Les cigarillos

Cigarillos have the advantage of  isolating me
I appreciate the tabacco*
And the consideration
Cigarillos are not like me, stamped with timidness
And their aggersivity
Is quite nuanced
Without ever saying anything that hurts you
They dismiss you with tenderness

Cigarillos often get me tearful goodbyes
From women of quality
And from courtesans
Cigarillos know like me that its not my face
They cry over, but rather
The end of the cuban**
Without waiting for it all to burn
They dissapear in the haze
Les cigarillos ont cet avantage d'faire le vide autour de moi
J'en apprécie le tabac
Et la prévenance
Les cigarillos n'sont pas comme moi, empreints de timidité
Et leur agressivité
Est tout en nuance
Sans vous dire jamais rien qui vous blesse
Ils vous congédient avec tendresse

Les cigarillos me valent bien souvent les adieux éplorés
Des femmes de qualité
Et de courtisanes
Les cigarillos savent comme moi que ce n'sont pas mes beaux yeux
Qu'elles implorent, mais un peu
La fin du havane
Sans attendre que tout se consume
Elles disparaissent dans la brume

* Tabac, in French, has several meanings, one of which is `applause' or `uproar.' I suspect that with the use of the word tabac Gainsbourg is making reference to the effect of the cigarillo, not the product with which it is made. Yet another literal translation which misses the point.

** Instead of Havana (noun) I have used Cuban (noun) which to my mind is more current in my dialect of English.

*** This song, when sung, contains a verse not included in Mon propre rôle, it is :

Ah ! quel tabac
Quel tabac
Quel tabac
Quel tabac 

Which can mean either `Ah what a tabacco!' or `Ah what a scene!'

English translation ©2009 Alex Chabot