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"Ne me quitte pas" ("Don't leave me") By Jacques Brel

Jacques Brel, in full Jacques Romain Georges Brel, was born April 8, 1929, at Schaerbeeck, Belgium and passed away October 9, 1978, Bobigny, near Paris, France. The Belgian vocalist, composer whose cultured, impassioned ballads got him popularity in Europe and wining him a global following.


Brel started penning narratives and sonnets as a teenager by which after his high school graduation he took a position with his dad's packaging business. While there, he began singing and composing, playing his compositions in Brussels clubs in 1952, and the following year he published his initial record, a single that showcased the ballads “Il y a” (“There Is” or “There Are”) and “La Foire” (“The Fair”). Even Though the single was fairly popular, it grabbed the interest of a French recording executive, who eventually persuaded Brel to move to Paris.


In the following year, Brel commenced singing in French cafés. He broke through with the title song of his second album, Quand on n’a que l’amour (1957; “If We Only Have Love”), and by the end of the decade he was a star in France. His best-known songs, include “Ne me quitte pas” (“Do Not Leave Me”), “Amsterdam,” “Madeleine,” “Les Vieux” (“The Old Ones”), and “La Chanson des vieux amants” (“Song of Old Lovers”), were translated and recorded by numerous singers in other languages. Notable American recordings of Brel’s songs included Damita Jo’s “If You Go Away” (1966), a translation by Rod McKuen of “Ne me quitte pas”; Judy Collins’s “The Dove” (1963), an English-language version of “La Colombe”; David Bowie’s “Amsterdam” (1973) and “My Death” (1983), the latter a translation of Brel’s “La Mort” (1959); and Terry Jacks’s “Seasons in the Sun” (1974), McKuen’s rather cloying translation of Brel’s 1961 song “Le Moribond” (“The Dying Man”). His entire collection are gems only Jaques Brel can articulate what they mean.


The famous Belgian singer-songwriter inhabited boldly on deep passions, mortality and love so much so, this talent would go on to influence many great artists like Nina Simone in 1971

, Céline Dion in her 2012 album - Sans attendre, Johnny Hallyday live at au zenith 1984 and many wonderful musicians around the world.


The lyrics to the song- “Ne me quitte pas” (“Do Not Leave Me”), examines the powerful edicts of love, a man/woman fallen prey to the forces to a formidable magnet, its victims willing to surrender to its control, not knowing what the result maybe thus open to embrace its penalties.


Written in 1959 by Jacques Brel himself, the Guardian columnist-Jeremy Allen stated in a 2016 article, “Brel’s original, inspired by his mistress Zizou, is more cloyingly intense when compared to other variants, almost embarrassingly so at times. Marc Almond, who felt the McKuen lyric was not accurate enough, had it translated again when he recorded his version; he said of the original that it was “a pleading, desperate song – voyeuristic, sexual and sinister”. It may have been recorded hundreds of times in different languages, it may even be Brel’s best known song because of all the versions out there, but nobody sings it more truly than the man who wrote it.”




Lyrics:


French English


Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Il faut oublier We must forget

Tout peut s'oublier All can be forgotten

Qui s'enfuit déjà That has already passed away

Oublier le temps Forget the time

Des malentendus Of misunderstandings

Et le temps perdu And the time lost

À savoir comment Trying to know "how"

Oublier ces heures Forget those hours

Qui tuaient parfois That sometimes kill

À coups de pourquoi With slaps of "why"

Le cœur du bonheur The heart of happiness

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Moi, je t'offrirai I will give to you

Des perles de pluie Pearls made of rain

Venues de pays From countries

Où il ne pleut pas Where it never rains

Je creuserai la terre I will work the land

Jusqu'après ma mort All my life and beyond

Pour couvrir ton corps To cover your body

D'or et de lumière With gold and with light

Je ferai un domaine I will make a land

Où l'amour sera roi Where love will be king

Où l'amour sera loi Where love will be law

Où tu seras reine Where you will be queen

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Je t'inventerai I will invent, for you

Des mots insensés Fanciful words

Que tu comprendras That you'll understand

Je te parlerai I will tell you

De ces amants-là About those lovers

Qui ont vu deux fois Who have twice seen

Leurs cœurs s'embraser Their hearts set ablaze

Je te raconterai I will tell you

L'histoire de ce roi The story of the king

Mort de n'avoir pas Who died of not having

Pu te rencontrer Ever met you

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

On a vu souvent We've often seen

Rejaillir le feu Fire flowing again

De l'ancien volcan From an ancient volcano

Qu'on croyait trop vieux Considered too old

Il est, paraît-il It's said that there are

Des terres brûlées Fire-scorched lands

Donnant plus de blé That yield more wheat

Qu'un meilleur avril Than the best April

Et quand vient le soir And when evening comes

Pour qu'un ciel flamboie With a burning sky

Le rouge et le noir The red and the black--

Ne s'épousent-ils pas? Are they not joined together?

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Je ne vais plus pleurer I won't cry anymore

Je ne vais plus parler I won't talk anymore

Je me cacherai là I will hide over there

À te regarder To watch you

Danser et sourire Dance and smile

Et à t'écouter And to hear you

Chanter et puis rire Sing and then laugh

Laisse-moi devenir Let me become

L'ombre de ton ombre The shadow of your shadow

L'ombre de ta main The shadow of your hand

L'ombre de ton chien The shadow of your dog

Mais But

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me

Ne me quitte pas Don't leave me



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