Ne me quitte pas

It’s Music Monday!

This past week I have been thinking about emotion.  In my deliberations and ruminations, I recalled a fantastic song whose lyrics and melody portray raw emotion like few other songs I’ve known.  The song is unbelievably sad and yet, in a strange way, I find it uplifting.  Perhaps it’s a sorrow shared; perhaps it’s the knowledge that sadness complements happiness like sunshine follows rain.

The song speaks for itself, and I give you today a masterful piece of poetry and music by one of the greatest songwriters the world has known:  the haunting Jacques Brel.  The lyrics are in French, obviously, but I offer you my feeble attempt at a translation, not always literal.  I don’t know if it can touch the original, but it’s the best I can do.  There is imagery bar none here, and I wish I had the power to convey emotion in this manner.

As always, if you like this song, please honour the artist and buy it for your own use through the appropriate channel.

Ne Me Quitte Pas by Jacques Brel

Ne me quitte pas / Il faut oublier / Tout peut s’oublier / Qui s’enfuit deja / Oublier le temps /  Des malentendus /  Et le temps perdu /  A savoir comment /  Oublier ces heures /  Qui tuaient parfois /  A coups de pourquoi /  Le coeur du bonheur / Ne me quitte pas

Moi je t’offrirai /  Des perles de pluie /  Venues de pays /  Où il ne pleut pas /  Je creuserai la terre /  Jusqu’apres ma mort /  Pour couvrir ton corps d’or et de lumière /  Je ferai un domaine /  Où l’amour sera roi /  Où l’amour sera loi /  Où tu seras reine /  Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas /  Je t’inventerai /  Des mots insensés /  Que tu comprendras /  Je te parlerai /  De ces amants là /  Qui ont vu deux fois /  Leurs coeurs s’embraser /  Je te racont’rai /  L’histoire de ce roi /  Mort de n’avoir pas /  Pu te rencontrer /  Ne me quitte pas

On a vu souvent /  Rejaillir le feu /  De l’ancien volcan /  Qu’on croyait trop vieux /  Il est paraît-il /  Des terres brûlées /  Donnant plus de blé /  Qu’un meilleur avril /  Et quand vient le soir /  Pour qu’un ciel flamboie /  Le rouge et le noir /  Ne s’épousent-ils pas /  Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas /  Je ne vais plus pleurer /  Je ne vais plus parler /  Je me cacherai là /  À te regarder /  Danser et sourire /  Et à t’écouter /  Chanter et puis rire /  Laisse-moi devenir /  L’ombre de ton ombre /  L’ombre de ta main /  L’ombre de ton chien /  Ne me quitte pas

NOW THIS IS WHERE THE VIDEO WOULD BE. However, I have run into embedding restrictions on this occasion so bear with me and click through to the link instead.  It’s well worth it!

And here’s the English translation by yours truly.

Don’t leave me.  Let’s forget, for everything can be forgotten that has gone. Forget the time of misunderstanding, and the time lost determining how those hours sometimes killed the very heart of happiness by questioning “why”.

Don’t leave me.  I will give you pearls of rain from countries where it never rains.  I will dig up the earth even after my death to cover your body with gold and light.  I will make a kingdom where love will be king, love will be law and you will be queen.  Don’t leave me.

Don’t leave me. I shall invent meaningless words which you’ll understand. I shall tell you about those lovers who found their hearts ignite twice.  I shall you the story of this king who died because he failed to find you.  Don’t leave me.

One has often seen erupt the old volcano believed extinct.  They say there are scorched lands yielding more wheat than the height of April. And when evening makes the sky burst into colour, don’t the red and the black marry well?  Don’t leave me.

Don’t leave me. I’ll cry no more, I’ll speak no more, I’ll hide here to look at you dance and smile and listen to you sing and then laugh. Let me become the shadow of your shadow, the shadow of your hand and the shadow of your dog, but don’t leave me.

Now, then: is there a dry eye in the house? 🙂 xx

9 responses to “Ne me quitte pas

  1. Yes, this is a song that always chokes me up, especially with Jacques Brel’s voice nearly breaking, whispering, coaxing…

    • Wasn’t he amazing? Oh to have seen him live. The thing that always gets me is the shadows at the end… Knew you would love this one! Have a happy day, sad song on my blog notwithstanding. 🙂

  2. Reminds me of “our song,” the one my husband and I first danced to during our wedding reception. It’s called Still Loving You by The Scorpions. Such tender lyrics.

  3. Pingback: Rebellious Songs « findingtimetowrite

  4. There’s something about a song sung in French, [sigh]
    Sue x

  5. Now you’ve started me off … blub… blub… about to turn on my James Blunt music – like a good sob sometimes! Lx

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