Gurbe Douwstra is a Frisian musician from Drachten, the Netherlands. I ran into one of his songs on a social network, and it touched me. This is because I have lived the first half of my life in Friesland, a province in the Netherlands, with its own officially recognized language, which we proudly call Frysk. While I don’t speak it, it is still close to me.
By no means am I going anywhere – I like to think that I still have the vigor of life in me. But as the text is beautiful, I wanted to share it with those unfamiliar to Frysk. So here is my attempt to translate his song “as ‘t myn tiid is” from Frysk into English and Japanese.
When it’s my time
When you miss me, have a need of me
or look for guidance, when you daren’t go further
then close your eyes, and stand still for a while
look in your heart, and know that I’ll be there
Don’t be sad, it is as it goes
all that lives, will one day pass away
But just believe me, I mean it sincerely
no single life, long or short, is for naught
So when it’s my time, grieve not too long for me
I’m not far away, I’ll always be near
I’m in your being, I’m in your blood … you’re my blood
Never forget this, my child, and everything will be alright