l’anj-lan (angels)

Ok.angel sylph

This is about the song Angels by Wax Poetic <and the creole l’anj-lan … angel>.

This is an old song <2003> but I loved it then … and love it now.

In case you do not remember this song … and it’s slightly odd opening … and beautiful Norah Jones vocals … and exotic French light hip hop vocal overlay here you go:

 

Angels Wax Poetic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0QMTnTtjHE

 

I just heard it again and finally did the research into the French portion that I have always been meaning to do.

Oh.

And it isn’t French <per se> but rather Haitian Creole. The lyrics give it an exotic feel and mysteriousness <because you have no clue what the heck she is saying>.

I love the character of both the voices. I tend to like a voice with some depth and mystery to it. I also tend to believe some of the best vocalists are ones that don’t necessarily have the best technical delivery but have some innate ability to reach you in some way that makes you empathize and feel what they’re feeling … joy, sorrow, anger, love, comfort or pain … whatever.

 

Before I get to the translation … about Wax Poetic. New York-based trip-hop band founded by Turkish music guru Ilhan Ersahin in about 1997 <released 1st album in 2000>. The band consisted of a mixed group of musicians jamming together to create a heavy groove of drum ‘n’ bass blended with quick dance elements. Norah Jones was a member before her break-out album Come Away with Me. Other former members include N’Dea Davenport and Saul Williams. Jones can still be heard singing with them on two tracks of their 2003 release, NuBlu Sessions, which has Angels on it.

Ok.

Angels.

 

Here are the basic lyrics:

 

angels wax poetic norah-jones(Norah Jones)
Angels falling through my hair
I want to meet them tomorrow
Angels falling through my hair
I want to meet them tomorrow

 

(Wax Poetic)
Gade kijan n’ap mache
gade kijan n’ape cheche demen
Nou pa men’m gen couraj
Men l’anj-lan ap desann
Pou ba nou couraj
Pou’l ka ba nou fos
Pou nou ka travay
Lap ban nou fos
Pou nou ka rive jus kote nou prale

 

(Voices of Norah Jones and Wax Poetic overlapping)

Angels falling through my hair
I want to meet them tomorrow
Meet them falling through my hair
I want to meet them tomorrow

Menm si ou we ou pa we demen
Wap toujou rive byen lwen
Piga’w rete cheche
Mache, mache
Nap rive byen lwen
Paske nap we demen
Lap ba nou couraj
Pou’n ka we demen
Lap ban nou couraj
Pou nou ka cheche
Nan tout kote ke nou ale
Nape jwen tout sa’n cheche
Paske l’anj-lan…

 

Well.

I googled the Haitian Creole lyrics <once I found out they were Haitian creole … creole is derived from French and African dialects but since its mostly spoken you typically have to see the written form in context in order to translate …  examples … mache = walking … mache = market. So you could say “N’ap mache nan mache a” = We’re walking in the market>.

The translator I found put the literal meaning as well as the intended meaning in parenthesis.

 

Anyway, here is a translation:

 

(Norah Jones)
Angels falling through my hair
I want to meet them tomorrow
Angels falling through my hair
I want to meet them tomorrow

 

(Wax Poetic)
Gade kijan n’ap mache
Look how we’re walking (wandering)

gade kijan n’ape cheche demen
Look how we’re searching for tomorrow

Nou pa men’m gen couraj
We don’t even have courage (strength)

Men l’anj-lan ap desann
Even when the angel is descending

Pou ba nou couraj
To give us courage (strength)

Pou’l ka ba nou fos
To give us force (courage)

Pou nou ka travay
So we can work (endure)

Lap ban nou fos
He’s giving us force (strength)

Pou nou ka rive jus kote nou prale
So we can get to where we’re going (to last us on our journey)

 

(Voices of Norah Jones and Wax Poetic overlapping)
Angels falling through my hair
I want to meet them tomorrow
Meet them falling through my hair
I want to meet them tomorrow

Menm si ou we ou pa we demen
Even if you don’t see tomorrow

Wap toujou rive byen lwen
you’ll still get far

Piga’w rete cheche
Don’t stay behind, searching (Don’t lose yourself in searching)

Mache, mache
Walk, walk

Nap rive byen lwen
We’ll get very far

Paske nap we demen
Becasue we will see tomorrow

Lap ba nou couraj
He will give us courage

Pou’n ka we demen
So we can see tomorrow

Lap ban nou couraj
He will give us courage

Pou nou ka cheche
So we can search (In our search)

Nan tout kote ke nou ale
Everywhere that we go

Nape jwen tout sa’n cheche
We’ll find everything we’re searching

Paske l’anj-lan…
Because (of) the angel

 

Thanks for indulging me.

Good song and I have always been curious as to what the foreign language was and what the lyrics meant.

 

Written by Bruce