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Life too long for sadness

"Mưa hồng", translated by Patrick Gallagher & Xuân Trần

Trời ươm nắng cho mây hồng
Mây qua mau em nghiêng sầu
Còn mưa xuống như hôm nào
Em đến thăm mây âm thầm mang gió lên

Người ngồi đó trông mưa nguồn
Ôi yêu thương nghe đã buồn
Ngoài kia lá như vẫn xanh
Ngoài sông vắng nước dâng lên hồn muôn trùng

Này em đã khóc chiều mưa đỉnh cao
Còn gì nữa đâu sương mù đã lâu
Em đi về cầu mưa ướt áo
Đường phượng bay mù không lối vào
Hàng cây lá xanh gần với nhau

Người ngồi xuống mây ngang đầu
Mong em qua bao nhiêu chiều
Vòng tay đã xanh xao nhiều
Ôi tháng năm, gót chân mòn trên phiếm du

Người ngồi xuống xin mưa đầy
Trên hai tay cơn đau dài
Người nằm xuống nghe tiếng ru
Cuộc đời đó có bao lâu mà hững hờ.


First the sun, then pink clouds
Clouds grow thick, you grow sad
Every day, afternoon
Here you come, rising wind, then rain falls

Sitting there, in your cloud
Oh my love, sadness pours
On the leaves, wet and green
Rivers here, rising fast, find high ground

This time you've cried all afternoon
Even more rain than yesterday
Now you've soaked all your dry clothes
Let me dry all your soaked clothes
Let me mop everywhere you were

Every day in your cloud
Sitting there, choked up voice
Red-blotched eyes, teary face
Too much rain, shoes will rot, feet splashing

Much too much, turn it off
My too ears start to hurt
Close your eyes, hear me sing
For this life lasts too long for sadness

Trịnh Công Sơn
translated by Patrick Gallagher & Xuân Trần


Notes :
Thanks for your encouraging words about my attempts to make English words for some of Trinh Cong Son’s songs. You are welcome to them, and I would be honored if they appeared on TCS Forum.I can’t claim that they are translations, since my first priority was not accuracy but rather to have lyrics that fit the music, and could be sung to the same music. In some places I did something which for an honest translator is a sin, deliberately changing the meaning.

For example at the end of Mua Hong, the original has life too short for sadness. I imagine Anh Son wrote that when he was young. Now that I am old, I know that life is too long for sadness - sadness extended over many years would be even worse than a short sad life. From discussions with people who really know this song, I understand that I haven’t even gotten the main ideas right. I imagined that it was filled with funny exaggeration, intended to cheer up someone who is always too sad, and I tried to write an English version in that spirit.
Pat, 02/14/2006.

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