Monday 30 October 2006
Lyrics from Trois Couleurs - Bleu
The "Song for the Unification of Europe" was composed by Zbigniew Preisner for the 1993 movie "Trois Couleurs - Bleu" which was directed by his friend Krzysztof Kieslowski. The lyrics of this song are in ancient Greek and are taken directly from chapter 13 of the bible book I Corinthians in which Paul speaks of love. Translated to English these lyrics go something like this:
Though I speak the tongues of men and angelsThese lyrics are sung in full during the final minutes of the movie, when Kieslowski gives us a last look on all the characters. Unfortunately, in most versions of the movie the song isn't subtitled and the poetic combination of words and images is completely lost.
if I don't have love
my words sound like noisy brass and clanging cymbals
And though I have the gift of prophecy
and though I understand all mysteries
so that I could remove mountains
if I don't have love, I am nothing
Love is patient, full of goodness
love doesn't envy, isn't boastful or proud
love tolerates all things
believes all things
aspires to all things
endures all things
Love never dies
while prophecies shall fail
languages shall cease
and knowledge shall vanish
Thus then remain these three
faith, hope and love
but the greatest of these is love
Since this final act touched me so much when I saw it with subtitles, I wanted to know the exact Greek lyrics and to learn them by heart. My Greek friend Eleni helped me with a word for word translation, which I present here. Each line is printed three times: first the original bible verse in ancient Greek, then again in Latin letters, and then the word for word translation in English.
I Corinthians 13
Εαν ταις γλώσσαις των ανθρώπων λαλω και των αγγέλων,
Ean tes glosses ton anthropon lalo, ke ton angelon,
Tho the languages of men I-speak, and of angels,
αγάπην δε μη εχω, γέγονα χαλκος ηχων η κύμβαλον αλαλάζον.
agapi de mi echo, jegona chalkos ichon i kimvalon alalazon,
love not I have, noisy gong I-sound and cymbal clanging
και εαν εχω προφητείαν και ειδω τα μυστήρια πάντα
ke ean echo profitian, ke ido ta mistiria panda,
and tho I-have prophecy, and understand the mysteries all
ωστε ορη μεθιστάναι, αγάπην δε μη εχω, ουθέν ειμι.
oste ori methistane, agapin de mi echo, outhen imi.
so-as mountains move, love not I have, nothing I-am
Η αγάπη μακροθυμει, χρηστεύεται
i agapi makrothimi, christefete,
the love suffers, behaves-with-decency,
η αγάπη ου ζηλοι, ου περπερεύεται, ου φυσιουται,
i agapi ou zili, ou perperefete, ou fisioute
the love not jealous, not boastful, not full of pride
πάντα στέγει, πάντα πιστεύει, πάντα ελπίζει, πάντα υπομένει.
panda stegi, panda pistevi, panda elpizi, panda ipomeni.
all bears, all believes, all hopes, all endures
Η αγάπη ουδέποτε πίπτει. ειτε δε προφητειαι, καταργηθήσονται.
i agapi oudepote pipti. ite de profitie, katargithisonte.
the love never ends. or though prophecies, deconsecrate
ειτε γλωσσαι, παύσονται. ειτε γνωσις, καταργηθήσεται.
ite glosse, pafsonte. ite gnosis, katargithisete
or languages, cease. or knowledge, deconsecrate
νυνι δε μένει πίστις, ελπίς, αγάπη, τα τρία ταυτα.
nini de meni pistis, elpis, agapi, ta tria tauta.
now then remain faith, hope, love, the three these
μείζων δε τούτων η αγάπη.
mizon de touton i agapi.
greatest of those the love (x3)
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