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French Music and Vocabulary – Just say no Posted by on Aug 28, 2018 in Culture, Music, Vocabulary

The French verb vouloir is a handy one for expressing what you want. It can also be handy for expressing what you don’t want, as in this song from Camelia Jordana.

Camelia is preforming live at Les Victoires de la Musique a sort of French version of the Grammy Awards. If after listening to this catchy tune you haven’t mastered the correct way to tell someone that you don’t want to do something, well, je ne sais pas comment vous aider! (I just don’t know how to help you!)

Combien de fois faut-il How many times must I
Vous le dire avec style? Tell you with style?
Je ne veux pas sortir au Baron I do not want to go out to the Baron
Non, non, non, non No, no, no, no
Je ne veux pas prendre l´air I do not want to get some air
Non, non, non, non No, no, no, no
Je ne veux pas boire un verre I do not want to get a drink
Non, non, non, non No, no, no
Je ne veux pas l´oublier I do not want to forget about him
Non, non, non, non No, no, no, no
Je ne veux pas m´en passer I don’t want to get let go of it
J´ veux juste aller mal I just want to feel bad
Y a pas de mal à ça There’s nothing wrong with that
Traîner, manger que dalle* Loiter/lie around, eat nothin’ 
Écouter Barbara** Listen to Barbara 
Peut-être qu´il reviendra Maybe he’ll come back
Non, je ne veux pas faire un tour No, I don’t want to take a walk
À quoi ça sert de faire un tour? What’s the point in taking a walk?
Non, je ne veux pas me défaire No, I don’t want to get over it
De ce si bel enfer This oh-so-nice Hell
Qui commence à me plaire That’s starting to please me
Je n´ veux pas quitter mon salon I don’t want to leave my living room
Refrain Chorus
Non, je ne veux pas aller mieux No, I don’t want get better
À quoi ça sert d´aller mieux? What’s the point in getting better?
Non, je ne veux pas m´habiller No, I don’t want to get dressed
Non plus me maquiller Nor put on makeup
Laissez-moi m´ennuyer Let me be bored
Arrêtez avec vos questions Stop with all your questions
Refrain Chorus

* I love this expression. Que dalle is handy in all sorts of situations when you want to express the idea of absolutely nothing, nada, zilch, etc. You can read a bit about it’s origins here.
** Barbara is a well-known French chanteuse whose songs might be just the thing when you’re feeling in that certain leave-me-alone-so-I-can-be-sad kind of mood.

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Lise: Maybe not always. Paris has ways of making people forget. / Jerry: Paris? No, not this city. It's too real and too beautiful. It never lets you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way. / An American in Paris