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French Music – Mylène Farmer Posted by on Apr 24, 2018 in Culture, Literature, Music, Vocabulary

Last week’s song from Calogero, evoking as it did Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s history of airmail and his novels Vol de nuit and Le petit prince, led me to another song that captures a similar spirit… and is from one of my favorite French singers.

Mylène Farmer was already famous in France when I first went there over 30 years ago. A mix of Madonna and Lady Gaga, like both of them she was ahead of her time in artistry – producing music videos that were mini-movies, pushing cultural hot buttons and boundaries of fashion, music, and art. The song below is from her 5th studio album (1999’s Innamoramento) and like Voler de nuit is evocative both in tone and word of Saint-Exupéry.

Flash Info! You can catch Mylène in the new English-language thriller Ghostland (if you dare!) from French director Pascal Laugier. She also has a new album in the works for the fall.

 

Quelle solitude  What loneliness
De mourir sans certitude d’être au moins  To die without the certainty that you’re at least
Une particule  A particle
De vie un point minuscule utile à quelqu’un  Of life even, a tiny dot useful to someone
   
Quelle solitude  Such solitude
D’ignorer ce que les yeux ne peuvent pas voir  To ignore what can’t be seen
   
Le monde adulte  The world of adults
Isolé un monde abrupt  Isolated an abrupt world
Et là, je broie du noir And there I go, now I’m blue (everything looks black)
   
Dessine-moi un mouton  Draw me a sheep
Le ciel est vide sans imagination  The sky is empty with no imagination
C’est ça dessine-moi un mouton  That’s it, draw me a sheep
Redevenir l’enfant que nous étions  Let’s return to the child that we were
Dessine-moi un mouton  Draw me a sheep
Le monde est triste sans imagination  The world is a sad place without imagination
C’est ça dessine-moi un mouton  That’s it, draw me a sheep
Apprivoiser l’absurdité du Monde  Tame the absurdities of the world
   
Quelle solitude  How lonely
De se dire que la morsure du temps n’est rien  To say that the passage (lit. the bite) of time is meaningless
Le rêve est bulle de vie un bien majuscule utile au chagrin  Dreams are bubbles of life, of major import, and useful for sorrow
   
Déconfiture  Collapse
Des pépins mais je veux croire en l’au-delà  Stones but I want to believe in the beyond
Et vivre est dur  And living is hard
Toujours un choix mais je jure que le monde est à moi  There is always a choice but I swear the world is mine
   
Refrain Chorus
   
Il est à moi… x3 It is mine… x3
Il est à moi…Le Monde x3 It is mine… The world x3
   
Refrain Chorus

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Photo of Mylèle Farmer en scène by Clicsouris (Self-photographed) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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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