7 Familiar Song Lyrics Translated to English

So that's what that means

Has one of your favourite songs ever had a line in a different language that you have always wanted to know the meaning of? You could’ve just used Google translate. It takes literally 1 second – so that’s what I did.
 

Jack White – “Lazaretto”

LYRIC:
But I dig ditches like the best of em’
Yo tradbajo duro
Como en madera y yeso
Como en madera y yeso

TRANSLATION:
But I dig ditches like the best of ‘ em
I work hard
Like in wood and plaster
Like in wood and plaster

MEANING:
Jack White was taking a shot at the braggadocio of hip hop lyrics and how the artist is often singing about something he hasn’t really done. The character in the song is singing about things he actually does.
 

Beck – “Loser”

LYRIC:
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me

TRANSLATION:
I’m a loser
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me.

MEANING:
When Beck heard himself rapping in the first verse, he thought it was so terrible that he started singing the hook where he calls himself a loser in two different languages.
 

Coldplay – “Viva La Vida”

TITLE:
Viva La Vida (not actually sung in the song)

TRANSLATION:
“Live the Life” or “Long Live Life”.

MEANING:
Chris Martin saw this phrase on a Frida Kahlo painting and wanted to use it as the title of this song.
 

Nena – “Luftballons”

TITLE:
99 Luftballons

TRANSLATION:
99 Air Balloons

MEANING:
The English version of this song is “99 Red Balloons,” so it’s a popular misconception that a luftballon would be a red balloon. Luftballon could be what they call balloons in Germany, or it might be used to promote the meaning of the song, where a bunch of airborne balloons are picked up on military radar as the enemy and fighter jets are scrambled.
 

Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”

LYRICS:
Now, the signals we send, are deflected again
We’re still connected, but are we even friends?
We fell in love when I was nineteen
And I was staring at a screen
Entre la nuit, la nuit et l’aurore.
Entre les voyants, les vivants et les morts.
If this is heaven
I need something more
Just a place to be alone
‘Cause you’re my home

TRANSLATION:
Between the night, night and dawn,
Between the kingdoms, the living in the dead.

MEANING:
This whole song seems to criticize how plugged in our lives are through a relationship that’s flimsy because it was built in the digital age. This comes from the back and forth between Win and Regine, who play the couple in the song (and in real life).
 

Talking Heads – “Psycho Killer”

LYRICS (Final Verse):
Ce que j’ai fait ce soir là
Ce qu’elle a dit ce soir là
Réalisant mon espoir
Je me lance vers la gloire, OK
We are vain and we are blind
I hate people when they’re not polite

TRANSLATION:
What I did last night
What she said last night
Realizing my hope
I’m heading to glory, ok
We are vain and we are blind
I hate people when they’re not polite

MEANING:
This song is literally about a psycho killer, so “heading to glory” could mean getting ready to kill someone?
 

Lana Del Rey – “Carmen”

LYRICS:
Mon amour, je sais que tu m’aimes aussi
Tu as besoin de moi
Tu as besoin de moi dans ta vie
Tu ne peux plus vivre sans moi
Et je mourrais sans toi
Je tuerais pour toi

TRANSLATION:
My love, I know you love me, too
You need me,
You need me in your life,
You cannot live without me,
And I’d die without you,
I would kill for you

MEANING:
This song’s about a free spirited prostitute from Coney Island, so this verse seems to contradict the rest of the song once translated.
 

BONUS:

Ricky Martin – “livin’ La Vida Loca”

LYRICS:
Upside, inside out she’s livin la vida loca
She’ll push and pull you down, livin la vida loca.

TRANSLATION:
Living the crazy life

MEANING:
Doesn’t matter.