Friday, December 12, 2008

Parental Holiday Angst

The holidays suck for a lot of people. And with good reason.

As a new parent (in the grand scheme of things, anyway) I can only imagine the angst of families who have loved ones who are not present. Maybe they have died. Maybe they have a new family. Maybe they are lost and just don't know it.

My husband introduced me to the music of Swedish singer Mauro Scocco back in college. Living in Sweden, I found him derided by my Swedish peers as nothing but a pop artist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Maybe 90s pop isn't your style, but it doesn't mean he doesn't have something important to say. It's not the vehicle, man, it's the message.

Scocco has a song called Hem Till Jul--Home For Christmas. For your Christmas caroling pleasure, I give you the original and the translation*. Listen to a bit of the song here, and I encourage you to download the damn thing if you can. It is 88 cents well spent. Between the guitar and the violins, though you won't understand his words if you are a parent you will understand the angst of uncertainty.

Hem Till Jul/Home For Christmas

Today is a big day
She is leaving from here
She lies in her little girl room
And the sun plays on her hair
And mom says
Are you sure you've packed everything
Because you'll have to take care of yourself

(ref) And dad stands in the window
Without a word and watches her bus leave
And mom waves, she tries to smile
And she says
Surely she'll come home for Christmas

It is quiet at the kitchen table that night
I'm am going out with the dog, he says
and the door shuts again with a bang
Mom says it is the way of the world
And it is something we will get used to, you'll see

(ref) But dad stood in the window
Without a word and watched her bus leave
And mom waved, tried to smile
And said that
Surely she will be home for Christmas

When you are 17 years old
There is nothing you don't understand
No place that is too dangerous
And no problem is too big to be solved

(ref) Her father stood in the window
Without a word and watched her bus leave
Mom waved, tried to smile
And she said
Surely she will be home for Christmas


Hem Till Jul

idag är den stora dan
nu ska hon ta sig härifrån
hon ligger i sitt flickrum
och solen spelar i hennes hår
och mamma säger
du får väl med dig allt
du sköter väl om dig

(ref) och pappa står i fönstret
utan ett ord ser han bussen gå
och mamma vinkar, hon försöker le
och hon säger
hon kommer säkert hem till jul

och det är tyst vid köksbordet samma kväll
jag ska gå ut med hunden säger han
och dörren åker igen med en smäll
mamma säger att det är världens gång
och vi vänjer oss ska du se

(ref) men pappa stod i fönstret
utan ett ord såg han bussen gå
och mamma vinkade, försökte le
och hon sa att
hon kommer säkert hem till jul

när man är sjutton år
finns det inget som man inte förstår
ingen plats är för farlig
och inget problem är för svårt

(ref) hennes pappa stod i fönstret
utan ett ord såg han bussen gå
mamma vinkade, försökte le
och hon sa att
hon kommer säkert hem till jul

*One of the dilemmas in the linguistic world is the argument for pure translation versus content. When a phrase or concept does not exist in another language, how does one convey meaning without corrupting the speakers original intent? As these are song lyrics, I translated them in the spirit I believe the singer intended. It is not a pure translation, and yes I am a nerd.

3 comments:

tysdaddy said...

What a bittersweet lyric. Thanks for sharing . . .

Patois said...

I'm very sad, now, and mine don't leave for six years.

A Free Man said...

What a great Christmas track. Kind of gets the feeling of the season for me this year. Thanks for that.