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one piece, nico robin

cairaguas in songlations

"La Bala" by Calle 13, English translation of lyrics

"The Bullet"
Album: Entren Los Que Quieran (Enter Whoever Wants To), 2010
Style: Anti-war rock/rap
Country: Puerto Rico

Listen:

At YouTube here. Begins at 0:26. This is a song written about a bullet and its role in conflict. The album won "Album of the Year" in the 2011 Latin Grammy Awards.

[Expand embedded video]

Translation:

[News clip audio about gun violence]

Song:
El martillo impacta la aguja.
La explosión de la pólvora con fuerza empuja,
Movimiento de rotación y traslación,
Sale la bala arrojada fuera del cañón.


The hammer hits the needle.
The explosion of gunpowder pushes forcefully,
Movement of rotation and translocation,
Out comes the bullet shot out of the canon.

Con un objetivo directo,
La bala pasea segura y firme durante su trayecto
Hiriendo de muerte al viento, más rápida que el tiempo,
Defendiendo cualquier argumento.


With a clear objective,
The bullet crosses its trajectory with certainty and firmness,
Mortally wounding the wind, faster than time,
Defending whatever argument.

No le importa si su destino es violento,
Va tranquila, la bala no tiene sentimientos.
Como un secreto que no quieres escuchar,
La bala va diciéndolo todo sin hablar.


It does not care if its destiny is violent,
It goes calmly; the bullet has no feelings.
Like a secret that you do not want to hear,
The bullet says everything without speaking.

Sin levantar sospecha, asegura su matanza,
Por eso tiene llena de plomo su panza.
Para llegar a su presa no necesita ojos
Y más cuando el camino se lo traza un infrarojo.


Without warning, it ensures its kill, [*lit. Without raising suspicion, it ensures its kill]
That’s why it has its belly filled with lead.
To reach its prey, it does not need eyes,
Especially when its path is traced by infrared.

La bala nunca se da por vencida.
Si no mata hoy, por lo menos deja una herida.
Luego de su salida, no habrá detenida,
Obedece a su patrón una sola vez en su vida.


The bullet never gives up. [*lit. The bullet never gives itself up as beaten]
If it does not kill today, at least it leaves behind a wound.
After its exit, there is no stopping it,
It obeys its master just once in its life.

Chorus:
------------------------------------------------------------------
Hay poco dinero, pero hay muchas balas.
Hay poca comida, pero hay muchas balas.
Hay poco gente buena, por eso hay muchas balas.
Cuida’o que ahí viene una. (Pla! Pla! Pla! Pla!)


There is little money, but there are many bullets.
There is little food, but there are many bullets.
There are few good people, that’s why there are so many bullets.
Careful because here comes one. (Plah! Plah! Plah! Plah!)
------------------------------------------------------------------
(x2)

Se escucha un disparo, agarra confianza,
El sonido la persigue, pero no la alcanza.
La bala sacas sus colmillos de acero
Y sin pedir permiso, entra por el cuero.


A shot is heard, it gains confidence,
Sound pursues it, but does not reach it.
The bullet pulls out its steel fangs
And without asking permission, enters through the hide.

Muerde los tejidos con rabia y arranca
El pecho a las arterias para causar hemorragia.
Vuela la sangre batida de fresa,
Salsa boloñesa, syrup de frambuesa.


It bites the tissue with rage and it yanks
The chest toward the arteries to cause hemorrhage.
The blood flies, strawberry milkshake,
Bolognese sauce, raspberry syrup.

Una cascada de arte contemporáneo,
Color rojo vivo, sale por el cráneo.


A cascade of contemporary art,
Vivid red color, exits through the cranium.

[Chorus: "Hay poco dinero, pero hay muchas balas...", x2]

Sería inaccesible el que alguien te mate
Si cada bala costara lo que cuesta un yate.
Tendrías que ahorrar todo tu salario,
Para ser un mercenario, habría que ser millonario.


It would be inaccessible for someone to kill you
If every bullet cost what a yacht costs.
You would have to save up all your salary,
To be a mercenary, you would have to be a millionaire.

Pero no es así, se mata por montones,
Las balas son igual de baratas que los condones.
Hay poca educación; hay muchos cartuchos.
Cuando se lee poco, se dispara mucho.


But it is not like that, there is killing in bulk,
Bullets are as cheap as condoms.
There is little education; there are many cartridges.
When there is little reading, there is a lot of shooting.

Hay quienes asesinan y no dan la cara;
El rico da la orden y el pobre la dispara.
No se necesitan balas para probar un punto.
Es lógico, no se puede hablar con un difunto.


There are those who murder and do not show their face;
The rich man gives the order and the poor execute it.
One does not need bullets to prove a point.
It makes sense, one cannot speak with the deceased.

El diálogo destruye cualquier situación macabra.
Antes de usar balas, disparo con palabras.
Pla! Pla! Pla! Pla!


Dialogue destroys any macabre situation.
Before using bullets, I shoot words.
Plah! Plah! Plah! Plah!

[Chorus: "Hay poco dinero, pero hay muchas balas...", x2]

Translation Notes:

Most notes in text. This was a straight-forward translation, I think. If there are any lines that require explanation, please ask.

Pla! (Plah!) is the sound of a gunshot.

---

Sería inaccesible el que alguien te mate
It would be inaccessible for someone to kill you

{Sería} (inaccesible) (el que) (alguien) {te mate}
{It would be} (inaccessible) ("that") (someone) {kill you}

Comments

(Anonymous)

thanks for the translation...great song!
You're welcome. It is! Thanks for commenting. :-)

(Anonymous)

Im confused about the "el que" which I usually take to mean "that which", in the seria inaccesible el que te mate
In this context, it just means "that" when you translate it to English. The "el" precedes the "que" to present the scenario (que alguien te mate, that/for someone to kill you).

Sería inaccesible el que alguien te mate
It would be inaccessible/impossible for someone to kill you

It can sound a bit strange because you tend to see this usage of "el que" more in writing than speech.
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