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Sad songs 7

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This is a very special song. Probably unknown to most of you, it dates back to the early sixties. Though the content is very sad, this is not a 'tear-jerker'.

The song is in French, so I'll give you some extra explanation. I urge you all to listen to this song more than once. Try to understand it, it's worth while.

Consider it your homework. Show me some comments when I get back from my holiday.


We learn what is going on as the song progresses. A woman is summoned to come to Nantes. All we know is :

"Madame soyez au rendez-vous

Vingt-cinq rue de la Grange-au-Loup

Faites vite, il y a peu d'espoir

Il a demandé à vous voir."

Come to this address, hurry, there is little hope, he wants to see you.


Then we learn that it concerns a man she cares about, a wanderer she hasn't seen for a long time and that he is dying.


When she gets to the "rendez-vous" she finds that the man has died, in very poor circumstances. He reached out for her but she was too late and she feels very bad about this.


It is only in the end that we learn that the man was her father. The first time I heard this song it came as a shock to me.



Nantes - Barbara


Il pleut sur Nantes

Donne-moi la main

Le ciel de Nantes

Rend mon cœur chagrin


Un matin comme celui-là

Il y a juste un an déjà

La ville avait ce teint blafard

Lorsque je sortis de la gare

Nantes m'était encore inconnue

Je n'y étais jamais venue

Il avait fallu ce message

Pour que je fasse le voyage:


"Madame soyez au rendez-vous

Vingt-cinq rue de la Grange-au-Loup

Faites vite, il y a peu d'espoir

Il a demandé à vous voir."


A l'heure de sa dernière heure

Après bien des années d'errance

Il me revenait en plein cœur

Son cri déchirait le silence

Depuis qu'il s'en était allé

Longtemps je l'avais espéré

Ce vagabond, ce disparu

Voilà qu'il m'était revenu


Vingt-cinq rue de la Grange-au-Loup

Je m'en souviens du rendez-vous

Et j'ai gravé dans ma mémoire

Cette chambre au fond d'un couloir


Assis près d'une cheminée

J'ai vu quatre hommes se lever

La lumière était froide et blanche

Ils portaient l'habit du dimanche

Je n'ai pas posé de questions

A ces étranges compagnons

J'ai rien dit, mais à leurs regards

J'ai compris qu'il était trop tard


Pourtant j'étais au rendez-vous

Vingt-cinq rue de la Grange-au-Loup

Mais il ne m'a jamais revue

Il avait déjà disparu


Voilà, tu la connais l'histoire

Il était revenu un soir

Et ce fut son dernier voyage

Et ce fut son dernier rivage

Il voulait avant de mourir

Se réchauffer à mon sourire

Mais il mourut à la nuit même

Sans un adieu, sans un "je t'aime"


Au chemin qui longe la mer

Couché dans le jardin des pierres

Je veux que tranquille il repose

Je l'ai couché dessous les roses

Mon père, mon père


Il pleut sur Nantes

Et je me souviens

Le ciel de Nantes

Rend mon cœur chagrin

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A sad song indeed. The revelation at the end reminds me of another song.


Pale Blue Eyes by the Velvet Underground


In this song, it seems to me like the person is describing and addressing a lover they have lost recently, with whom they have a less-than-perfect relationship, like Ross and Rachel almost. dry.giflaugh.gif


However, in the final stanza, it is clear that the woman the voice addresses is in fact married now - they were probably together before, but she found another person to love. All the feelings this person has for her will amount to nothing because she's already chosen someone else for the rest of her life. Alas, the voice still feels like he did when they were together, while the pale blue-eyed woman now sees the voice as a friend more than anything.


Yeah, anyway your song sort of reminded me of this one because the position of the other person is not quite what we think it might be until the very end.

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One of those great ballads Lou Reed wrote long ago. It surprises me that younger generations remember this. I suppose quality always finds it's way.


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Oh yes indeedy. smile.gif


I like lots of music irrespective of genre or age.


I've got god knows how many Lou Reed (and Velvet Underground) albums, a Beatles discography, a lot of Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin I-IV and all of Johnny Cash's American Recordings. Oh and don't forget the Carpenters. But I've also got Coldplay, Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, Marcy Playground, Portishead, Mark Ronson, Avalanches...


But anyway have faith, not all the young 'uns listen only to godless rap and crappy pop. wink.gif

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