Une Petite Page Ubu

Three songs from Alfred Jarry's Ubu-cycle
translated by Dan Clore.
Illustrated with a woodcut and drawings
made by Alfred Jarry (1873-1907).

Father Ubu,
King of Poland,
Master o' Phynances.

First, 'cuz some of yous maybe ain't acquainted with the feller,
the Pallidins is gonna interduce 'im to yer with a little song:

"Fear 'n' Dread the Redoubtable Master o' Phynances"

Fear 'n' dread the redoubtable Master o' Phynances,
You, little Rentiers, with your pocketed handses,
Don't even think about screamin' until you been skinned!
Comin' to knock your heads right offen your necks
A greazy Pallidin looks sidewise over 'is specks --,
Father Ubu, always standin' up afore the day's break,
Begins 'is 'undred rounds as soon as awake.
He opens the door with a holler and shout,
To where the Pallidins sleep, th'excretinous lout.
His ear bends 'n' hisses 'n' twists all around,
A Pallidin slapped, all -- to the barrell-drum's sound,
Rush down to the courtyard to stand up in lines.
Orders to each of 'em Father Ubu assigns
To fix their destinations, at least for the nonce.
He gives 'em a crust, two or three raw onions,
An' shoves 'em outdoors with a kick in the ass --
Then back to 'is room, at a masterly pace,
An' 'e looks at the time on 'is big amber clock:
"Six o'clock! -- but I'm late! -- great Lob's-cock!
I wastes too much time on that featherbrained flock!
Come on, wake up, milady Mother Ubance,
Gimme the Saber o' Shittle an' the Hook o' Phynance!"
"But," says Mother Ubu, "Monsieur Father Ubiz,
Is there no question of washin' your phiz?"
But that question displeases the Master o' Phynances,
From 'is abhorrible Bâg, suspenders for 'is pantses,
And, whatever the weather, wind, snow, sleet, or hail,
He goes away, stoopin' 'is back under the mornin' gail.

Next, they's gonna interduce thesselves.
The three Pallidins is: Shittinpot, Soilet-Squatt, an' Fourzearwiggles.
Now listen up while they sings:

The Song o' the Pallidins

It's us the Pallidins,
It's us the Pallidins,
We've got rabbit's phizzes,
But that hardly interferes
With us dirty-trick whizzes
When we's out croakin' them Rentiers --
It's us the Pals,
It's us the Dins,
It's us the Pallidins!

In our big boxes o' tin,
We spends the whole week there,
An' it's only on the Sundays
We gets out an' breathes the air.
Ears to the wind, unflabbergasted,
We marches along at a confident pace,
An' all the folkers passin' by
Takes us fer a militerritorial race.

THE THREE: (chorus)

To the tune of a kick on the behind
We wakes up each 'n' ev'ry dawn;
Then half-asleep we gropes on down
A-bucklin' our Lucre-Satchels on.
The rest o' the day, with our Scammer-Hammers
We shatters 'n' scatters the phizzes o' folks
An' then takes back to ole Father Ube
The lucre 'n' pelf o' the murderized blokes.

THE THRE: (chorus)

In our disgorgeous accoutrement
We scours 'n' scrapes through the town
To fash 'em 'n' smash 'em the phizzes o' folks
Who's unluckly enough to bring us down.
Up here we chaws 'n' chomps with a hinge,
An' we pisses through a farcet down here,
An' with this coilin' contortionist tube
We sucks 'n' puffs the fuggin' atmosphere.

THE THREE: (chorus)

Now, since yous all has sat still 'n' paid attention,
Memnon an' the Pallidins is gonna sing:

The Debraining Song

For far too long I worked as a cabinet-maker,
My spouse had the trade of designin' women's attire,
In All-Saints' Parish, Rue du Champ d'Mars,
And we never lacked whatever it was we might desire. --
Whenever Sunday appeared with no cloud in the sky
We went down to watch some debrainin' get done,
Dressed to the nines in our spiffiest raiments,
On the Rue d'l'Echaudé, and have arselves some fun.
See, see the Machine rotatin',
See, see, the brains all aviatin'
See, see, the Rentiers shakin' 'n' quakin';

Asshole-horns, yahoo! -- Long live Father Ubu!

With our two dear brats, faces all covered with jammiwam,
We established our fambly right up on top of a coach,
As wavin' with joy our paper cut-out dolls
The Rue d'l'Echaudé we'd encraptured approach.
In a mob at the barrier they'd rush up to the front
Givin' each other thousands o' knocks on their blocks,
But me, to avoid gettin' blood on mih boots,
I sits mihself up on a big pile o' rocks.
See, see, etc.

Asshole-horns, yahoo! -- Long live Father Ubu!

Soon I 'n' mih wife's all whitened with brains;
We stomps while our brats cram 'em down their gullets,
As we watch the Pallidin branishin' 'is bladiewade,
The wounds all around, and the numbered bullets.
A-sudden I sees the phiz of half-awake jerk-off,
Down in the corner, by the Machine-for-Debrainin',
"My old man," says I, "I knows your rotty-grotty mug,
You robbed me -- when you're gone, I won't be complainin'."
See, see, etc.

Asshole-horns, yahoo! -- Long live Father Ubu!

A-sudden I feels mih sleeve pulled on by mih spouse;
"You old sausage," says she, "now's the time to attack:
Throw a big packet o' crap at the fornicaitiff's phiz,
That Pallidin, there, -- he's just turned 'is back."
Hearing this strumptious reasoning I catches up
Mih courage at a stroke, an' I throws
At the Rentier down there a gigantuesque shittle
That splatters 'n' flatten's on the Pallidin's nose.

See, see, etc.

As soon as I'm thrown over the barrier,
I sees mihself jostled 'n' shoved with a smack
An' arsey-varsey I'm precipicipitated into
The big black hole from which you don't never come back.
An' that's what it's like to go walkin' on Sunday
On the Rue d'l'Echaudé, for to watch 'em debrain,
Runnin' the Pig-Pincers or else the Injurin'-Injun,
Y'goes away all on live, an' returns all to-slain!

See, see, the Machine rotatin',
See, see, the brains all aviatin',
See, see, the Rentiers shakin' 'n' quakin';
Asshole-horns, yahoo! -- Long live Father Ubu!

All text on this page copyright © 1995-2004 Dan Clore.
If you wish to use it any way, please contact me clore@columbia-center.org to get permission first.

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