Mal ô mains / Sanseverino

Sanseverino – Stéphane Sanseverino – is a French singer, songwriter and self-taught guitarist.From famille napolitaine – his music and lyrics are inspired both by the legendary French gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, and also in general par la musique tzigane – by gypsy music.

This title of this song – Mal ô mains – is a popular linguistic deformation/misspelling of the French expression mal aux mains – which means, simply, that your hands hurt. Sanseverino riffs musically and linguistically, making multiple and nearly untranslatable puns about some of the things that make your hands hurt….including, sometimes….your feet! Because, in French, c’est le pied! (literal translation: it’s the foot!) means that something is way way cool – while prendre son pied (literally: to take your foot) means to get off….to reach orgasm.  Which is entirely appropriately since a lot of Sanseverino’s playing and riffing….is musically orgasmic.

And hey, even if you miss half or all the puns….même si t’arrives pas a prendre ton pied (hélas, bordel de merde)…..the music still rocks.

So, here it is.  First the words (in the Beginning Was the Word….though with musicians that’s not always the case).

La version originale –

 

Mal ô mains

 

Pour se rendre utile et passer à l’action

Il suffit juste simplement de s’agiter

Faire les gens qui jouent en évitant les coups

Qu’on se donne à soi en gesticulant sans arrêt.

Les mains toujours au bout des bras

 

CHORUS:

À force de remuer remuer

J’ai mal aux mains, à force de traîner les pieds, j’ai mal aux mains.

À force de remuer remuer

J’ai mal aux mains, à force de traîner les pieds, j’ai mal aux mains.

 

Je gaspille mon énergie, je multiplie les efforts

Pour ne pas avoir tort

Etre faux pour mieux faire vrai c’est bien

Mais c’est beaucoup de travail pour rien

C’est beaucoup de travail pour rien et ça ça fait mal aux mains

 

CHORUS

 

S’agiter dans tous les sens devient

Une espèce de sixième sens, c’est bien

Je multiplie les n’importe quoi

Et je me fais taper sur les doigts

Faire des pieds et des mains c’est bien

C’est le pied mais ça fait mal aux mains.

 

CHORUS

 

 

And then my English translation –

 

Mal ô mains (My Hands Hurt)

 

To be useful and get going

All you have to do is start moving

But watch out you don’t hit yourself

like people do who’re always waving around

their hands at the ends of their arms.

 

CHORUS:

Cause I’m always moving, nonstop moving

my hands hurt!  Cause I’m always dragging my feet.…

my hands hurt!

Cause I’m always moving, nonstop moving

my hands hurt!  Cause I’m always dragging my feet.…

my hands hurt!

 

I’m wasting my energy, trying too hard

to never be wrong

To be a fake so you can be more real, that’s good

but it’s a lot of work for nothing

it’s a lot of work for nothing and

it hurts my hands

 

CHORUS

 

Shaking every which way

kind of like having a 6th sense, that’s good

I multiply the ‘whatever’s

I hit my own fingers

Doing everything you can, that’s good

It’s the bomb, but when you blow

it hurts your hands.

 

CHORUS

 

 

And finally….on va garder le meilleur pour la fin, saving the best for the last…..la musique itself:

 

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