"The water's not clear, it's flooded."
February 27, 2019 8:00 AM   Subscribe

Zure ezpainen itsasoan ("In the ocean of your lips") is a torch song by Spanish-Basque pop singer Izaro Andrés Zelaieta, who goes by the stage name Izaro. (SLYT)
posted by nangar (3 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
An attempt at translation:
The water’s not clear, it’s flooded.
This sea’s not salty, it doesn’t ocean.*
There are no cove birds, only coves and inlets,
in the ocean of your lips.

Dancing, swaying in the ocean of your lips,
I’d rock to sleep in your hands,
listening to the heart in your chest.
With every heartbeat, you soften the seconds.
Time still keeps on then, but it doesn’t bother me.
I’m not scared of getting old as long as you’re with me.

The water’s not clear, it’s flooded…

My sand dissolves between your teeth,
and my cliffs on your shoulders.
Your arms are wind-goads of ships,
prodding, the parts of your body that disappear last,
galdu eztenak.**

The water’s not clear, it’s flooded…

I’d like to be a small island there,
to take a break from this world.
I’m not tired of tides and currents.
No one will understand galdu eztenak
in the ocean of your lips.
In the ocean of your lips...
*Kresala is the Basque word for seawater, so it's contradictory to say it's not salty, but in conventional Basque metaphor "salty" usually means "bitter" as in tears. (It’s is an ocean, but not salty that way.) In the second part of the line, itsasten, literally means “cling”, “stick”, “adhere”, but sounds as if it could mean “it doesn’t ocean”.

**The phrase galdu eztenek means “losing stings” (that is, hurts, pain), but references “goads” earlier because it’s the same word, eztenak. (I’m not confident I understand this part.)

(“Cove birds”, by the way, are seagulls.)

posted by nangar at 8:07 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]

Thanks for your diverse "pop" music posts, and I appreciate the translations, too!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:10 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

After posting this, it occurred to me that, as well as meaning several different things, eztenak is also probably a pun on ez denak "what isn't there". So, yeah, the level of word-play going on here is way over my head.
posted by nangar at 9:20 AM on February 28

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