SHAME WEEK! Salubrious Saturday: “Je t’aimais, je t’aime, et je t’aimerai,” Francis Cabrel



High school.  High school, high school, high school.  Wow.

Okay.  Before we jump into the backstory here, let me just say that I am forced to post this song today because I am going to a very good friend’s wedding and therefore it has to be a love song.  This week being Shame Week, I had no choice.  And all men are Socrates.  Okay.  Moving on.

I really do love this song.  It’s beautiful.  But it’s like eating Frosted Flakes with maple syrup.  It’s way, way, way too cloying and sweet and over the top.  You know what time in your life is made for things that are over the top?  Say it with me now: high school!  Hooray!  Sometimes in French class our teacher would play us French pop songs and we would have to transcribe the lyrics.  It was a genius way of teaching French and it also gave high schoolers the greatest gift of all: ways to look effete and worldly at 15 years old.  I thought I was soooo sophisticated for loving – and being able to sing along to – Francis Cabrel.  Until I went to France on an orchestra exchange and my host family asked me what music I liked and I said, “oh, moi j’adore Francis Cabrel,” and they were like, “…vraiment?”  And I was all like, “…merde.”

But I was undeterred!  The angelic boy chorus that comes in around 1:30 gave me visions of eternal, perfect, heartbreaking love, because when you’re a teenager, love and pain are obvious synonyms.  (Spoiler alert for any teenagers reading this: wrong!  They’re antonyms.  Trust me.)  I put it on a mix I’m horrified to admit I called “Romance Mix” that I brought with me to college.  I played it during my first relationship, and the breakup of my first relationship.  It slowly fell out of rotation through my early and mid-20s as relationships became less of an item of necessity, like a purse, and more of an item of choice.  Now, a decade on from university, I kind of like its treacly intensity.  The older you get, irony becomes lame and earnestness is more appealing.  Even if whatever is earnest is also just a tad cloying



2 thoughts on “SHAME WEEK! Salubrious Saturday: “Je t’aimais, je t’aime, et je t’aimerai,” Francis Cabrel

  1. Karl Mueller

    Mon dieu, that’s hitting a little close to home, Baxter. I don’t recall whether this exact tune was on the Francis Cabrel record (yes, vinyl) that I bought in college c.1983 after they had us listen to some of his songs in French 102, but when you started out the week with the shameful past theme and I though “what would be in my box of albums from long ago?” that was literally the first one that sprang to mind.

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