Thank You Satan!

[Léo Ferré, 1955]

Pour la flamme que tu allumes
Au creux d’un lit pauvre ou rupin
Pour le plaisir qui s’y consume
Dans la toile ou dans le satin
Pour les enfants que tu ranimes
Au fond des dortoirs chérubins
Pour leurs pétales anonymes
Comme la rose du matin

For the fire you light
In the midst of a poor or rich bed
For the burning pleasure
In cloth or satin
For the children you bring back to life
In their angelic dormitories
For their anonymous petals
Like a rose in the morning

Thank you Satan

Pour le voleur que tu recouvres
De ton chandail tendre et rouquin
Pour les portes que tu lui ouvres
Sur la tanière des rupins
Pour le condamné que tu veilles
A l’Abbaye du monte en l’air
Pour le rhum que tu lui conseilles
Et le mégot que tu lui sers

For the thief you protect
with your tender red sweater
For the doors you open for him
Into the lair of the rich
For the guilty you watch over
at the Abbey of the thief
For the rum you advise him [to drink]
And the cigarette butt you offer him

Thank you Satan

Pour les étoiles que tu sèmes
Dans le remords des assassins
Et pour ce coeur qui bat quand meme
Dans la poitrine des putains
Pour les idées que tu maquilles
Dans la tête des citoyens
Pour la prise de la Bastille
Même si ça ne sert à rien

For the stars you reap
In the remorse of murderers
And for this heart that still beats
In the breasts of whores
For the ideas you disguise
In the minds of the citizens
For the storming of the Bastille
Even though it was useless

Thank you Satan

Pour le prêtre qui s’exaspère
A retrouver le doux agneau
Pour le pinard élémentaire
Qu’il prend pour du Château Margaux
Pour l’anarchiste à qui tu donnes
Les deux couleurs de ton pays
Le rouge pour naître à Barcelone
Le noir pour mourir à Paris

For the priest going mad
Trying to find the gentle lamb
For the most ordinary plonk
That he believes is Chateau Margaux
For the anarchist to whom you give
The two colours of your country
The red to be born in Barcelona
The black to die in Paris

Thank you Satan

Pour la sépulture anonyme
Que tu fis à Monsieur Mozart
Sans croix ni rien sauf pour la frime
Un chien, croque-mort du hazard
Pour les poètes que tu glisses
Au chevet des adolescents
Quand poussent dans l’ombre complice
Des fleurs du mal de dix-sept ans

For the anonymous sepulchre
That you made for Monsieur Mozart
With no cross, nothing, just to show off
A dog, random undertaker
For the poets that you slip
On the bedside table of teenagers
When grows in the conniving shadows
17-year-old Fleurs du mal

Thank you Satan

Pour le péché que tu fais naître
Au sein des plus raides vertus
Et pour l’ennui qui va paraître
Au coin des lits où tu n’es plus
Pour les ballots que tu fais paître
Dans le pré comme des moutons
Pour ton honneur à ne paraître
Jamais à la television

For the sin you bring to life
Within the straightest virtues
For the boredom that will soon come
Into the beds you have left
For the fools you let graze [‘send packing’]
in the fields like sheep
For you honour never to be seen
On television

Thank you Satan

Pour tout cela et plus encore
Pour la solitude des rois
Le rire des têtes de morts
Le moyen de tourner la loi
Et qu’on ne me fasse point taire
Et que je chante pour ton bien
Dans ce monde où les muselières
Ne sont plus faites pour les chiens…

For this and for much more
For the loneliness of kings
The laugh coming from skulls
The ways to twist the laws
And that no one tries to shut me up
And that I sing to your good health
In this world where muzzles
Are no longer used for dogs…

Thank you Satan!

But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge.

We know what followed. The good God, whose foresight, which is one of the divine faculties, should have warned him of what would happen, flew into a terrible and ridiculous rage; he cursed Satan, man, and the world created by himself, striking himself so to speak in his own creation, as children do when they get angry; and, not content with smiting our ancestors themselves, he cursed them in all the generations to come, innocent of the crime committed by their forefathers. Our Catholic and Protestant theologians look upon that as very profound and very just, precisely because it is monstrously iniquitous and absurd. Then, remembering that he was not only a God of vengeance and wrath, but also a God of love, after having tormented the existence of a few milliards of poor human beings and condemned them to an eternal hell, he took pity on the rest, and, to save them and reconcile his eternal and divine love with his eternal and divine anger, always greedy for victims and blood, he sent into the world, as an expiatory victim, his only son, that he might be killed by men. That is called the mystery of the Redemption, the basis of all the Christian religions. Still, if the divine Savior had saved the human world! But no; in the paradise promised by Christ, as we know, such being the formal announcement, the elect will number very few. The rest, the immense majority of the generations present and to come, will burn eternally in hell. In the meantime, to console us, God, ever just, ever good, hands over the earth to the government of the Napoleon Thirds, of the William Firsts, of the Ferdinands of Austria, and of the Alexanders of all the Russias.

Such are the absurd tales that are told and the monstrous doctrines that are taught, in the full light of the nineteenth century, in all the public schools of Europe, at the express command of the government. They call this civilizing the people! Is it not plain that all these governments are systematic poisoners, interested stupefiers of the masses?

I have wandered from my subject, because anger gets hold of me whenever I think of the base and criminal means which they employ to keep the nations in perpetual slavery, undoubtedly that they may be the better able to fleece them. Of what consequence are the crimes of all the Tropmanns in the world compared with this crime of treason against humanity committed daily, in broad day, over the whole surface of the civilized world, by those who dare to call themselves the guardians and the fathers of the people?

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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One Response to Thank You Satan!

  1. Francisco Soler says:

    Quand l’extraordinaire deviens quotidien
    C’est qu’il y a une révolution

    Les splendeurs de ses paroles
    que nous avons lu dans l’Havane
    les étudiants et le peuple de Paris
    l’on fait brouter pour notre joie
    depuis la Commune de Paris jusqu’à Leon de Deufert
    sous un soleil mouillé d’un 13 de mai
    C’est qu’il y a une révolution.

    Une révolution sociale
    comme celle du 19 juillet 1936.

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