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Jacques Brel: “Quand on a que l’amour” (When We Have Nothing But Love) Posted by on Feb 9, 2012 in Music, Vocabulary

This French song never gets old. It got all the reasons to be “newsworthy” today. Like being madly full of hope, in face of all the other reasons that make you feel like baisser les bras (giving up)… There will always going to be songs like these, in the words of people, in the songs, in their lyrics, so that le cœur du monde (the heart of the world) keeps beating.


— Mannick, a French Auteur-compositeur-interprète (Singer-songwriter) talking about the Belgian singer‘s
songQuand on a que l’amour” (“When We Have Nothing But Love.”)


A worthy interpretation of the famous Jacques Brel chanson (song) by la magnifique Patricia Kaas

Jacques Brel: “Quand on a que l’amour

Quand on a que l’amour

When we have nothing but love

A s’offrir en partage

To afford sharing

Au jour du grand voyage

On the day of the big trip

Qu’est notre grand amour

That is our big love

Quand on a que l’amour

When we only have love

Mon amour, toi et moi

My love, you and me

Pour qu’éclate de joie

To burst of joy

Chaque heure et chaque jour

Each hour and each day

Quand on a que l’amour

When we only have love

Pour vivre nos promesses

To live our promesses

Sans nulle autre richesse

Without any other wealth

Que d’y croire toujours

Other than to still believe

Quand on a que l’amour

When we have nothing but love

Pour meubler de merveilles

To furnish with marvels

Et couvrir de soleil

And to cover by the Sun

La laideur des faubourgs

The ugliness of the suburbs

Quand on a que l’amour

When we have nothing but love

Pour unique raison

As a unique reason

Pour unique chanson

As a unique song

Et unique secours

And unique rescue

Quand on a que l’amour

When we have nothing but love

Pour habiller matin

To dress the morning

Pauvres et malandrins

Poor people and bandits

Aux manteaux de velours

With feutre coats

Quand on a que l’amour

When we have nothing but love

A s’offrir en prière

To afford as a prayer

Pour les maux de la terre

For the sufferings of the Earth

En simple troubadour

As a simple troubadour

Quand on a que l’amour

When we have nothing but

A offrir à ceux-là

To offer to those people

Dont l’unique combat

Whose unique struggle

Est de chercher le jour

Is to look for the day

Quand on a que l’amour

When we have nothing but love

Pour tracer un chemin

To trace a path

Et forcer le destin

And to force destiny

A chaque carrefour

At each crossroad

Quand on a que l’amour

When we have nothing but love

Pour parler aux canons

To speak to the canons

Et rien qu’une chanson

And nothing but a song

Pour convaincre un tambour

To convince a drum

Alors sans avoir rien

Without having anything then

Que la force d’aimer

Other than the power to love

Nous aurons dans nos mains

We shall have around our hands

Amis, le monde entier

My friends, the whole world

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