Jane Birkin et Serge Gainsbourg – Je T’aime,…Moi Non Plus

Serge Gainsbourg was a “sacré phénomene!” like we say in French. He was really one of the kinds. Even though, I was young, I remember the “Do you want to fuck with me?” question to Whitney Houston, his love relationship with minors, or him smoking in shows and some of his scandalous songs (like the one I translated below).

Let have a look to his personal life:

He was born Lucien Ginsburg in Paris, France, the son of Russian Jewish parents, Joseph Ginsburg  and Olga Bessman, who fled to France after the 1917 Russian Revolution. He had a twin sister, Liliane. His childhood was profoundly affected by the occupation of France by Nazi Germany, during which he and his family, as Jews, were forced to wear the yellow star and eventually flee Paris. Before he was 30 years old, Gainsbourg was a disillusioned painter, but earned his living as a piano player in bars.

He first married Elisabeth “Lize” Levitsky on 3 November 1951, and divorced her in 1957. He married a second time on 7 January 1964, to Françoise-Antoinette “Béatrice” Pancrazzi, with whom he had two children: a daughter named Natacha and a son, Paul (born in spring 1968, after Serge had got back together with Béatrice). They divorced in February 1966.

In late-1967, he had a short but ardent love affair with Brigitte Bardot to whom he dedicated the song and album Initials BB.

In mid-1968, Gainsbourg fell in love with the much younger English singer and actress Jane Birkin, whom he met during the shooting of the film Slogan. They married some time afterwards. In 1971 they had a daughter, the actress and singer Charlotte. Birkin left him in 1980.

Birkin remembers the beginning of her affair with Gainsbourg: he first took her to a nightclub, then to a transvestite club and afterwards to the Hilton hotel, where he passed out in a drunken stupor. Birkin left Gainsbourg when pregnant with her third daughter, Lou, by the film director Jacques Doillon, whom she later married.

His last partner was Bambou (Caroline Paulus, grandchild of General Friedrich Paulus). In 1986 they had a son, Lucien (best known as Lulu).

I have to say that it was difficult for me to find a real and close translation of “Je vais, je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins” I could have translate it as “Between your kidney” which is the literal translation or “Between your back” as I saw it in some websites. But this might sound strange for you British. As a consequence I translated it with a straightforward approach. But, it’s important to know that in French all the song is metaphoric and the “I go and I come, inside you” is said with a more delicate approach. Nothing is said like in my translation.

This song was already a scandal in this metaphoric way so imagine if it had been more straightforward. Oh la la!! Still, it was a success at this time and I really love (what I can call) this “eroticolove” song.

 

 

Lyrics:

– Je t’aime je t’aime
Oh oui je t’aime
– Moi non plus
– Oh mon amour
– Comme la vague irrésolue
Je vais, je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Et je me retiens

– Je t’aime je t’aime
Oh oui je t’aime
– Moi non plus
– Oh mon amour
Tu es la vague, moi l’île nue
Tu vas, tu vas et tu viens
Entre mes reins
Tu vas et tu viens
Entre mes reins
Et je te rejoins

– Je t’aime je t’aime
Oh oui je t’aime
– Moi non plus
– Oh mon amour
– L’amour physique est sans issue
Je vais je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Je vais et je viens
Je me retiens
– Non ! Maintenant viens…

TRANSLATION:

 

I love you, I love you, Oh yes I love you
Nor do I
Oh my love
Like the wave, irresolute
I go, I go and I come, Inside you.
I go and I come, Inside you my love
And then I hold on

I love you, I love you, Oh Yes I love you
Nor do I
Oh me love, You are the wave, And I the naked island
You go, you go and you come, inside me
you go and you come inside me
and then I join you

I love you, I love you, Oh yes I love you
Nor do I
Oh my love
Like the wave, irresolute
I go, I go and I come, Inside you
I go and I come, Inside you my love
And then I hold on

You go, you go and you come, inside me
you go and you come inside me

You go, you go and you come, inside me
you go and you come inside me
and then I join you

I love you, I love you, Oh yes I love
Nor do I
Oh my love
Physical love is a dead end
I go, I go and I come, inside you
I go and I come, I hold on

No. Now…Come

 

Sources Wikipedia, pictures from Google.

 

About frenchychic

Born and raised in Paris, I am a Marketing and Sales professional. And now, I am a blogger! I used to be Australian, German and French (Parisian) and now a Londoner lady since February 2010. I love everything about France: the food, the wine, the fragrances, the designers, the music and our attitude, energy & character. My blog is not all about cosmetics nor fashion, is about what is happening in the world in a French perspective: how do we think? What do we think? Why do we thing like this? And what do we French think about YOU strangers from all over the world! It was my passion for arts, culture, international events & news, fashion that drove me into creating La French Attitude and I love every minute of it and I hope you too! Enjoy! Sté xxx

Posted on June 18, 2011, in Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I think other web-site proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and wonderful user friendly style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  2. Donna L. Halper

    Thanks so much for the translation– I used to love this song when I was a teenager and always thought it was incredibly sexy to listen to. A couple of questions though. Could “moi non plus” be the equivalent of his not wanting to to say he loves her, perhaps? Sort of a gentle way to say “enough talking, let’s enjoy each other’s bodies”? Also, as for your translation that “Physical love is a dead end,” based on the rest of the song, I wonder if the meaning is ironic, since obviously he only wants physical love, while she wants both his body and a commitment of love. (And if I recall my high school French,isn’t the word for dead end “impasse”?) I took the line to mean that physical love is an end unto itself, something that has no beginning or end. But then, as I said, my high school French is not up to translating complex metaphors, and this song is not as simple as it seems!

    • I do agree, Gainsbourg’s song is full of metaphors. I didn’t want to translate and explain the metaphors in this song as there is no point discovering iand listening to it. I believe readers should be able to understand the metaphors themselves but I totally agree with your point DOnna! Thanks !

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