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 You are here: Home > MIDI music! > Work songs > lyrics Lu Capitani de quartié (The Captains of Quarter). Wednesday October 28th 2020, Saints Simon and Jude. 

Lu Capitani de quartié listen the Midi file for this traditional music tune score of this traditional tune
(The Captains of Quarter)
Nissart lyrics and music by Georges Delrieu. Traditional from County of Nice.

Enviscat, lou sièn per la vida,
Lu capitani de quartié ;
Jamai la fachend’es finida
En aquèu maladit mestié !
 Limed, we are for the rest of our life,
The captains of quarter;
Never ends the awkward position
In this damned job!

1st verse
Dins lu palai, maioun, soufièta,
De l’auba fin au calabrun,
Mi cau cuntà à testa quieta
Quant d’ome vièi, jouve, rous, brun ;
Saupre s’emprugni soun li frema,
E se si juega m’au coutèu.
Es bèn perqué lou diau s’estrema :
L’infer vau mai qu’un tau soulèu !
 In the palaces, houses, garrets,
From dawn up to twilight,
I have to count quietly
How much old men, young, auburn, brown [there are];
To know if the women are fighting,
And if it is played with knife.
That’s why the devil hides:
The Hell is better than such a sun!

2nd verse
L’autre jour, per una chamada,
M’an demandat la permessioun.
Couma de just, l’ai accourdada :
Es un dever de li founcioun.
De bram à espessà lu bari !
Bessai cauqu’un es rasclat vièu ?
La chamad’èra un charivari
E noun sabès per qu ?... Per iéu !
 The other day, for a dawn serenade,
They asked me permission.
And of course, I granted:
It’s a duty of my post.
Screams able to break the walls!
May be someone is cut up (1) alive?
The dawn serenade was a hullabaloo
And you’ll never guess for who?... For me!

3rd verse
A ièu m’en arrib’una bella :
Bèu de maioun, audi un tabus,
Cour’ai trovat esta sequella :
Si batton toui, menchoun et gus,
Davan la pouòrta Sant-Antoni.
Bèn ! Lou mi rendon en vuant
D’ençamoun, sus lou suc, un toni !
Ah ! Siguès bouon devers Bertrand !
 To me, a strange thing happens:
I drink at home, I hear a din,
When I found this crowd:
They all fight, simpletons and rogues,
In front of gate Saint-Antoine.
Well! They returned me blow for blow by emptying
From up there (2), on my head, a chamber pot!
Ah! Let be good with Bertrand!

4th verse
Mi fan souonà un autre sèra :
« Una fiha vèn d’enfantà. »
Coura m’an dich lou luec doun èra,
La mièja nuech audi picà.
M’en courri veir’ à la Marina
Se lou bastart naissut es bèu.
Li trovi, souta d’amarina,
Una cagna... me sièi cadèu !
 They sent for me an other evening:
“A girl gave birth.”
When they said me the place where it was,
I hear midnight ringing.
I run to see at the Marine
If the bastard born is beautiful.
I find there, under wicker (3),
A bitch... with its pups!

5th verse
Au fuec ! Au fuec ! cadun cridava.
Per carièra, per careiròu :
Au fuec ! Au fuec ! Castèu cremava.
D’incant li vau m’au roumairòu.
Darrié de ièu cadun cargava
Seia, stagnoun soubre de mùu.
Devinas cenque m’asperava !
Un bram : « Lou fuec, l’avès au cùu ! »
 Fire! Fire! everybody was shouting.
Throughout streets, throughout alleys:
Fire! Fire! The castle was burning.
By fascination, I go there with the watering can.
Behind me, everyone was loadind
Buckets, stagnoun (4) on mules.
Let guess what was helping me!
A shout: “The fire, you get it at your ass!”

1. Rasclà: to scrape, to weed, to hoe, to sweep.
2. D’ençamoun or d’en amoun or damoun, from up there, i.e. through the window.
3. I.e. under wicker baskets, used to carry or to store fishes.
4. Seia: wooden or canvas container, bucket-shaped (from Latin situla, bucket).
   Stagnoun: tinned metal container, intended to contain liquids (from Provençal estanh, pewter).

• Delrieu (Georges), Anthologie de la chanson niçoise (Anthology of the Song from Nice), Nice, publisher Delrieu & Co, 1960, p. 60-61.
• revue Armanac nissart, Nice, 1936, p. 27.


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