Down on Bowery they lose their
Ball-eyes and their lip-mouths in the night
And stumbling through the streets 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
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Ah ah ah ah Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas

And down on Lexington they're wearing
New shoes stuck to aging feet
And close their eyes and open
And they'll 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 wont you stay the night?

Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Ah ah ah ah Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Ah ah ah ah Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas

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'll melt
And yes, the 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
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Ah ah ah ah Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Ah ah ah ah Ne Me Quitte Pas, Mon Chere
Ne Me Quitte Pas

I love Paris in the rain
I love Paris in the rain
I love, I love, in the rain

I love Paris in the rain
I love Paris in the rain
I love, I love, in the rain

Oh I love, I love, in the rain
Oh I love, I love, in the rain
Oh I love, I love, in the rain


Lyrics submitted by medicine

Don't Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas) Lyrics as written by Regina Spektor

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Ne Me Quitte Pas song meanings
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52 Comments

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  • +2
    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 08, 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

    (The descriptions of the NYC places are stereotypes... if you hang out in the Bowery or walk down Lexington Ave or live in the Bronx then don't take offense.)

    Bowery is a street/area in downtown NYC... where the punks and stranger alternative artistic types hang out.

    Lexington, I'm pretty sure, refers to Lexington Ave, one of the posher streets in Manhattan. Where the women who live there would be more likely to get botox than in other parts of the city, so are more worried about aging than others.

    The Bronx is not as city-like as Manhattan. (Clarification: Manhattan is the part of New York City that people automatically think of [Broadway, skyscrapers, etc], the Bronx is another borough but still part of the city.) It doesn't have the skyscrapers and isn't really a tourist attraction. It is much more residential (think kids playing stick-ball in the street).

    I swear, I thought this was a simple Regina song to figure out. Everyone is looking for/missing something: Bowery people want something to believe in since they're so jaded, Lexington ladies want their youth back since they can't stand being "old", Bronx kids want other kids to play with -- Regina is in a beautiful and romantic city but misses New York!

    phunkometryon April 22, 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 21, 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

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