magda,
Marga, Heidi, Marcela, Jenny, Tatiana, Rudy, Mónica, María, María.


For Puri, for Carmen, Carolina, Bibiana, Nereida, Magda,
Marga, Heide, Marcela, Jenny, Tatiana, Rudy, Monica, Maria, Maria.

Me llaman calle, me llaman calle,
Calle sufrida, calle tristeza de tanto amar.

[x4, fade]

They call me street, they call me street,
Suffered street, sad street from so much loving.
[x4, fade]

Translation Notes:

Me llaman calle de malegría.
They call me street of sorrowful joy.

Malegría is a portmanteau of mal (bad/ill) and alegría (joy) that Manu Chao made up for this song. According to the World-Reference forums (which cite this), Manu Chao explains the word thus:

Es esa dulce y a la vez amarga emoción que se tiene cuando la alegría y la melancolía se funden en una sola sensación, cuando todo parece ir bien, pero no cómo más nos gustaría.

It is that sweet and at the same time bitter emotion that one has when joy and melancholy fuse together into a single sensation, when everything appears to go well, but not how we would most like it to go.

Es lo que sientes cuando la mujer a la que amas no está a tu lado, pero sabes que es feliz, o cuando un ser querido muere, pero no volverá a sufrir.

It is that which you feel when the woman you love is not by your side, but you know that she is happy, or when a loved one dies, but will not suffer anymore.

Para nosotros no todo está bien, pero por mucho que queramos, no podría ir mejor. Ante eso, lo mejor es hacerse a la idea, resignarse.

For us, not everything is well, but as much as we would like, it could not go better. Confronted with that, the best thing to do is to come to terms with it, to resign oneself.

(Translation mine.)

---

La que mujeres de la vida / suben pa’ bajo / bajan para arriba
The kind where world-wise women / rise to the bottom / sink to the top

mujeres de la vida = lit. women from the life; women of life
pa' = para = for; toward
subir, verb = to rise, to go up
bajar, verb = to sink, to go down
Tags: manu chao
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