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Tristan Tzara


dada song

1

the song of a dadaist
who had dada in his heart
so over-taxed his ticker
that had dada in its heart

the elevator carried a king
weighty brittle independent
he cut off his long right arm
sent it to the pope in rome

that's why
the elevator
no longer had dada in its heart

each chocolate
wash your brain
dada
dada
drink water


2

song of a dadaist
who wasn't glad wasn't sad
and was in love with a lady cyclist
who wasn't glad wasn't sad

but the husband on new year's day
knew all and in a fit
dispatched to the vatican
their two bodies in three suitcases

neither the lover
nor the lady cyclist
were glad or sad any longer

eat excellent brains
wash your soldier
dada
dada
drink water


3

song of a dadaist
who was dada-hearted
who was then a dadaist
like all the dada-hearted

a snake was wearing gloves
he quickly shut the valve
popped on some snake-skin gloves
and came and kissed the pope

it's touching
belly in flower
no longer had dada in its heart

drink bird milk
wash your chocolates
dada
dada
eat veal








First published in French in 1920 as ‘chanson dada’.
Translation copyright © Lee Harwood, 1987