Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Great Song From Karat

One of my favourite rock groups of all time is Karat, an East German rock group from the communist era. The more repulsed I am by a political system the greater my fascination with the role of art and music in that society. Sometimes I go to a wishful world where I focus on the similarities between languages instead of the bloody discord of their speakers. Serbs and Croats, Indians and Pakistanis all have a history of armed strife yet each share a language group with a bitter rival. My German Jewish ancestry leaves me with a peculiar relationship to Yiddish, which is linguistically related to German. Despite having fled the Nazis with his parents, my father retained and passed on to me a fondness for the German language. The diverse origins of English deepen my curiousity about Germanic and romance languages in general.
I think so highly of this song "Over Seven Bridges ", that I am including my own decidedly non poetic translation of the song by Karat. The rhythm and flow of the original are beyond my ability to capture in translation. The song eloquently speaks of sadness, despair and hope. The choice of the number seven is at once biblical and evocative of the teen years, which stretch from childhood to the threshold of adulthood. The words resonate profoundly with anyone who has faced long term personal problems or depression. The song empathises with and articulates despair and speaks eloquently of hope.
I am presenting my awkward but functional translation below with thanks to Karat and to You Tube.

Over Seven Bridges by Karat

Sometimes I go in the streets without seeing
Sometimes I just want my rocking horse back
Sometimes I am without peace and quiet
Sometimes all the doors close behind me.
Sometimes everything is hot and cold.
Sometimes I don't know anymore what I know.
Sometimes I'm already tired in the morning.
And then I find consolation in a song.

Over seven bridges you must go,
surviving seven dark years
for seven years you will be like ashes
but then you will shine brightly

Sometimes the clock of life seems to stand still .
Sometimes one seems to only go in circles.
Sometimes one is sick with longing for home.
Sometimes one sits still on a bench.
Sometimes one reaches for the whole world.
Sometimes one feels that one's lucky star has fallen.
Sometimes one takes when one would rather give.
Sometimes you hate those who you really love.

Over seven bridges you must go
Surviving seven dark years.
For seven years you will be like ashes
and then you will shine brightly.

Commentary Copyright 2008 by Magdeburger Joe video from You Tube Song by Karat Sphere: Related Content

No comments: