La ballade de Melody Nelson (The Ballad of Melody Nelson)

This is the story
Of Melody Nelson
Whom apart from myself no one
Ever took in their arms
That surprises you
But that's how it is
 
She had love
Poor Melody Nelson
Yeah, she had tons of it
But her days were numbered
Fourteen autumns
and fifteen summers
 
A little animal
That Melody Nelson
An adorable little girl
And such a delicious child
Whom I only knew*
For an instant
 
Oh! My Melody
My Melody Nelson
Lovable little idiot
You were the condition
Sine qua non**
Of my reason.

Ça c'est l'histoire
De Melody Nelson
Qu'à part moi-même personne
N'a jamais pris dans ses bras
Ça vous étonne
Mais c'est comme ça

Elle avait de l'amour
Pauvre Melody Nelson
Ouais, elle en avait des tonnes
Mais ses jours étaient comptés
Quatorze automnes
Et quinze étés

Un petit animal
Que cette Melody Nelson
Une adorable garçonne
Et si délicieuse enfant
Que je n'ai con-
Nue qu'un instant

Oh ! Ma Melody
Ma Melody Nelson
Aimable petite conne
Tu étais la condition
Sine qua non
De ma raison.

 *The French line ends in con (though phonetically it's not the same word), or `cunt,' while the next line begins with nue, or `nude.' It is hard to believe that this, and the so called biblical sense of `to know,' would have been lost on G.
 

**`Without which there is nothing.' In this case, an essential ingredient to G.'s sanity.

English translation ©2006 Alex Chabot