PROVERBES by JAQUES DUTRONC

FRENCH POP LYRICS

Dutronc’s 3rd LP (1969) couldn’t quite match the brilliance of his first two albums. He seemed to be distancing himself from contemporary rock somewhat, happy to be a besuited outsider looking in. That said, there are still some great tracks on it, like ‘Proverbes’. As the title suggests the lyrics contain numerous French sayings, so I’ve tried to find the closest English equivalent rather than translate them literally.

e.g. Il y a loin de la coupe aux lèvres: literally the cup is a long way from the lips

There is a close (if slightly archaic) English equivalent: There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip

I took much of this information from lyrics translate.

This track appears on the playlist of a Readers Recommend topic about songs with Proverbs.

PROVERBES

Ils disent que...
Il y a loin de la coupe aux lèvres
Et que loin des yeux loin du cœur
Mais moi j'ai soif de ta chaleur
Et si tu ne me reviens pas j'en crève

Ventre affamé n'a pas d'oreilles
Mais moi j'ai faim et puis j'entends
J'ai faim de toi et je t'attends
Dans la nuit qui porte conseil

Ils disent que...
L'on n'est jamais trahi que par les siens
Mais moi je ne veux pas les croire
J'ai confiance en toi et mon espoir
Est de me dire que tu reviens

Une de perdue dix de retrouvées
Et que loin des yeux loin du cœur
Mais moi je ne veux t'oublier
Car mon cœur est une montre à l'heure

Je t'en supplie reviens moi, reviens
Avec toi je veux voir le matin
Car sans toi le matin est tout noir

Ils disent que...
Tout ce qui brille n'est pas or
Il faut se méfier de l'eau qui dort
Mais toi la nuit tu es ma flamme
Je veux que tu deviennes ma femme

Il faut prendre son plaisir où il se trouve
Mais mon plaisir sans toi n'existe pas
Sans toi je ne veux faire un pas
Et tous les autres me désapprouvent

Ils disent que...
C'est le temps qui fait la chanson
Et que la nuit porte conseil
Mais tu vois ils n'ont pas raison
Moi la nuit je ne dors pas je veille

Tout est bien qui finit bien
Moi je veux bien les écouter
Croire qu'ils disent la vérité
Ils disent que tu seras là demain

Je t'en supplie reviens moi, reviens
Avec toi je veux voir le matin
Car sans toi le matin est tout noir
PROVERBS

They say that...
There's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip
And that out of sight is out of mind
But I'm thirsty for your heat
And if you don't return I'll burst

There's no reasoning with a starving man
But I'm hungry and I'm still listening
I'm hungry for you and I'm waiting for you
Sleeping on my decision

They say that...
It's those closest to you who betray you
But I don't want to believe it
I have belief in you and my hope
Is to tell myself that you will return.

There are plenty of fish in the sea
And out of sight is out of mind
But I don't want to forget you
Because my heart is a watch that always keeps time

I beg you to come back to me, come back
I want to see tomorrow with you
Because without you the morning is completely dark

They say that...
All that glitters is not gold
You have to watch out for the quiet ones
But you're the light in my night
I would like you to become my wife

You must take your pleasure where you find it
But my pleasure doesn't exist without you
Without you I don't want to take a step
And all the others disapprove of me

They say that...
It's not what you do it's the way that you do it
And that sleeping on it makes you wise
But you see that they are wrong
I don't sleep at night, I watch

All's well that ends well
I'd really like to listen to them
To believe that they're telling the truth
They say that you will be there tomorrow

I beg you to return to me, return
With you I want to see tomorrow
Because without you the morning is completely dark

Advertisements

L’ESPACE D’UNE FILLE by JACQUES DUTRONC

FRENCH POP LYRICS

Another song from Dutronc’s first LP, this time with a more Dylan-ish feel.

L'ESPACE D'UNE FILLE

Je l'ai aimé l'espace d'un amour
Je l'ai aimé l'espace d'une danse
Je l'ai aimé l'espace d'un jour
Je l'ai aimé l'espace intense

Je l'ai aimé l'espace d'une rose
Je l'ai aimé l'espace vital
Je l'ai aimé l'espace morose
Je l'ai aimé l'espace d'un mal

Et ce matin en moi c'est l'espace
L'espace d'un vertige qui se passe
L'espace d'une très mauvaise passe
L'espace d'un coeur qui boit la tasse*

Elle m'a aimé l'espace de ses bras
Elle m'a aimé l'espace d'un cri
Elle m'a aimé l'espace d'une fois
Elle m'a aimé l'espace d'un lit

Et ce matin en moi c'est l'espace
L'espace d'un vertige qui se passe
L'espace d'une très mauvaise passe
L'espace d'un coeur qui boit la tasse*
THE SPACE OF A GIRL

I loved her in the space of a love affair
I loved her in the space of a dance
I loved her in the space of one day
I loved her in an intense space

I loved her in the space of a rose
I loved her in a vital space
I loved her in a gloomy space
I loved her in an evil space

And this morning the space is inside me
The space of a vertigo that is happening
The space where something very bad is happening
The space of a drowning heart*

She loved me in the space of her arms
She loved me in the space of a cry
She loved me in the space of one time
She loved me in the space of a bed

And this morning the space is inside me
The space of a vertigo that is happening
The space where something very bad is happening
The space of a drowning heart*
* Boire la tasse - literally to drink the cup. However I think this is an expression which means 'to drown'.
FRENCH GRAMMAR:
The Passé Composé is constructed in a similar way to the Present Perfect (I Have) in English.
You need to conjugate Avoir (to Have) and then add the Past Participle.
For Aimer (to Love) the past participle is Aimé.
J'ai aimé une fille - I loved a girl

NB You could also translate it as 'I have loved a girl', but in context the past simple sounds better here.

			

HIPPIE HIPPIE HOURRAH by JAQUES DUTRONC

FRENCH POP LYRICS

Wow, the French really love taking the piss, don’t they… Here Jaques Dutronc sings his 1967 satire on hippy culture.

NB I’m not sure what he says at the end of the chorus. Probably it is a made up word. It does sound a bit like mou coûtera, though that doesn’t make much sense – it translates as something like ‘the soft will cost’.

HIPPIE HIPPIE HOURRAH

J'aime les fleurs et la fumée, 
Je ne suis plus un révolté, 
Les Beatniks c'est dépassé, 
Maintenant le monde il faut l'aimer. 

REFRAIN:
Je suis hippie, je suis hippie, 
C'est ma nouvelle philosophie. 
Hippie hippie hourrah! 
Vive le mou coûtera ! *

Ceux qui me cassent la figure, 
Ceux qui me marchent sur les pieds, 
Ceux qui me cognent en voiture, 
Ceux qui me cognent sur le nez, 

Papa, Maman, toute la famille, 
L'eglise, l'armée et la patrie, 
Je les aime, Je les aime, Je les aime. 

REFRAIN

Je me suis tatoué, des fleurs, 
Sur la poitrine et puis ailleurs, 
J'ai loué une place sur un bateau, 
Qui partait pour San Francisco. 

REFRAIN

Si vous ne m'aimez pas, 
Ca n'a aucune importance, 
C'est moi qui vous aime 
Et vive la France!

HIPPY HIPPY HOORAY

I like flowers and I like to smoke,
I'm not a rebel anymore,
The Beatniks are passé,
Now the world needs love.

CHORUS:
I'm a hippy, I'm a hippy,
It's my new philosophy.
Hippy hippy hooray!
Long live the mou coûtera! *

The ones who break my face,
The ones who step on my feet,
The ones that bump into my car,
The ones that punch me on the nose,

Mum, dad, the whole family,
The church, the  army and my homeland,
I love them, I love them, I love them.

CHORUS

I have tattoos of flowers,
On my chest and in other places,
I've booked a place on a boat,
That's leaving for San Francisco.

CHORUS

If you don't love me,
It doesn't matter,
It is I who love you
And long live France!
*

MINI, MINI, MINI by JAQUES DUTRONC

FRENCH POP LYRICS SUMMER SPECIAL

HOW TO BE A YÉ-YÉ GIRL: #3 – Have a Rock Star Boyfriend

This track from 1966 is full of wonderfully absurd word play, that surprisingly enough translates quite well into English (except for the final verse). Dutronc qualifies for this yé-yé series because the video features his girlfriend of the time, Françoise Hardy, modelling a mini-skirt. The other big couple in French sixties pop was Sylvie Vartan and Johnny Hallyday.

MINI, MINI, MINI

Petit, petit, petit
Tout est mini dans notre vie
Mini-Moke et mini-jupe
Mini-moche et lilliput
Il est mini Docteur Schweitzer
Mini mini ça manque d'air
Mini-jupe et mini-moque
Miniature de quoi j'me moque
Ministère et terminus
Minimum et minibus

Petit, petit, petit
Tout est mini dans notre vie
Mini-Moke et mini-jupe
Mini-moche et lilliput
Il est mini Docteur Schweitzer
Mini mini ça manque d'air
Mini, mini, mini
Mini, mini, mini, mini

Moi je préfère les maxis
Maxi-moke et maxi-jupe
Maxi-moche et maxi-pute
Il est maxi Docteur Schweitzer
Maxi maxi ça respire l'air
Maxitère et termaxus
Maximum et maxibus
Maxistère et termaxus
Maximum et maxibus
Maxistère et termaxus
MINI, MINI, MINI

Little, little, little
Everything is mini in our life
Mini-Moke* and mini-skirt
Mini-ugly and lilliput
It's a mini Doctor Schweitzer**
Mini mini that lack of air
Mini-skirt and mini-mock
Miniature that makes me laugh
Ministry and terminus
Minimum and minibus

Little, little, little
Everything is mini in our life
Mini-Moke and mini-skirt
Mini-ugly and lilliput
It's a mini Doctor Schweitzer
Mini mini that lack of air
Mini, mini, mini
Mini, mini, mini, mini

Me, I prefer the maxis
Maxi-Moke and maxi-skirt
Maxi-ugly and maxi-bitch
It's a maxi Doctor Schweitzer
Maxi maxi that breath of air
Maxi-stry and ter-maxi-nus
Maximum and maxi-bus
Master and ter-maxi-nus
Maximum and maxi-bus
Master and ter-maxi-nus
.
* A car made made by the Mini company in the mid-sixties. It was sometimes used as a beach buggy.
** A philosopher

			

LES CACTUS by JACQUES DUTRONC

FRENCH POP LYRICS

Jacques Dutronc and Françoise Hardy were the coolest couple in French pop in the 1960s.

This song appears on Dutronc’s debut album from 1966. The same twelve songs appear on his first three EPs (EPs were more popular than singles at the time in France).

Throughout the LP Dutronc spits out the lyrics in a sarcastic one note proto-punk style. Was Johnny Rotten listening back in England?

NB The lyrics are by Jacques Lanzmann, who wrote the words for most of Dutronc’s early songs.

.

LES CACTUS

Le monde entier est un cactus
Il est impossible de s'asseoir
Dans la vie, Il n'y a qu'des cactus
Moi je me pique de le savoir *
Aïe! Aïe! Aïe! Ouille! Aïe! Aïe! Aïe!

Dans leur coeurs, il y a des cactus
Dans leur porte-feuilles, y a des cactus
Sous leur pieds, Il y a des cactus
Dans leur gilets, qu'il est y a des cactus
Aïe! Aïe! Aïe! Ouille! Ouille! Ouille! Aïe!

Pour me défendre de leur cactus
A mon tour j'ai mis des cactus
Dans mon lit, J'ai mis des cactus
Dans mon slip j'ai mis des cactus
Aïe! Aïe! Aïe! Ouille! Aïe! Aïe! Aïe!

Dans leur sourires, il y a des cactus
Dans leur ventres, il y a des cactus
Dans leur bonjours, Il y a des cactus
Dans leur cactus il y a des cactus
Aïe! Aïe! Aïe! Ouille! Aïe!

Le monde entier est un cactus
Il est impossible de s'asseoir
Dans la vie, Il n'y a qu'des cactus
Moi je me pique de le savoir *
Aïe! Aïe! Aïe! Ouille! Aïe! Aïe! Aïe!
THE CACTUS

The entire world is a cactus
It's impossible to sit down
In life there are nothing but cactuses
Me, I prick myself finding out *
Ow! Ow! Ow! Ouch! Ow! Ow! Ow!

In their hearts, there are cactuses 
In their wallets, there are cactuses 
Under their feet, there are cactuses 
Under their vests, there are cactuses
Ow! Ow! Ow! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Ow!

To defend myself against their cactuses 
I myself have put cactuses 
In my bed, I have put cactuses 
In my pants, I have put cactuses 
Ow! Ow! Ow! Ouch! Ow! Ow! Ow!

In their smiles, there are cactuses 
In their bellies, there are cactuses 
In their greetings, there are cactuses 
In their cactuses, there are cactuses
Ow! Ow! Ow! Ouch! Ow!

The entire world is a cactus
It's impossible to sit down
In life there are nothing but cactuses
Me, I prick myself finding out *
Ow! Ow! Ow! Ouch! Ow! Ow! Ow!
.

* I think ‘Je me pique’ is a play on words.

In context: I prick myself (finding out)

However it also means: I pride myself (on finding out)

FRENCH GRAMMAR:
Il y a = There is / There are
It does not change for masculine, feminine or plural. In this way it is similar to 'Hay' in Spanish.
It can be followed by un or une:
Il y a un chaton - There is a kitten
Or by a number:
Il y a deux choses - There are two things
Or by des:
Il y a des enfants - There are some children