Lately I've been working on translations of fado lyrics. First, O Pagem.
When I say translation, I mean free translation, a blend derived from the sounds and rhythms of the piece, a few words of Portuguese in English, and a strand or two of imagination. In this case, I've played it straight, remaining true to the heart of fado (as I understand it) while shifting the setting from Lisbon harbour to the Scarborough bluffs.
Here it is, a piece I call "The Danger":
In the story to remember
Lovers whisper at the shore
Tender words they give each other
In the summer light so warm
Leaning in to every beauty
As if nothing wears away
For a thousand years believing
All that they love will never fail
Thus the making of this story
The unmaking of this scene
So gently do their bodies
Surrender to their dream
They’re immune to any warning
They see nothing in their way
Down the trail they coax each other, every step another
To their final private room
If you see two lovers tell them
Of a danger sweet and true, so sweet and true
Always an end
Nothing else for time to do.