Ne Me Quitte Pas

Posted: November 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

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 (4 fois)

Je t’inventerai
Des mots insensés
Que tu comprendras
Je te parlerai
De ces amants-là
Qui ont vue deux fois
Leurs coeurs s’embraser
Je te raconterai
L’histoire de ce roi
Mort de n’avoir pas
Pu te rencontrer
Ne me quitte pas (4x)

Moi je t’offrirai
Des perles de pluie
Venues de pays
Ou  il ne pleut pas
Je creuserai la terre
Jusqu’apres ma mort
Pour couvrir ton corps
D’or et de lumiere
Je ferai un domaine
Ou  l’amour sera roi
Ou  l’amour sera loi
Ou tu seras reine
Ne me quitte pas (4 fois)

On a vu souvent
Rejaillir le feu
De l’ancien volcan
Qu’on croyait trop vieux
Il est para�t-il
Des terres br�l�es
Donnant plus de bl�
Qu’un meilleur avril
Et quand vient le soir
Pour qu’un ciel flamboie
Le rouge et le noir
Ne s’�pousent-ils pas
Ne me quitte pas (4 fois)

Ne me quitte pas
Je ne vais plus pleurer
Je ne vais plus parler
Je me cacherai l�
� te regarder
Danser et sourire
Et � t’�couter
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 (4 fois)

Don’t leave me. I will invent words for you that don’t make sense, that you will understand. I will tell you about these lovers that saw their hearts kissing twice, I will tell you the story of the king who died of not having been able to meet you. Don’t leave me.

… I will offer you raindrops from countries where it doesn’t rain. I’ll scour the earth, just after my death, to cover your body with gold and light. I’ll make a kingdom where love is king, where love is the law, where you are queen. Don’t leave me.

…Don’t leave me. I won’t cry anymore, I won’t talk anymore. I will hide myself there where I will watch you dancing and smiling. There I will listen to you singing and then laughing. Let me  become the shadow of your shadow, the shadow of  your hand, the shadow of your dog. Don’t leave me.

 But she left him.

Songs like this exist because someobody always leaves.

Even if a relationship lasts a lifetime. Somebody leaves by dying first.

Sometimes I imagine living in a parallel universe where I am with someone who I love forever, and we live in a house like in that Tom Waits song ‘and in that house there is a woman and in that woman there’s a heart that I love, and I’m gonna take it with me when I go’.

But you can’t take it with you.

So the leaving has to happen at some point. It may as well be when you have the energy and the spirit and the strength to listen to your own pain via the voice of Jacques Brel

singing ‘ne me quitte pas’.

But what if you are the one who leaves?

Where are the songs for the one who goes?

Maybe this is it.

  1. Papi50 says:

    QRG, you’re breaking my heart! I lived in Paris when Brel was still concertizing and love this song. It has an English translation (“If you go away”), that’s totally lame. There is a purity of raw sentiment in these lyrics (like in “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” or “Crazy”) that I think only someone like Brel can pull off. Like in the “Chanson des Vieux Amantes,” which I think celebrates the point you make here from the opposite direction.

    You write a deeply-moving commentary. There are plenty of songs for the one who leaves, of course, but they can’t do what this one does. Thanks so much for this post. Fleur and I talk about this a lot, since we knew going in that I’ll probably leave her alone for many years.


  2. I like the Scott Walker version. I think it is a very difficult song to translate but I quite like the ‘If you go away…’ line because it gives that sense of what if? and what he’d be prepared to do to stop the person leaving him. It contains and If… but the deed has already been done.

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