I plan to include some French songs on this blog in the next few months. So French Pop Lyrics will be a kind of blog within the blog. The reason for this (as you can probably guess) is that I have been learning a bit of French.

Pink Martini are an American band who perform songs in several languages including French and Spanish. In fact their lead singer China Forbes (who co-wrote this song) has recorded in at least ten different languages, which would surely impress even the great Caterina Valente.

This is the title track of Pink Martini’s first album released in 1997. It’s a kind of Edith Piaf pastiche, with words that are loosely based on Apollinaire’s poem ‘Hôtel’. The lyrics are sung extremely clearly which makes it ideal for beginners. NB I took most of my translation from the video above.


Ma chambre a la forme d’une cage
Le soleil passe son bras par la fenêtre
Les chasseurs à ma porte
Comme les petits soldats
Qui veulent me prendre 

Je ne veux pas travailler
Je ne veux pas déjeuner
Je veux seulement l’oublier
Et puis je fume

Déjà j’ai connu le parfum de l’amour
Un million de roses n’embaumerait pas autant
Maintenant une seule fleur dans mes entourages
Me rend malade


Je ne suis pas fière de ça
Vie qui veut me tuer
C’est magnifique être sympathique
Mais je ne le connais jamais


My room is in the form of a cage
The sun passes its arm though the window
The hunters at my door
Like little soldiers
That want to take me away

I don't want to work
I don't want to have lunch
I only want to forget
And so I smoke

I already knew the perfume of love
A million roses couldn't smell so sweet
Now even a single flower around me
Makes me sick.


I'm not proud of
This life that wants to kill me
It's magnificent to be likeable
But I never know how



The verb vouloir means to want (to).

Note the different forms used in the lyrics:

Je veux seulement l’oublier – I (only) want to forget

Qui veut me teur – (It) wants to kill me

Qui veulent me prendre – (They) want to take me away


French negatives use ne….pas around the verb.

Je veux travailler – I want to work

Je ne veux pas travailler – I don’t want to work


F - Dm (2nd verse stay on F)
Gm - C7 - F
F - G
G - C - C+
Chorus: Je ne veux pas...
F - Dm - Gm - C7
F - Dm - Gm - C7
F - A - Dm - Bbm
F - C7 - F
Bridge: Je ne suis pas...
Bbm - F
Bbm - F
E7 - Am
Bbm - C - C+

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