Friday 23 November 2012

Carla Bruni’s songs with English translation and vice versa

I am a great admirer of Carla Bruni  and her songs.  I like the very personal poetry in her lyrics and I like her music. 

My English version is meant to help me fully enjoy the French as I watch and listen to a very charming and gifted lady. 




Click on a song title in the following index to access your selected song.

Album One: Quelqu'un M'a Dit (2003)

With the help of Louis Bertignac, friend and former member of the group Téléphone, Carla Bruni wrote and composed all twelve songs in “Quelqu’un m’a dit”, which came out in 2003.

Quelqu'unm'a dit - When a treasured relationship is breaking up, one clings for a time to vague hopes that are as valid as rumours.

2  Raphael -           
Carla Bruni tells of her passionate love for Raphael, the philosophy professor and media personality, with whom she formed a relationship in 2001.
3  Tout le monde - The crass indifference of those who are happy to let even the most cherished memories die. 

4  La Noyee - This is a cover version of a song by the famous French singer and poet Serge Gainsbourg. His influence creates a darker and more pessimistic picture of the human condition.

Le Toi du Moi - One can imagine that this is a traditional game that lovers might play, in which they are trying to prove how they perfectly complement each other

Le ciel dans une chambre - Carla Bruni sings of the magical transformation of her bedroom when she is in the arms of her lover.

J'En Connais – She reflects defiantly on all the many men in her life

8  Le plus beau du quartier - A satirical portrait of a paragon of fashion, whose bisexuality permitted him a universal pasture for his vanities.

9  Chanson triste - A short song at the end of a love that failed but does not deserve to be forgotten.

10  L'Excessive - Carla Bruni introduces her song by saying "Cest une chanson de quelqu'un qui aime beaucoup les exces.  Mmmmm Mmmmm!"

11  L'Amour - Carla Bruni and her musical collaborator, Louis Bertignac, present a song in the style of American Blues.

12  La dernière minute - Carla hopes that at the end of her tumultuous, chaotic life, she will be allowed one brief moment to pay her last respects to it all it has meant to her - just one minute.                                                         

Album Two: No Promises  (2007)

It was not until January 2007 that Carla Bruni’s second album, entitled “No Promises” finally came out. Once more accompanied by Louis Bertignac, Carla chose to set to music texts from British and American poets of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Yeats, Auden, Emily Dickinson and many others. She moved away from the style that made her first album such a success, by singing in English.

6)      "Autumn"  - Walter de la Mare

8)      "I went to Heaven"   - Emily Dickinson

9)      "Afternoon"  - Dorothy Parker - Looking forward uncertainly to old age

10)   "Ballade at Thirty-Five" -  Dorothy Parker - a young woman's defiance at a difficult time

Album Three:- Comme si de rien n'était" (2008)

Having decided to combine her position as France's First Lady with her ongoing singing career, she released her third album on 11 July 2008.  The title: "Comme si de rien n'était"  was that of a photographic work by her brother, Virginio Bruni Tedeschi, who had died in 2006. The release of "Comme si de rien n'était", a year after her husband had been elected President in May 2007, caused great excitement in the international media and journalists and commentators were unable to decide whether to discuss the album from the point of view of music or of politics.

1)      "Ma Jeunesse”   - As her youth is coming to an end, Carla Bruni looks back on the mixed up, tumultuous years and her main thought is regret at the time she has wasted as this period has sped by
2)      "La Possibilité d'une Île”  - This is an adaptation of a poem by Michel Houellebecq which she finds as romantic, and as  beautiful as verses of Baudelaire.
3)      "L'Amoureuse “ - The exhilaration of the intoxicating, sensuous enhancements that the world assumes when a woman falls in love.

4)      "Tu es ma came “ - Carla Bruni is saying that her love for her boyfriend exhilarates her as if she had taken a drug. 

5)      "Salut Marin” - These are words of farewell to Carla’s elder brother, Virginio Tedescki, who died in 2006, at the age of 46. He had been a fanatic for solo yacht expeditions.
6)      "Ta tienne “ - Having had so many lovers, she now offers herself to to belong completely to just one
7)      "Péché d'envie»- In each cryptic line Carla gives suggestions of things she has done, her enjoyments and her trials, her ecstasies and disappointments, loving and fighting, behaving sweetly and not so sweetly
8)      "You Belong to Me"  - Carla sings with feeling the American hit song of the 1950s
Not yet translated

9)      Le temps perdu - Carla Bruni is proposing to some lucky man that he should take a break from all the useful things he is doing and waste some time having a cuddle with her.

10)   "Je suis une enfant»   - In a sweet, simple song, she tells how a loving childhood creates a shell in which each individual child can survive regardless of age.
11)   "Déranger Les Pierres” - Carla Bruni tells us that she based this song on the music, which Julien Clerc gave her. She finds that it makes a very big difference.
12)   "L'antilope” –
      Carla Bruni’s painful awareness of the strains of her celebrity lifestyle, with the sometimes excruciating mistakes of your past, paraded for evermore by the media and with speculation about your future fall from grace its delight.  The only way to cope is to focus narrowly on the present.

After all their wild romance, one day her lover came and told it was not working for him and their great love was over.-

Album Four:- 2013: "Little French Songs"

As early as 2010, there had been rumours that Bruni was preparing a fourth album and this appeared in April 2013 …… "Little French Songs
1)      "J'arrive à toi "
After her marriage to Sarkozy she wrote this personal song of love coming back into her life and of all the many things that were wrong before. 
2)      Mon Raymond "
Carla Bruni provides us with an insightful and novel character sketch of her husband and reveals her deep admiration for him. “Raymond” stands for “Nicholas”!
3)      "Priere "
For some moments, alone each night, she speaks aloud to someone or something beyond herself, in the vastness of infinity.  From this she is able to gain real consolation and hope.
4)      "Pas Une Dame"
She says why she does not see herself as a lady (and her evidence has already been voiced in other songs).  She is still the unruly, unfeminine child she once was. 
5)      "Dolce Francia"
This song is Carla’s own Italian version of “Douce France”, one of the most famous songs of Charles Trenet. (1913 – 2001).
6)      "Chez Keith et AnitaThis song expresses nostalgia for the 1970's.  Looking at photos of the period, Carla imagines herself present in the company of the Rolling Stones, when they were recording the album, "Exile on main street", in the South of France.

7)      "Darling"
Carla talks with total frankness about the painful loss of a close personal friend - François Baudot (1950- 2010). In tribute to him, she produces this sad and melodious song.
8)      "La Valse Posthume"
Carla Bruni puts words to the beautiful music of Chopin’s Valse Posthume”. The three time of the waltz becomes symbolic of the three stages of her life.
9)      "La Blonde Exquise"  
In her struggle to give up smoking, the thoughts of her favourite cigarette (with tabac blond) persist in harassing her.
10)   "Liberte"
Carla Bruni’s lament about the progressive erosion of our personal freedoms in the modern mass society and her desperate hope that personal liberty can yet survive.
11)   "Little French Song  "
In this nice simple song , mainly in English, Carla enjoys herself rhyming English words and French.
12)   "Lune - Carla spends her nocturnal moments of lone reflection under a full moon.

13)   "Le Pingouin"   The identity of the person satirised in this song is not revealed, but as soon as the song appeared the majority of the media was convinced that her words were directed against the man who had replaced her husband, Nicholas Sarkozy, as President of France, François Hollande.


1)     Nobody knows you when you're down and out. (Traditional American Blues)

2)     And I love her.  (Beatles song) -Carla in duet with Harry Connick Jnr.)

3)     Those little things and Ces petits riens

5)     Make You Feel My Love (Song by Bob Dylan)

6)     Fernande  (Song by Georges Brassens)- Although advised against this song, previously banned on French radio, Carla performs Brassens’ study of the inconsistent sexual consolations available to men when they are in situations deprived of women.


I am compiling some biographical notes on the following link:-  Biographical detail to serve as background information.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

hello,I just want to say that I love your blog.I myself is a carla bruni's fan.Unfortunately i dont speak french as you do.I have to search for translations of her song online and most of them are very dull,then i found your blog!!!yahnk you for providing such beautiful translation and deep insight into Madame Sarkozy's lyrics and personal life.There seem to be 2 other songs of her:Lune and La Blonde Exquise that i can't find translation anywhere.My life will be complete if you could translate those 2 songs :)))anyway thanks again for all your hardwork,really aprreciated it(and sorry for my english XD )

Unknown said...

Thank you. Very much.

Emily said...

Ringtones on smartphones are files encoded from mechanical sound waves.