Jai Deux Amours

by Scotto, Koger, & Varna

English version by Janet Rayor, copyright 1998

On dit qu'au delà des mers

Là-bas sous le ciel clair

Il existe une cité Au séjour enchanté

Et sous les grands arbres noirs, chaque soir

Vers elle s'en va tout mon espoir

 

J'ai deux amours, mon pays et Paris

Par eux toujours Mon coeur est ravi

Ma savane est belle, mais à quoi bon le nier

Ce qui m'ensorcelle c'est Paris, c'est Paris tout entier

Le voir un jour--c'est mon rêve joli

J'ai deux amours mon paie et Paris

 

Quand sur la rive parfois

Au lointain j'aperçois un paquebot qui s'en va

Vers lui je tends les bras

Et le coeur battant d'émoi , A mi-voix

Doucement je dis "emporte-moi !"

Singable English version of chorus:

I have two loves: this, my home, and Paris!

Near them always, my heart is happy.

My home is lovely, but the truth, I can't deny:

The one who holds my heart could only be Paris!

One day I'll see her, it's my own special dream.

I have two loves, this my home, and Paris!

Translation:

It is said that beyond the sea, there,

under the clear sky

exists a city of enchanting holidays.

And under the large black trees each night

towards her goes all my hope.

 

I have two loves: my country and Paris.

By them always, my heart is radiant.

My savanna* is lovely, but what is the use of denying

the one that enchants me is Paris, it’s Paris entirely!

I’ll see her one day, it’s my lovely dream.

I have two loves: my country and Paris.

When on the river, sometimes, faraway I catch a glimpse of an ocean-liner going there,

towards her I extend my arms, and my heart beats with emotion, and under my breath sweetly I say, “Take me!”

 

* Josephine Baker was exoticized, as were many Blacks in France at the time. This places her in the wild African savannas. Actually, she was from St. Louis, from which she’d escaped the wilds of lynchings and burnings. Less romantic!  Yet France treated her as a human being. She worked for the resistance in France, including saving Jews, and later adopted 13 orphans of different races and ethnicities.