As vist ?
(Did you see?)
Nissart lyrics and music by Jean-Paul Barelli, Peille. Traditional from County of Nice.
A cry of anger in the face of destruction of the countryside just inland from Nice, since the thirty-year boom period after World War II.
|As vist ? Boscarlai testai negrai,|
I rigauds s’en son anatz.
As vist i san joans en li cimai
Que jamai non son segats,
Pus jamai non son segats ?
| ||Did you see? [The] black-headed warblers,|
The robins went away.
Did you see the lavenders on summits
That are never reaped,
Never again they are reaped?
|Es o tiéu païs que crepa,|
O tiéu païs que fan petar ! (twice)
| ||It’s your country that is dying,|
Your country that they are breaking! (twice)
|As vist aquelai faissai gerpai|
E o olivié qu’a secat ?
As vist aquestai còlai negrai ?
Pins e càes an cremat. (twice)
| ||Did you see these beds (1) lying fallow|
And the olive tree gone dry?
Did you see these black hills?
Pines and cades (2) have burnt. (twice)
|As vist o fum en la valaia,|
O fum blanc amolonat ?
As vist a soca despampalha,
O colet entamenat ? (twice)
| ||Did you see smoke in the valley,|
The white smoke (3) accumulated?
Did you see the defoliated vine stock,
The hill smashed open (4)? (twice)
|As vist ? Per a candelièa,|
Un amendié a floit.
As vist passar en la carrièia
Un beu jove que s’arrit ? (twice)
| ||Did you see? At Candlemas,|
An almond tree blossomed.
Did you see walking in the street
A handsome young man smiling? (twice)
|Vai o païs pòu renaisser|
Mai que segur se non molam.
Si resana, va renaisser
Se toi ensem, toi s’ajuam. (twice)
| ||Go on! The country can reawaken|
More than surely if we don’t flag.
It is getting better, it is coming back to life
If all together, all of us we help each other. (twice)
1. See also La Pesca.
2. Juniper from south of France.
3. Or rather the pollution due to whitish dust hanging in the air, generated by cement works from the Paillon valley.
4. By the quarries extracting gravel from the hills.
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