Ne me quitte pas
Il faut oublier
Tout peut s'oublier
Qui s'enfuit déjà
Oublier le temps
Des malentendus
Et le temps perdu
À savoir comment
Oublier ces heures
Qui tuaient parfois
À coups de pourquoi
Le cœur du bonheur
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Moi, je t'offrirai
Des perles de pluie
Venues de pays
Où il ne pleut pas
Je creuserai la terre
Jusqu'après ma mort
Pour couvrir ton corps
D'or et de lumière
Je ferai un domaine
Où l'amour sera roi
Où l'amour sera loi
Où tu seras reine
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas
Je t'inventerai
Des mots insensés
Que tu comprendras
Je te parlerai
De ces amants-là
Qui ont vu deux fois
Leurs cœurs s'embraser
Je te raconterai
L'histoire de ce roi
Mort de n'avoir pas
Pu te rencontrer
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

On a vu souvent
Rejaillir le feu
De l'ancien volcan
Qu'on croyait trop vieux
Il est, paraît-il
Des terres brûlées
Donnant plus de blé
Qu'un meilleur avril
Et quand vient le soir
Pour qu'un ciel flamboie
Le rouge et le noir
Ne s'épousent-ils pas?
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas
Je ne vais plus pleurer
Je ne vais plus parler
Je me cacherai là
À te regarder
Danser et sourire
Et à t'écouter
Chanter et puis rire
Laisse-moi devenir
L'ombre de ton ombre
L'ombre de ta main
L'ombre de ton chien
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Lyrics submitted by fannyfritter, edited by Langwidj

Ne me quitte pas Lyrics as written by Jacques Brel

Lyrics © Tratore, WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC FRANCE, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Ne Me Quitte Pas song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThanks Venus in Mohair - I agree with you.

    So, as another American who speaks 6 languages, I would like to say that the above translations - more or less literal - fail to capture the passion that is expressed in the French original, which is why I would translate it (albeit more liberally), as follows:

    Do not leave me.
    One must forget
    that which is bygone.
    Everything can be forgotten -
    Forget the instances
    of misunderstandings
    and of the moments lost.
    Knowing how to
    forget the hours
    that sometimes killed
    the very heart of happiness
    - with all their Why's.
    Do not leave me. (4x)

    I will offer you
    pearls made of raindrops,
    found in countries where it never rains.
    I will traverse the Earth,
    until after I'm gone,
    only to cover your body
    with gold and with sunlight.
    I will establish a kingdom
    where Love will be king,
    where Love will rule,
    and you will be Queen.
    Do not leave me. (4x)

    Do not leave me.
    I will invent for you
    nonsensical words
    which only you will understand.
    I will tell you stories
    about the lovers
    whose hearts have been
    twice ablaze,
    and of that king
    who died for not having met you.
    Do not leave me.

    One has often seen
    a fire erupting
    out an ancient volcano,
    thought to be extinct.
    And it seems
    that a scorched earth
    could give more wheat
    than in the best of springs.
    And when the evening falls
    do the red and the black not unite
    in order for sky to be set aflame?
    Do not leave me.

    Do not leave me.
    I will no longer cry.
    I will no longer talk.
    I will just hide where
    I can look at you
    dance and smile,
    and listen to you
    sing and then laugh.
    Let me become
    the shadow of your shadow
    the shadow of your hand
    the shadow of your dog.
    Do not leave me. (4x)
    omega_wdcon February 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDo not leave me.
    One must forget
    that which is bygone.
    Everything can be forgotten -
    The instances
    of misunderstandings
    and all the moments lost.
    Knowing how to
    forget the hours
    that sometimes killed
    the essence (or the very heart) of happiness
    - with all the doubts (or why's).
    Do not leave me... (4x)
    omega_wdcon February 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit's interesting- brel said this song isn't about heartbreak, exactly. it's about the cowardice of men (wikipedia)

    in any case this song drips romantic love to a level that i think is almost cheesy. but the lyrics are so poignant and original that the emotion couldnt possibly have been faked.

    sorry i cant contribute anything to the meaning of the song- anyway i think it's obvious what he's trying to say he repeats it 4 times in the chorus (which is also so effective! i love jacques brel!)

    to aurore: yes he did sweats a Lot! i noticed that!!! hahaha!
    andheron August 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've grown up to this music and all things "Brel".

    When interviewed on the subject and hailed for having written one of the greatest love songs of all times, I've always heard that he'd reply that it was not a love song. That it was in fact the opposite of a love song and it was a sort of warning not to allow himself sink that deep, if you will.

    That being said, we can all relate to the desperation brought on by love starting to slip away. That tipping point in a relationship when you know everything has changed yet aren't ready or willing to let go. And he captures this emotion brilliantly.

    It is one of the greatest songs ever written. Period.
    LaylaMon June 01, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment Jacques Brel performed this song live so beautifully!
    1petitefilleon October 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationSo, according to wikipedia :) Brel said in an interview that this song was not about heartbreak but was about the cowardice of men. Wikipedia is not always true but I can easily understand why Brel would say this. Men always cling to women and to love and feelings even when it's over. That's very coward. It means that men don't accept reality and fight lost battles instead of trying to fall in love with another person who would be, at last, the "good one"...
    So, maybe he is half serious and half ironic. It's a kind of self-derision and mockery of all men who once tried to reconquer a lover who was gone. (damn, I'm in! ;)
    He talks about "Ne me quitte pas" in a song called "le cheval" where he basically says that he regretted to have written it.
    garveymon August 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNO comments ?!

    Ok, I understand, this is an American site and most of the members are American as well probably, so they don't know the song.. (and even if you Americans would recognize the song: you guys wouldn't understand a word ! We all know that Americans only speak 1 language, their English)

    I come from Belgium, and so is the singer, Jacques Brel. In Belgium they speak Dutch and French. Brel was a french speaker, I am a Dutch speaker, but I understand and speak French véry well.

    In Belgium, this song is chosen to be the best song made by a Belgian, even better than 'Dominique' by the Singing Non (that number was on 1 on your billboards in the sixties, Americans !!)

    It's a very tragical song, with piano and also a bit violin.
    'On a vu souvent
    Rejaillir le feu
    De l'ancien volcan
    Qu'on croyait trop vieux'
    => these lines are just soo powerful ! Astounding!

    O yeah; Ne me quitte pas means Don't leave me (alone).
    ChildInTimeon August 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah this song is incredible. though i understand just a few lines ;)

    greetz form germany
    ColdFusionon October 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't speak french but this is the most beautiful song ever. Just thinking about her makes me a little bit misty. I read somewhere that when it was released it was quite the scandal 'cause people weren't used to see a man in such a desperate position. I mean, he literally humiliates himself. The guy sings about being the "shadow of her dog" just to stay near her or something, that's quite low. I wish I could have seen Brel alive (and well and living in Paris. lol). Just for listening to some live recordings his concerts sounded amazing. Like cathartic or something. Didn't he used to cry while singing this song?
    pinkmoonon December 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know if he used to cry, but he used to SWEAT a lot while singing :)
    Anyway, I tried to translate it in english (it is not an easy task) :
    Do not leave me
    We have to forget
    Everything is forgettable
    It is already fading away
    Forgetting the time
    Of misunderstandings
    And the time, lost
    Trying to know how
    To forget these hours
    That killed sometimes
    With their “why’s”
    The heart of happiness
    Do not leave me

    I will give to you
    Beads of raindrops
    Coming from countries
    Where the rain never comes
    I will dig the earth
    Until and after I’m dead
    To cover your body
    With gold and light
    I will create a place
    Where love will be king
    Where love will be you
    Where you will be queen
    Do not leave me

    Do not leave me
    I will invent for you
    Words with no sense
    That you’ll understand
    I will tell you
    About these lovers
    Whose heart have burnt twice
    I’ll tell you
    The story of this king
    Dead for not having had
    The opportunity to meet you
    Do not leave me

    It has been reported
    That often fire returns
    In former volcanoes (??)
    That were thought to be too old
    It is said that somewhere
    Burnt grounds produce more corn
    That the best springtime season ever known
    And when the night comes
    In order for the sky to blaze
    Red and Black
    Marry each other
    Do not leave me

    Do not leave me
    I won’t cry anymore
    I won’t talk anymore
    I will hide there
    Looking at you
    Dancing and smiling
    And listening to you
    Singing, and laughing
    Let me become
    The shadow of your shadow
    The shadow of your hand
    The shadow of your dog
    Do not leave me
    Auroreon December 12, 2005   Link

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