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Belgium (Belgique/België), Chanson, French (Français)

“Laisse-moi vivre ma vie” (Frédéric François)

“Laisse-moi vivre ma vie” on YouTube

“Laisse-moi vivre ma vie”
Frédéric François
(1972)

Laisse-moi vivre ma vie,
Non, je ne regrette rien,
Je ne veux plus être celui,
qui ne connaît que des chagrins,

Laisse-moi vivre ma vie,
Si tu m’aimes encore un peu,
fermes ta porte cette nuit,
Ça vaut mieux pour tous les deux.

Comme tu as changé,
Tu n’es plus la petite fille,
que j’ai tant aimé,
et que je trouvais si gentille,

Que de temps perdu
depuis que nous vivons ensembles,
Pourtant au début,
tu me disais comme on se ressemble.

Laisse-moi vivre ma vie
et redevenir un homme,
Je ne sais plus où j’en suis,
Je ne connais plus personne.

Ne me retiens surtout pas,
Si je reste encore une nuit,
je n’aurais plus confiance en moi

“Let me live my life” (English translation by ORS, 2010)

Let me live my life
No, I don’t regret anything
I don’t want to be that one anymore
who doesn’t know anything except grief

Let me live my life
If you love me a little bit more
close your door tonight
That’s better for the both of us

How you have changed,
You are not the little girl anymore
that I loved so much
and that I found so kind

So much lost time
since we’ve been living together
Yet at first
you told me how we resemble each other

Let me live my life
and to become a man again
I don’t know where I am anymore
I don’t know anyone anymore

Above all, don’t detain me
If I stay one more night
I will not have any more confidence in myself


Vocabulary

Le chagrin – pain, grief

Encore – still, again, more, another; pas encore “not yet”

Valoir mieux – to be better, literally “to value more”

Tous les deux – both (people)

Tant – so much; used with verbs

Si
– so (much); used with adjectives and adverbs

Gentil – kind, nice, good; not to be confused with “gentile” which would be doux/douce, modéré, or léger

Ensemble(s) – together

Pourtant – though, yet

(Se) ressembler – to look like, resemble

Redevenir – to become again; from devenir (to become)

Retenir
– to keep, retain, detain, hold back

Surtout – above all, certainly, absolutely

Grammar

1.  Negative constructions

ne…rien :  nothing, not anything

“Non, je ne regrette rien”  No, I don’t regret anything

ne…que : nothing but, only

“celui qui ne connaît que des chagrins” The one that only knows grief

ne…plus : no more, not anymore

“Je ne veux plus être”  I don’t want to be anymore

“tu n’es plus la petite fille” You’re not the little girl anymore

“je ne sais plus où j’en suis” I don’t know where I am anymore

“je n’aurais plus confiance en moi” I will not have anymore confidence in myself

ne…personne :  nobody, not anyone

“je ne connais (plus) personne”  I don’t know anyone (anymore)
2.  Uses of encore: more, again, still, not yet (pas encore)

This song uses the word encore twice, both in the same way referring to “more” of something.

“encore un peu” : a little more

“encore une nuit” : one more night, one night again, another night

However, encore has other uses in French, including:

“still”: “je m’en souviens encore” (I still remember)

“not yet” : “je n’ai pas encore vu” (I haven’t seen it yet)

“again” : “encore une fois” (again, one more time)

3.  Uses of moi: me

Most English are familiar with the French word moi and can associate it with the first person singular pronoun “I”.  This word is actually best translated as “me” although it grammatically functions as a disjunctive or stressed pronoun.

The disjunctive pronouns in French are:

Moi                                    Nous
Toi                                    Vous
Lui , soi, elle                        eux, elles

Disjunctive pronouns function for emphasize and are particularly used following prepositions and with a few other key words. Note that in the title of the song “laisse-moi vivre ma vie”, this moi, however, is the modified direct object pronoun (me), not the disjunctive pronoun.  The only example in this song of a disjunctive pronoun is:

“Je n’aurais plus confiance en moi” (I will not have any more confidence in myself)

In this example, moi is used because it follows a preposition (en “in”).

In other cases, moi can be used to:

  1. Form a topic-comment construction: “moi, je pense que…” (As for me, I think that…)
  2. After c’est or ce sont : “c’est toi qui…” (You’re the one who…)
  3. With another person or pronoun: “Toi et moi” (you and me/I)
  4. When making comparison: “Je suis plus…que toi” (I am more…than you)
  5. With –même(s) : “Je le fais moi-même” (I do it myself)
  6. To indicate possession or responsibility: “C’est à toi” (It’s yours, it’s your turn)

Discussion

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