French Language Blog

Comme Toi (Like You) Posted by on Sep 23, 2012 in Music, Vocabulary

This is the story of a little girl who was barely eight years old.

She lived in Warsaw, Poland.

It was the eve of the Second World War. The horrible Holocaust was about to be unleashed by the Nazis.

All she wanted was to play and enjoy a happy life.

All she wanted was to live her dreams of a child.

She dreamed of frogs and la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping beauty.)

She was just an ordinary girl.

She was juste comme toi (just like you) et moi (and me.)

Comme toi, interpreted by young children who may remind you of the hit French movie “Les Choristes


Elle avait les yeux clairs et la robe en velours

She had light eyes and a velvet dress

A côté de sa mère et la famille autour

Next to her mother and the family around

Elle pose un peu distraite au doux soleil de la fin du jour

She distractedly poses under the mild sun of the end of the day

La photo n’est pas bonne mais l’on peut y voir

The picture is not so clear but we still can notice

Le bonheur en personne et la douceur d’un soir

Happiness personnified and the tenderness of an evening

Elle aimait la musique, surtout Schumann et puis Mozart

She loved music, especially Schumann and Mozart

Comme toi, comme toi, comme toi

Like you, like you, like you

Comme toi que je regarde tout bas

Like you whom I am looking at quietly

Comme toi qui dors en rêvant à quoi?

Like you who sleeps dreaming of what?

Comme toi, comme toi, comme toi

Like you, like you, like you

Elle allait à l’école au village d’en bas

She went to school down at the village

Elle apprenait les livres, elle apprenait les lois

She learned about books, she learned about laws

Elle chantait les grenouilles et les princesses qui dorment au bois

She sung about frogs and Sleeping Beauties

Elle aimait sa poupée, elle aimait ses amis

She loved her doll, she loved her friends

Surtout Ruth, et Anna, et surtout Jérémie

Especially Ruth, Anna, and especially Jeremy

Et ils se marieraient un jour peut-être à Varsovie

And they will one day perhaps marry in Warsaw

Elle s’appelait Sarah elle n’avait pas huit ans

Her name was Sarah, almost eight years old

Sa vie c’était douceur, rêves et nuages blancs

Her life was made of tenderness, dreams, and white clouds

Mais d’autres gens en avaient décidé autrement

But other people had decided otherwise

Elle avait tes yeux clairs et elle avait ton âge

She had your light eyes and she was your age

C’était une petite fille sans histoire et très sage

She was a very well-behaved little girl

Mais elle n’est pas née comme toi ici et maintenant

But she was not born like you here and now

Comme toi, comme toi, comme toi

Like you, like you, like you

Comme toi, comme toi, comme toi

Like you, like you, like you


—Dedicated also to all the Sarahs of our time


The original song “Comme toi” (“Like You”), by Jean-Jacques Goldman:

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