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  1. #1
    Ange ou Demon Amethystos's Avatar
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    Default Alexandra - Illusionen (1968)

    Well I really went surprised after my research about this worldwide hit....
    Couldn't imagine that a song became so famous just a few years after lyricist/singer's premature death.

    So I'm asking for lyrics' translation.



    Link to the complete song -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWuyGc9jEXM

    Lyrics here-> http://www.udojuergens.de/lied/illusionen

    "Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to?
    You will never find that life for which you are looking.
    When the gods created man they allotted to him death,
    but life they retained in their own keeping"

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Tahira's Avatar
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    The singer Alexandra was very very famous in the early 70ies. She died with a car accident.
    The composer Udo Jürgens died suddenly 1 year ago. I would say he was one of the moste famous german/austrian singer and songwriter. His concerts were always sold out.

  4. #3
    Ange ou Demon Amethystos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahira View Post
    The singer Alexandra was very very famous in the early 70ies. She died with a car accident.
    The composer Udo Jürgens died suddenly 1 year ago. I would say he was one of the moste famous german/austrian singer and songwriter. His concerts were always sold out.
    You were close enough Tahira.
    Alexandra was famous from mid sixties till 1969, when she and her mother died cause of a car accident while she was driving.



    Illusionen was released on 1968 some months before the accident.

    Some years prior to this, Udo Jürgens had already wrote "Reach for the Stars" sung by Shirley Bassey on 1961 and also had won ESC on 1965 with "Merci, Chérie".

    According to Udo Jürgens wikipedia link:
    "In addition to recording Cavendish's "Merci, Chérie" lyric, Matt Monro covered five more Jürgens compositions, all with English lyrics (unrelated to the German ones) written by his manager Don Black."

    Since Don Black was the writer of the english lyrics for Mat Monro, and since Shirley Bassey had already released an English cover on 1976, we can surely conclude that Mat Monro firstly sung the english version somewhere between 1970 to 75.

    So this song became a worldwide hit a few years after Alexandra's death.

    BTW I'm still asking for an english translation.
    "Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to?
    You will never find that life for which you are looking.
    When the gods created man they allotted to him death,
    but life they retained in their own keeping"

  5. #4
    Senior Member Tahira's Avatar
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    Illusionen - blühn im Sommerwind,
    treiben Blüten, sie so schön doch so vergänglich sind.
    Pflückt sie erst an deinem Wege die Erfahrung,
    welken sie geschwind.
    Illusionen - schweben sommerblau,
    dort am Himmel deines Lebens, doch du weißt genau,
    jenes wolkenlose Traumbild deiner Phantasie,
    findest du nie.

    Illusions flourish in the summer wind
    sprout flowers being beautiful yet fade
    picked up by experience they will fade quickly.
    Illusions - float blue as the sommer
    but in the sky of your life, you surely know,
    you will never find the cloudless phantasy you dream of


    Illusionen - blühn der Wirklichkeit,
    zum Tanz der Jugendzeit,
    ein erster Hauch von Leid,
    wird sie verwehn.
    Doch so lang ein Mensch noch träumen kann,
    wird sicher irgendwann,
    ein Traum ihm in Erfüllung gehn.

    Illusions flourish against the reality
    with the Dance of youth
    but a first hint of sorrow
    will blow them away
    But as long as man can dream
    surely a dream will come true


    Illusionen - hast du dir gemacht,
    denn der Mensch, den du einst liebtest,
    hat dich ausgelacht,
    und das Wolkenschloß, das du gebaut,
    stürzt ein in einer einz'gen Nacht.
    Und dann fragst du dich, warum muß das sein,
    doch die Antwort sagt dir nur das Leben ganz allein,
    mit der Zeit, erst wenn die Jahre deines Sommers gehn,
    wirst du verstehn.

    You have created illusions
    cause the one you have loved
    has laughed at you
    and the Castle of dreams you have built
    fell down in only one night.
    And then you ask yourself "why this"
    but only live will give you the answer
    only time, when many summers have gone by, will show you
    and you will understand

    Illusionen...


    I tried my best, it was not an easy one. I think I could not really catch the poetic mood of this song and put it in lyrical english.

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  7. #5
    Ange ou Demon Amethystos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahira View Post
    I tried my best, it was not an easy one. I think I could not really catch the poetic mood of this song and put it in lyrical english.
    WOW!

    That's much more "meaningful" than what I was expecting to be.

    Many many times "Thank you" Tahira, cause I can suspect the difficulty of the specific translation.
    And I agree with you that it's truly difficult to carry into another language's translated text the poetry of the original, but believe me you've done a great job with this one!

    So after this we can say that Alexandra could be rightfully considered a good lyricist also!
    "Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to?
    You will never find that life for which you are looking.
    When the gods created man they allotted to him death,
    but life they retained in their own keeping"

  8. #6
    Senior Member Tahira's Avatar
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    Thank you! Thank you thank you.

    But I think the real Composer was Udo Jürgens. I am not sure, just a Feeling. I grew up with Udo Jürgens' Music: he is very very famous in Germany. And his lyrics are always full of meanings.
    I think Alexandra was just the singer and her darf full voice gave the right moody Interpretation to this song.

    But... it's just a Feeling of mine :-)

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  10. #7
    Senior Member feuersteve's Avatar
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    Great job, Tahira, glad to see you on the forum.

    Couple of questions, comments if you don't mind.

    Small typo: sUmmer

    Wolkenschloß - Castle of Dreams.
    I assume that this is a phrase, not to be taken literally as Castle of Clouds, correct?

    I think live is a typo, am I correct?
    What about completely alone?

    doch die Antwort sagt dir nur das Leben ganz allein,
    but only life, completely alone? will give you the answer
    Gott zur Ehr, dem nächsten zur Wehr

    What if they gave a fire and nobody came.

  11. #8
    Senior Member Tahira's Avatar
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    Wolkenschloß: I guess I am right with "castle of dreams".
    Talking about a Wolkenschloß in german it means you have built castles in the air, something you dream of but ist almost impossible to become reality.
    Ist a Phrase.

    oops: live/life, yes typo


    About the last one "but only life will give you the answer"
    I am not sure about the english grammar
    The author wants to say that only life will give the answer,
    only life
    nothing or noone else.
    So is it better to say then: life, completely alone, will give you the answer ?

  12. #9
    Senior Member feuersteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahira View Post
    Wolkenschloß: I guess I am right with "castle of dreams".
    Talking about a Wolkenschloß in german it means you have built castles in the air, something you dream of but is almost impossible to become reality.
    Yes, that's a good translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tahira View Post
    About the last one "but only life will give you the answer"
    I am not sure about the English grammar
    The author wants to say that only life will give the answer, only life nothing or no one else.
    So is it better to say then: life, completely alone, will give you the answer ?
    No, now, due to your explanation, I understand the meaning in German. Completely alone implies to me that someone, not life, is alone.

    It is still very confusing to an English speaker, when the subject and object in a sentence in German are transposed. This is rare in English as the subject invariable is before the verb and the object is after the verb.

    It makes it very hard to connect the right adjectives or prepositions to the correct noun in a sentence.
    Gott zur Ehr, dem nächsten zur Wehr

    What if they gave a fire and nobody came.

  13. #10
    Senior Member Tahira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feuersteve View Post
    It is still very confusing to an English speaker, when the subject and object in a sentence in German are transposed. This is rare in English as the subject invariable is before the verb and the object is after the verb.

    It makes it very hard to connect the right adjectives or prepositions to the correct noun in a sentence.
    Thank you Steve for your help; that's why it is always good to have native speakers here in the Forums.
    The lyrics of this song are written in a poetic way; if talking in daily life you would say it in a much more easier way.
    And that's what it makes it difficult (for me) to put it in adequate english.

    But I think the two of us have made it very well. :-)

  14. #11
    Senior Member feuersteve's Avatar
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    Here is another version with a link that works.
    The verses are in a different order



    Illusionen blüh'n im Sommerwind
    Treiben Blüten, die so schön doch so vergänglich sind
    Pflückt sie erst an deinem Wege die Erfahrung, welken sie geschwind

    Illusionen schweben sommerblau
    Dort am Himmel deines Lebens doch du weißt genau
    Jenes wolkenlose Traumbild deiner Phantasie erfüllt sich nie

    Illusionen blüh'nde Wirklichkeit
    Zum Tanz der Jugendzeit
    Ein erster Hauch von Leid
    Wird sie verweh'n
    Doch solang ein Mensch noch träumen kann
    Wird sicher irgendwann
    Ein Traum ihm in Erfüllung geh'n

    Illusionen hast du dir gemacht
    Denn der Mensch, den du einst liebtest, hat dich ausgelacht
    Und das Wolkenschloß, das du gebaut stürzt ein in einer einz'gen Nacht

    Und dann fragst du dich, warum muß das sein
    Doch die Antwort sagt dir nur das Leben ganz allein
    Mit der Zeit erst, wenn die Jahre deines Sommers geh'n, wirst dur versteh'n

    Illusionen blüh'nde Wirklichkeit
    Zum Tanz der Jugendzeit
    Ein erster Hauch von Leid
    Wird sie verweh'n
    Doch solang ein Mensch noch träumen kann
    Wird sicher irgendwann
    Ein Traum ihm in Erfüllung geh'n
    Gott zur Ehr, dem nächsten zur Wehr

    What if they gave a fire and nobody came.

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