Sunday, January 24, 2010
Je Te Plumerai
Here's my advice: If you're going to throw out your back on a Saturday afternoon, do it while engaged in some really butch activity like sawing up a downed tree for firewood. At any rate, don't do it the way I did -- preparing to saw up a downed tree for firewood. Swear to Christ: Got my chainsaw out of the back of the truck, walked it over to the apron of the garage to prep the saw -- chain oil, gas, chain tension adjustment -- put it down on the concrete, and blip went something in the Jingo sacroiliac.
Now I'm walking -- when I walk at all -- all hunched over like a ninety-year-old. It hurts even just to exist, let alone try to lead a normal life.
At least today there's good football to sit and suffer in front of.
In completely unrelated news, it has come to my attention that a childhood earworm song is, when more closely examined, deeply, deeply weird. I have hummed, whistled, and endured the torments of the damned to the melody of the voyageur signature tune "Alouette" since approximately the age of three. Only now, in my 49th year on this planet, have I actually bothered to look up the meaning of the French lyric. I think I'd always assumed that "Alouette" was a woman's name. I couldn't have been more wrong:
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette, je te plumerai
Je te plumerai la tête
Je te plumerai la tête
Et la tête - et la tête
Alouette - Alouette
An "alouette" is a skylark, a bird. Once considered a game-bird, if Wikipedia is to be trusted. That is, something that is eaten after being shot.
"Plumerai": first person future tense of "plumer" -- to pluck. "Je te plumerai la tête," then, may be rendered something akin to "I will pluck the feathers out of your head."
The song then goes on to describe other actions the singer intends to perform on the "gentille" skylark: "I will pluck the feathers out of your beak [huh?], I will pluck the feathers out of your neck, your back," and so on.
I know, I know, autres temps, autres moeurs, I get it, but Jeee-zis! You've got a bird that you've just caught, you're gonna make dinner out of it, and you sit down before you slaughter the thing and describe to it, in direct address and in gory detail, the order in which you are going to dismember its plumage.
And we teach this song to our kids!
Sorry if I just earwormed you. But the story must be told!