Joined: May 2013
||Posted: May 05 2013, 01:56
From the day I listened to TKF for the first time, I have been convinced that the choir in Requiem for a City was singing in French. I remember being surprised by that the first time I heard this track, but it was obvious to me it was in French. It is my mother tongue, so I have no doubt. However, some parts have been more difficult to understand, because of the changes from male to female choir, the orchestral background, and also possibly because the german choir does not pronounce correctly certain words. However, I can clearly recognise three phrases, some of them being repeated throughout the song :
De ces gens-la
Qui reduira la terre en cendres
Quand le juge viendra
These phrases have a meaning, they talk about the earth being burned down to ashes, and when the judge will come, very much related to the subject of this movie. Since I could not recognize clearly the other phrases, I have been searching on the internet if this was not coming from some religious text, in the style of the apocalypse of St John, but I have been unsuccesful so far.
I also wondered why the lyrics would have been in French. I thought that it could have been David Bedford's choice, that he selected some sort of religious poem in relation with the apocalyptic subject of the movie, although I could not find which text it was. I still believe that it must have been some pre-existing text, I can't see why Mike or David would have decided to have some lyrics written in French especially for that track. The only other possible explanation with the choice of this language would be that Cambodia used to be part of Indochina, a French colony. In the TKF movie, French language is heard from time to time; for example, when Pran works as a servant and pretends to be an uneducated taxi driver, his master speaks French to him to uncover him as being an educated man.
I also looked in this Tubular.net forum, thinking that the complete lyrics would be available somewhere. I was surprised they were not. But I was even more surprised to read that people thought it was in Latin or Catalan, although they could not identify one single word of it. The suggested phonetic transcription is even worse, with suggested sounds far away from what I could clearly recognize when listening to the track. Anyway, I am interested in hearing reactions from the other members. I feel at least that I am suggesting a rational explanation for these lyrics.