Wolf and the Owl
Poetry, Lyrics, Translations
and Musings by Alex Etchart

Guitar and You

By on Tuesday 20th March, 2012

Translated from ‘Guitarra y Vos’ by Jorge Drexler
Hear me singing it live here.


Here’s to science,
Here’s to poetry,
Here’s to feeling my tongue, while
Yours is wrapped around it so gracefully,
There is water in mud,
Mud in brick,
The brick is on the wall,
And on the wall a photo of you gleams.

It’s true there can be no art without emotion,
No precision without artistry,
Now would we have guitars
If it weren’t for technology,
Metalwork for the pegs,
And nylon for the strings,
The press, the gauge, varnish,
Instruments with which the carpinter sings.

The songwriter and his computer,
The shepherd and his shears,
Say, the alarm of the commuter
As it announces another day,
And if you were to peer through the telescope,
You would watch the
Last… star… fade…

Is manmade,
But it’s how we make use of it,
The counts… today!

The plough, the wheel, the mill,
The table upon which my wine stands still,
The curves of the ferris wheel,
]The pulse, the beat, the feel!
Coffee, typewriters and mirrors,
Lenses to see farther or nearer,
The kennel of a dog, margarine,
Traditional Uruguayan herb tea.

It’s just you and me,
Singing in the shade of our grapevine,
A song which says that you only conserve
What you do not struggle to confine,
And with your body afar,
I have only your mind,
I’ve your mind…
And I got my guitar…

There’s so many things,
I only need two,
My guitar and you,
My guitar and you.

There are cinemas,
There are frying pans
And there are trains,
There’s formulas even to describe
The spiral on the shell of a snail,
What’s more there’s traffic,
Credit and refrains,
V.I.P lounges for after the show ends,
There are hypnotic surveillance cameras,
And ultra-sound pregnancy scans,
Conditions for the constitution of a
Society that never expands,
There are howitzers,
Baby bottles and teats,
There are taboos
And couples kissing in the middle of the street!
There’s hunger…
And endemic obesity,
There’s tea from the root
And dream therapy,
There are designer drugs,
And dogs addicted to said drugs
In customs in first world countries.

There are even
Hands capable of fabricating tools,
Which are used to make
Machines capable of fabricating computers,
That in turn design
Machines capable of fabricating tools
To be used by the hand…

There are infinite words written down:

There’s so many things,
I only need two,
My guitar and you,
My guitar and you.


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i.e. distribute and modify freely for free
so long as you make no money and
maintain this philosophy

Posted in: Translations

Blog owner, singing/strumming person, word speaker, community arts make-happen-er, eco-baby.


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