Down in Bowery
They lose their ballads and their lipped-mouths in the night
And stumbling through the street they say:
"Sir, do you got a light?
And if you do, then you're my friend
And if you don't, then you're my foe
And if you are a deity of any sort
Then please don't go!"

Ne me quitte pas, mon chere

Down on Lexington they walk
In new shoes stuck to aging feet
And close their eyes and open
And not recognize the aging street
And think about how things were right
When they were young and veins were tight
And if you are the ghost of Christmas past
Then won't you stay the night?

Ne me quitte pas, mon chere

Down in Bronxy Bronx
The kids go sledding down snow-covered slopes
And frozen noses, frozen toes
The frozen city starts to glow
And yes, they know that it will pass
And, yes, they know New York will thaw
But if you are a friend of any sort
Then play along and catch a cold

Ne me quitte pas, mon chere

I love Paris in the rain...

Down in Paris they walk fast
That is, unless they're walking slow
And in cafes they look away
That is, unless they look right in
And in the gardens I get lost
That is, unless I'm getting found
And if you are the ghost of New York city
Won't you stick around?

Ne me quitte pas, mon chere

I love Paris in the rain...

Ne me quitte pas!



Lyrics submitted by medicine


Ne Me Quitte Pas song meanings
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52 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment:very simple idea - though she makes it sound more complex than it is - ne me quitte pas means 'dont leave me' and in the song she says 'if you are a deity (god) of any sort' in the first verse and in the second she replaces it with 'ghost of christmas past' and the third verse it becomes 'ghost of new york city' - all are just references to god -- though the song is made in her silly way - the concept is simply -

    if you are the good god the good book claims you to be.. then dont leave us now..

    its a sweet and innocent prayer of sorts saying, if you are the good guy ive heard you to be.. protect us frail things ..

    her lyrics can confuse you if you take them on a surface level.. shes very playful with words
    Luxushexxon September 03, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:quittez
    because it's imperative, right?
    Annabelle01on February 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:i beileve it should be in the Tu form because if she didnt want someone to leave her they would be rather familiar...so ne me quittes pas i think....quittez would be formal...

    anyways.... did anyone else hear a little bjork at the very end in the Pas'.....boy i heard some "its oh so quiet" ....

    and this is so cute how she contradicts herself....."they walk fast that is unless theyre walking slow..." so adorable...
    envirohodgeson February 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:i have a feeling that the song is not a cover of the Jaques Brel song.. but I think it was referencing it. I think it could also be referencing the song "Paris in The Rain." The first song is about the one you love leaving you. The second is about having a fling with someone in Paris. I think the parts that mention Paris (1 and 4) are about Paris and the other two that mention parts of NYC are about NYC. (i don't know of any Paris St in NYC) I think this is about her being on tour in europe and missing New York. People in Paris are often pricks (your my foe), although a bit over stereotyped (walk fast/slow), but the city is still very romantic (in the rain). She talks about the good and bad of both New York and Paris and I think she is calling out God to be with her, to make her feel at home wherever she is... bring back the past to her (christmas past).
    philaphobicon March 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I'm pretty sure it's not "ballads and lipped-mouths".. I hear "ball-eyes and lipped-mouths", as if ball was modifying eyes as lipped modifies mouths.. But its hard to hear.


    I loved how she changed up the end of the song at her Bowery Ballroom performance in last month.. Regina's live talent never ceases to amaze me. She improvises so well and makes all of her songs so much better live.. Even when she can't remember all the words!
    ThePizzatarianon March 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation:I hate simplifying songs into "bite sized" bits of meaning, (which is why I usually don't post comments here) but this song deserves better than what it has received in terms of interpretation. In light of that, I'll try to dissect this as best I can. If I had to oversimplify it though, I would say that it is her love song to New York City.

    The song presents a picture of people from four places. Each place gets a verse. The people from each place all seem to want one thing, which is illustrated by the "if you are..." line.

    The first verse is about the Bowery. I believe that she is making a statement about the pretension and shallow nature of people there; an act that they drop after the light goes away. The "artsy" people here are all searching for meaning, and "If you are a deity of any sort" is in reference to that.

    The second verse is about Lexington, and how the aging district, like the people, seem to wish to be young again. "If you are the ghost of Christmas past" seems to be in reference to this.

    The third verse is about the Bronx. It is about how children are filled with warmth about Christmas so much that they aren't bothered at all by the cold weather. The line "if you are a friend of any sort..." seems to be about childish innocence and how they just want a friend.

    (So far people seem to have picked up on these things, but here is what I'm contributing to the discussion.)

    The fourth verse is about a place outside of NYC. I don't know if she is referring to Paris, New York or Paris, France. Either way, she is very contradictory about what people in this place are like. Unlike the previous places, there isn't a clear sense of identity. I don't know if this identity is lacking in the place itself or in her perception of it (she doesn't know who they are).

    I believe the final lines "If you are the ghost of New York City, won't you stick around" has a more personal meaning to Regina herself. Instead of saying that this is what the people of Paris want, this is what Regina wants. She doesn't know who these people are, and she seems confused about who she is when she is here. Keeping with the Ironic sentiment, even though she loves this place, she wants to be back in dark New York City because it's hers and she knows it and loves it despite its flaws.

    The theme of Christmas appears in a few places in the song, and suspect that this has to do with Christmas being a time of warmth despite being the coldest time of year. I think it is this ironic sentiment that Regina is trying to express; despite the darkness and coldness of New York City, she feels a bright warmth about it.

    What do you think?
    coraleskimoon November 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I know this might be very far off,but it's my interpretation of this song (one of my favorite Regina songs!).

    I simply think that the song is about everyone deserving to be loved, and how there's a good person inside of every mean one and they deserve a hug too. When she sings "And if you are a deity of any sort, then please don't go" and "if you are the ghost of Christmas past, then won't you stay the night?" it seems to me like she's accepting all people. Even the Ghost of Christmas Past who's made up to be a creepy figure, our narrator can see past that and into the person's heart.

    Come as you are, basically, and you'll be accepted by the narrator.
    TheBigSkyon March 21, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:This song is so fun! Maybe Regina has visited Paris and Lexington, and this is how she views the people there. I love at the very end of the song when she exaggerates the "pas", shes crazy and I love it.
    caper_katie24on May 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:this song sounds just like a french contestent in the eurovision song contest... and by that I don't mean a specific one, just any one in the (about) 50 years the contest has been held. it's amazing she could pick that up so fast. love it :D
    lemonjuiceon August 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:"Down on Lexington they walk in new shoes stuck to aging feet and close their eyes and open and not recognize the aging street and think about how things were right when they were young and veins were tight"

    PERFECT.
    I love this song. It makes me smile. It's such a cute song...I love Regina, her wordplay in this song is excellent.
    adamanteveon January 17, 2006   Link

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