I’ve been a fan of Serge Gainsbourg for many years, but only now am I starting to understand his lyrics. The truth is I always thought this song was about a cool coffee house!

It is a track from ‘Gainsbourg Percussions’ (1964). On one of his best albums Gainsbourg daringly introduced exotic world rhythms into his style. Recently his daughter Charlotte has performed a spirited live version (see below).

I took part of the translation from this brilliant site (though I have made several changes):



J'aime ta couleur café
Tes cheveux café
Ta gorge café
J'aime quand pour moi tu danses
Alors j'entends murmurer
Tous tes bracelets
Jolis bracelets
A tes pieds ils se balancent

Couleur café
Que j'aime ta couleur café

C'est quand même fou l'effet
L'effet que ça fait
De te voir rouler
Ainsi des yeux et des hanches
Si tu fais comme le café
Rien qu'à m'énerver
Rien qu'à m'exciter
Ce soir la nuit sera blanche


L'amour sans philosopher
C'est comme le café
Très vite passé
Mais que veux-tu que j'y fasse
On en a marre de café
Et c'est terminé
Pour tout oublier
On attend que ça se tasse


I love your coffee colour
Your coffee hair
Your coffee throat
I love it when you dance for me
I listen to the whispering
Of all your bracelets
Pretty bracelets
At your feet they sway

Coffee color
How I love your coffee color 

Still it's funny the effect
The effect that it has
When I see you roll
Your eyes and your hips
If you're like coffee
Just getting me worked up
Just getting me excited
Tonight will be a sleepless night


Love without philosophising
Is like coffee
Drunk too fast
But what do you want me to do
We grew tired of coffee
And it was over
To forget everything
We wait for it to settle



In the previous French song (‘Où est ma tête?’) we saw the different versions of my: mon / ma / mes

Here we can see the same for you: ton / ta / tes


ta couleur – feminine

tes cheveux – plural

ton cou – masculine


The last of these means ‘your neck’. It’s not from the song which doesn’t include any masculine examples.

NB For the 3rd person singular the pattern is similar: son / sa / ses



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