30 August, 2012

30 August 1945


438th AAA AW BN

APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
30 August, 1945
Nancy
Dearest darling Wilma –

A cloudy cool day again and rather welcome at that, after the rather warm spell we’ve had this week. It was even too hot to play tennis – so some of us just sat around and talked. In the evening we went down to the Officer’s Club – but there wasn’t much doing down there and we got back early. Today I’ve already been notified that our General Court meets at 1000 tomorrow morning and that screws up my plans. I believe I told you about a “rest” camp that battalion has on a lake about 75 miles from here. It’s supposed to be very pretty and I had planned to go tomorrow and stay over until Saturday. Now – that’s out and I’m disappointed, dear. Frankly – I’ve reached that periodic stage when sick-call drives me crazy and I find myself barking at the fellows and I’m very impatient with everyone. It isn’t much work, but it’s seven mornings of every week and I have to see everyone of them that comes in. I’d like a couple of days off but I guess I’ll just have to wait for another opportunity.

Well I received a letter from you yesterday – written 21 August. You had returned from the Cape and found some letters from me. I was particularly pleased to see that my letters are now reaching you in pretty good time. That’s good – because there’s no doubt about how much difference it makes. I get the biggest thrill out of reading a letter of yours actually written in the same week that I’m reading it. It makes me most acutely aware of your closeness to me, and when you write that you love me – I can almost hear you saying it. What an imagination! Well – it does make a difference – just the same!

Say, sweetheart, you wrote me one day that you had had “at least six good drinks” and you didn’t even feel light-headed. What gives? Who’s going to have to cut down on the alcohol, anyway? I’m only kidding, of course – but you know – being able to toss off a couple of drinks without becoming giddy is almost a social prerequisite these days. I wonder what it’s going to be like to be able to go where I want to and when I want to. Three years plus in the Army almost stunts the imagination – along those lines and honestly – it’s difficult to think back. Each soldier will get the same thrill and I suppose the thrill will be even greater for the E.M.

I’m enclosing some sheet music today, dear. I first heard this song in Germany. We were in a home that had a Victrola and we played one record called “Komm Zurüch”. I thought it was a German song. But when we got to France, we found that it was originally a French song “J’attendrai” – a tremendous hit in 1939 when the French were getting ready for war. It’s simple – but play it and see if you don’t get to like it and find yourself humming it. It’s sentimental and I never could hear it or hear it now without thinking of your waiting for me. I’m so happy that you did and still are, sweetheart. It’s such a satisfying thought; it stimulates me, it makes me love you more and more and soon darling, you won’t have to wait. I’ll be there right with you and then – for always.

All for now, dear – love to the folks –
and
All my deepest love –
Greg

* TIDBIT *

about "J'attendrai"


"J'attendrai" (French for "I Will Wait") is a French popular song recorded by Rina Ketty in 1938. It is a translation of the Italian song "Tornerai" (Italian for "You Will Return") composed by Dino Olivieri (music) and Nino Rastelli (lyrics) in 1933, inspired from the Humming Chorus of Puccini's Opera "Madame Butterfly". The French lyrics were written by Louis Potérat. The song was also recorded in German under the title "Komm zurück", in Czech as "Věřím vám", in Swedish as "Blott för dig" and in Polish as "Czekam cię".

Achieving great popularity in its day, the song has since come to be seen as emblematic of the start of World War II.


J'Attendrai sung by Jean Sablon in a 1939 recording
followed by the French Lyrics and an English Translation


French Lyrics

J'attendrai
Le jour et la nuit, j'attendrai toujours
Ton retour
J'attendrai
Car l'oiseau qui s'enfuit vient chercher l'oubli
Dans son nid
Le temps passe et court
En battant tristement
Dans mon coeur plus doux
Et pourtant, j'attendrai
Ton retour

Reviens bien vite
Les jours sont froids
Et sans limite
Les nuits sans toi
Quand on se quitte
On oubli tout
Mais revenir est si doux
Si ma tristesse peut t'émouvoir
Avec ivresse
Reviens un soir
Et dans mes bras
Tout s'oublira

j'attendrai toujours
Ton retour
Car l'oiseau qui s'enfuit vient chercher l'oubli
Dans son nid
Le temps passe et court
En battant tristement
Dans mon coeur plus lourd
Et pourtant, j'attendrai
Ton retour
(Imperfect) Translation of French Lyrics
I shall wait
Day and night
I shall wait forever for
Your return
I shall wait
Because the bird that flies away comes back to find lost memories
in it's nest
Time passes and runs,
my softer heart beating sadly
And yet, I shall await
Your return

Return well quickly, the days are cold
And the nights without you are unending
When one is left, one forgets all
But to return is so soft

If my sadness can intoxicate you,
return one evening
And in my arms
Everything shall be forgotten.

(I shall wait
Day and night)
I shall wait forever for
Your return
(I shall wait)
Because the bird that flies away comes
back to find lost memories
in it's nest
Time passes and runs,
my heavier heart beating sadly
And yet, I shall await
Your return

I shall wait
Day and night
I shall wait for
your return
I shall wait
Because the bird that flees comes
back to find lost memories
in it's nest
Time passes and runs,  
beating sadly
In my heart so heavy
And yet, I shall await
your return

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