• Hoe dom kan je zijn (How wrong can one man be)
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  • Charlie
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Hoe dom kan je zijn (How wrong can one man be)
on: December 27, 2019, 20:35:50
« Last Edit: December 27, 2019, 20:39:43 by Charlie »
This is a translation into Dutch of a Colin Blunstone song 'How wrong can one man be'. I translated it in the 1970's when Colin sang it with his veiled voice, attracted as I was by the almost flippant tone in the lyrics as well as the light-footed accompaniment. I tried to copy both in my Dutch version. It was only fairly recently that I rediscovered my translation and recorded the song. The latter more or less for fun and the sake of the seventies... It is almost a 'bedside song'. This is the first time I share it for review so I would be happy with your comments. Do not spare me and don't hesitate to hit me with your rhythm stick.

Hoe dom kan je zijn            

Het allereerste liedje, dat ik ooit voor je schreef,   
ontstond pas nadat jij vertrokken was;
dacht nooit dat jij zou gaan, en dat je bij me bleef   
wat ben ik toch weer stom geweest!

Zelfs toen je langskwam voor die allerlaatste keer,
hoopte ik dat jij je nog bedacht; maar
je droogde je tranen, schudde je hoofd, en was al bij deur,
wat ben ik toch weer stom geweest!

Hoe dom kan je zijn,
waarom bleek dat wat ik in je zag zo ongerijmd?

Nou adieu, vaarwel, wat jou er ook toe dreef,
kennelijk moest ik je laten gaan;
de fouten die ik maakte, hoop ik dat je mij vergeeft,
wat ben ik toch weer stom geweest!

Hoe dom kan je zijn,
waarom bleek dat wat ik in je zag zo ongerijmd?

Het allereerste liedje, dat ik ooit voor je schreef,
ontstond pas nadat jij vertrokken was;
dacht nooit dat jij zou gaan, en dat je bij me bleef   
wat ben ik toch weer stom geweest!

How wrong can one man be

Funny how the only song I could ever write for you,
Was when you said you'd finally had enough,
Never thought you'd ever say it, never thought you could,
How wrong can one man ever be?

Even when you came around, that last and final time,
I thought that I could kiss away your words,
But you dried your eyes, and shook your head, as I opened the door,
How wrong can one man ever be?

How wrong can you be?
How long does it take to see mistakes you have made?

So farewell, goodbye now, you've broken away,
Well, I feel we'll never, ever meet again,
And, if I made mistakes, well, hope you understood at least some,
How wrong can one man ever be?

How wrong can you be?
How long does it take to see mistakes you have made?

Funny how the only song I could ever write for you,
Was when you said you'd finally had enough,
Never thought you'd ever say it, never thought you could,
How wrong can one man ever be?



If you dig it, do it. If you dig it a lot, do it twice (Jim Croce).


Re: Hoe dom kan je zijn (How wrong can one man be)
Reply #1 on: December 27, 2019, 21:41:52
You know @Charlie , for as many native Dutch speakers that belong to the forum, this is the first time  I've listened to a song that was sung in Dutch.

The style of this song reminds me of a German folk singer named Reinhard Mey. I think it's nicely done.   ::thumb::

I had to google Charlie  Blunstone and was surprised to read he was in the Zombies singing their hit "She's Not There".  Other than that I think his success was mostly in England.

Vince
 


Re: Hoe dom kan je zijn (How wrong can one man be)
Reply #2 on: December 27, 2019, 23:48:11
« Last Edit: December 28, 2019, 11:27:39 by Pleudoniem »
@Charlie Very well done! You asked the forum to be critical, so here it is. I have a comment, but it is not so much on the performance, but on the translation. Thing is: the character in the original song is not ready to admit that he may have made any mistakes, he is confused, and he in fact blames HER. The narrator in your story, however, especially blames himself. Read: 'How long does it take to see mistakes YOU have made?' That could be read generically, as in 'you can't always get what you want', but his own blindness assumes that he in fact thinks that it is she who is making a mistake. And also 'IF I made mistakes...' apparently he has no idea (yet) what may have caused her to leave.

Inbetween the lines then, Blunstone gives you an idea, namely that the narrator has no idea about how she was feeling. He never even wrote any songs for her, except when she left. He even repeats that bit. Furthermore: 'How wrong can a man ever be', in Dutch may be read as: 'ZO fout ben ik nou toch zeker ook weer niet geweest (dat je moest vertrekken)?'

The song will not necessarily get any better if you stay closer to the original, but possibly that was your intention none the less. I don't know. I don't think you should change your lyric. It may be slightly different, but it works well.

Your singing style and intonation reminds me a bit of early Boudewijn de Groot. Your voice only sounds a bit older than his when he used to sing songs in that style.
Pleudoniem: composer; bass guitarist; guitarist; singer; drummer; tap-guitarist - o, and yes... erm- a bit of keys. Open for collabs.
SoundCloud Page: https://soundcloud.com/pleudoniem


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Re: Hoe dom kan je zijn (How wrong can one man be)
Reply #3 on: December 28, 2019, 09:54:57
This is another matter of fact workmanship that I like about your originals and semi originals.
And being compared to Boudewijn de Groot says it all for me.

Hope I can lure you into writing an original again.
But this one? Very nicely done!
Kind regards, Gus


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Re: Hoe dom kan je zijn (How wrong can one man be)
Reply #4 on: December 28, 2019, 19:41:28
« Last Edit: December 28, 2019, 21:30:46 by Charlie »
You know @Charlie , for as many native Dutch speakers that belong to the forum, this is the first time  I've listened to a song that was sung in Dutch.

The style of this song reminds me of a German folk singer named Reinhard Mey. I think it's nicely done.   ::thumb::

I had to google Charlie  Blunstone and was surprised to read he was in the Zombies singing their hit "She's Not There".  Other than that I think his success was mostly in England.

Vince

Thanks, @Vince !
Yes, Colin Blunstone formed part of the Zombies, like e.g. Rod Argent. They both started a solo career after the Zombies split up. Blunstone's major hit was 'I don't believe in miracles' and Argent hit the charts with 'Hold your head up'.
I like Reinhard Mey a lot so the comparison is a compliment. I once translated one of his famous songs 'Wie vor Jahr und Tag'. It's one of my earliest recordings but I'm not shure whether this forum is interested in old(er) stuff.


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Re: Hoe dom kan je zijn (How wrong can one man be)
Reply #5 on: December 28, 2019, 22:07:12
« Last Edit: December 28, 2019, 22:09:38 by Charlie »
@Charlie Very well done! You asked the forum to be critical, so here it is. I have a comment, but it is not so much on the performance, but on the translation. Thing is: the character in the original song is not ready to admit that he may have made any mistakes, he is confused, and he in fact blames HER. The narrator in your story, however, especially blames himself. Read: 'How long does it take to see mistakes YOU have made?' That could be read generically, as in 'you can't always get what you want', but his own blindness assumes that he in fact thinks that it is she who is making a mistake. And also 'IF I made mistakes...' apparently he has no idea (yet) what may have caused her to leave.

Inbetween the lines then, Blunstone gives you an idea, namely that the narrator has no idea about how she was feeling. He never even wrote any songs for her, except when she left. He even repeats that bit. Furthermore: 'How wrong can a man ever be', in Dutch may be read as: 'ZO fout ben ik nou toch zeker ook weer niet geweest (dat je moest vertrekken)?'

The song will not necessarily get any better if you stay closer to the original, but possibly that was your intention none the less. I don't know. I don't think you should change your lyric. It may be slightly different, but it works well.

Your singing style and intonation reminds me a bit of early Boudewijn de Groot. Your voice only sounds a bit older than his when he used to sing songs in that style.

You are absolutely right @Pleudoniem , you hit the nail on the head. From the moment I rediscovered my translation from so long ago I tried to correct it in a way that it would be a literal translation. But I could not get it right in Dutch so I allowed myself the necessary liberty . I tried for a while 'Ik heb me kennelijk vergist' which is in line with the original but it did not work out for me. I am not sure though whether your translation of 'How wrong can one man ever be' is necessarily the right one... I do see it more as 'self-incrimination' like how stupid could I be. Especially since the recurring line in the chorus is: How long does it take to see mistakes you have made?. And I have never interpreted that as accusing the other. But... How wrong can I be! :) Thank you for your extensive reprly and close reading. Much appreciated. I already love this forum.


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Re: Hoe dom kan je zijn (How wrong can one man be)
Reply #6 on: December 28, 2019, 22:27:48
« Last Edit: December 28, 2019, 22:31:14 by Charlie »
This is another matter of fact workmanship that I like about your originals and semi originals.
And being compared to Boudewijn de Groot says it all for me.

Hope I can lure you into writing an original again.
But this one? Very nicely done!
Kind regards, Gus

Thanks, @LePlongeur ! I'll do my best on the next original. This was a bit of a 'tussendoortje'. The theme for a new song is somewhere at the back of my mind but it does not transpire yet. I want to elaborate on a little rhyme I once made in Dutch:

Een hoofd vol van spinsel weegt in beginsel
echt niet veel meer dan het hoofd van een heer
die nog steeds zit te wachten op zijn eerste gedachte.
And does the same holds true for a heart full of love? And if yes, why am I so heavy hearted? Well, you know, the bart in me...  ::e-guitar3::



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