“El Libro” by La Oreja de Van Gogh, English translation

“The Book” Lyrics
Album: Dile al Sol (Tell the Sun)
Style: Jazzy
Country: Spain
Listen: YouTube


Qué distinto parece el mundo al girar,
Si sonríes sentada en cualquier bar,
Conversando sobre la eternidad.

How different the world looks as it spins,
If you smile sitting in any bar,
Speaking about eternity.

Y entenderla, la vida, es ahora por fin,
Despertar y sólo pensar en ti,
Un deseo que me anima a seguir.

And to understand it, life, is now finally,
To wake up and only think of you,
A wish that motivates me to continue. *

Coro (chorus):

En el libro que te di,
Deja secar ese beso junto a ti.
(Y) no dejes que el tiempo arrugué
Las hoja del libro que te di.

In the book that I gave you,
Let that kiss dry next to you.
(And) do not let time wrinkle
The pages of the book that I gave you.

Cuanto tiempo el cielo nos dejará
Que me arropes con besos de dulce sabor
A la puerte algún día llamará.

How much time will heaven allow us
For you to envelope me with kisses of sweet flavor
One day it will call us to the door.

Hoy presiento que el cielo viene a por mí.
Viene fiero, no quiere vernos reir.
Es un buitre que tengo que combatir.

I preminisce today that the heavens come for me.
It comes fiercely, does not want to see us laugh.
It is a vulture that I must battle.

[Coro: “En el libro que te di…”]

Tanto tiempo escribiendo una historia de amor,
Y es ahora cuando entiendo el dolor,
Que supone tener que decirte adiós.

So much time writing a story of love,
And it is now that I (finally) understand the sorrow,
That comes supposing I must say farewell to you.

[Coro: “En el libro que te di…”]

En el libro que te di…

In the book that I gave you…

Translation Notes:

Conversando sobre la eternidad
Speaking about eternity

conversar = to have a conversation, to converse
It isn’t just speaking. It’s speaking with someone else.

presiento = preminisce
I made up the word “preminisce” (thinking it the opposite of “reminisce”). I ransacked Thesaurus.com to look for a good translation of presentir and didn’t find any that I liked. The closest one was anticipate, though.

Presentir means literally to feel ahead of time. To forebode, except without the overwhelming sense of something ominous. Presentir is more neutral.

Un deseo que me anima a seguir
A wish that motivates me to continue

All the lyrics website say “seguir” but I swear I keep hearing “fingir” (to fake, to pretend). Why would she say that? It makes sense by itself, but not with the rest of the song. Unless she’s talking about the previous conversations about eternity? “Seguir” makes more sense, but I keep replaying the YouTube video and I just can’t hear the beginning “s” sound. I hear an “f” sound. That might be her accent. Could it be? Maybe.

Y es ahora cuando entiendo el dolor
And it is now that I (finally) understand the sorrow
And it is now when I understand the sorrow (the pain) [*literally]


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