[lyrics, translation & facts for the opening song from our album >here<]
The opening of the album, Pemp Bolot (five bullets) is a composition from Yann with traditional lyrics. In Brittany, we have lyrics and tunes, and they’re in most of cases not connected to each other, indeed, you may pick up some lyrics and use almost any tune with it. There’s of course some rules regarding their geographic origin, but once you get it, it provides musicians a lot of freedom to use them.
“An Dezertour” is quite popular among singers most probably because it has a very good inner rhythm. It’s one of the first songs Simone remembers having learned. Regarding the story, it may relate to the 19th century Napoleon’s wars, it may also be older but with late changes, the topic is quite a common one in French traditional music, even with the details regarding “the blue scarf to close my eyes” (see translation below) is to be found in French language versions.
The introduction was initially just an idea for a short sequence that Simone wanted to use for this video, she wanted something very ceremonial to go along with the sun dawn, and on which she could add kind of mystic voices.
Only a week before sending the album for manufacturing, we thought that it could be a nice introduction, both for this song and for the album.
Instruments : guitar, violin, darbuka, percussion sounds on introduction : davul samples.
Rythme : gavotte danse.
This slightly different version was recorded live in Beirut last spring.
A pa oan me dezerted ‘ne deus penn ma vatalhoñ
Me a reiñ ur sell war ma lec’h a remark ma c’hapitenn
Ma c’hapitenn oe war warc’h Ha setu me war droad
Ha neo a ket bet gwall bell evit donnet d’em zapat
Distroet ‘ta den yaouank da remplis da vatalhion
Pe rein ma zabrenn en da gosteiz na betek poul da c’halon
Setu me oc’h ober demi-tour evit monet d’em c’hazern
Gant ma botou dilasset ha ma zreid karget ha spern
Em c’hazern pa oan erruet me diwirk ma c’hapoten
Hag a vourrañ ma fusilh ha dispako ma zabrenn
Hag a vourrañ ma fusilh ha dispako ma sabrenn
Kentañ eni a ‘m’oa skoet a oe ma mestr kapiten
Marv eo ma c’hapiten petra ra se din me
Kar ‘benn un dao pe un tri deizh me vo lahret ivez
Gant un mouchoer koton glaz vo mouchet ma daoulagad
Kentan hein a sko ac’hon vo ma brasan kamerad
Kentan hein a sko ac’hon vo ma brasan mignon
Gant pemp bollod ba ma fenn ha pemp all em c’halon
Kameraded d’eus ma vro c’hwi ae d’ar gêr me n’in ket
Na lâret ket d’am zud peseurt marv ‘m’o bet
Po ket med larêt dezhi a vin marv gant kleñved
Peotramant c’hoazh ambarket gant un troup anglezed
When I deserted the army,
I looked back and I saw my Captain
My captain was ridding a horse, I was walking,
It did not take him long to get to me
“Go back young man to your battalion
Or my sword will reach your stomach”
Then I went back to my barracks
With my shoes’ laces undone and thorns in my feet
Once I got there, I took out my JACKET
I started to load my riffle and took out my sword
And I loaded my riffle, and took out my sword
The first one I hurt was my captain
My captain is dead, but it doesn’t mean so much to me
Within two or three days I’ll be dead too
My eyes will be covered with a blue cotton scarf
The first one to shot me will be my best friend
The first one to shot me will be my best companion
With 5 bullets in my head and 5 other in my heart
You companions from the same country, you’ll go back home and I won’t
Don’t tell my family which kind of death I had
You may tell them I’ll be dead out of disease
Or taken by the British army.
Notes: I’m not really familiar with military terms neither in French nor in English. If you notice something strange, let me know I’ll correct it. Also, it’s a personal translation, with no attempt to translate the poetic style.
Another Breton version: http://pagesperso-orange.fr/per.kentel/frame_titres.htm
Version française : http://drapeaurouge.free.fr/chanson_du_deserteur.html