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"SARAH" de Serge Reggiani

You should listen to this song if : You want to listen to an homage to women, because you think they all deserve respect...

About this song : Reggiani is talking about a woman lying in his bed, a woman who is no longer 20 years old. We're left to wonder who she is, but as the song goes on, we understand that the woman to whom he's showing so much respect is in fact a prostitute. The song is by no means an apology of the prostitution ; he's mainly pointing out that this woman who may be an object of contempt or mockery for others, has earned his respect and his devotion.
The introduction of this song is an excerpt from a poem of Charles Baudelaire ("Je n'ai pas pour maîtresse une lionne illustre"). The lyrics of the song itself have been written by Georges Moustaki (who himself played this song) ; I prefer the interpretation by Serge Reggiani, that's why it is his version that you will find below.

About the author : Serge Reggiani was an actor, a writer, a painter and a singer. The separation with his wife, and the suicide of his son, led him to depression and alcoholism, which he tried to fight. He was a great interpreter , that's why it is sometimes better to look for his live performance, instead of his studio recording. Other famous songs are : Les loups sont entrés dans Paris, Le petit garçon, Il suffirait de presque rien, Ma vieille, Le déserteur, Ma fille, Votre fille a vingt ans... . To know more about him : Serge Reggiani.

 THE SONG REALLY STARTS AT 0:45s.  Be patient !

And if you're not moved by Reggiani's emotion at 1:15, well maybe Rap is a better kind of music for you...

Les paroles, and their approximate translation :

Si vous la rencontrez, bizarrement parée,                                          If you meet her, oddly dressed ,
Se faufilant, au coin d'une rue égarée,                                               sneaking around the corner of a lost street
Et la tête et l'oeil bas comme un pigeon blessé,                                 the head bent and the eyes lowered down like                                                                                                         a wounded pigeon
Traînant dans les ruisseaux un talon déchaussé,                               dragging her heel barefoot in the streams                        

Messieurs, ne crachez pas de jurons ni d'ordure                            Gentlemen, do not speak profanity nor throw junk
Au visage fardé de cette pauvre impure                                            at the painted face of this poor impure
Que déesse Famine a par un soir d'hiver,                                        whom Goddess Starvation has by a winter night
Contrainte à relever ses jupons en plein air.                                     Obliged to raise her underskirts outdoors.

Cette bohème-là, c'est mon tout, ma richesse,                              This bohemian she’s everything to me, my wealth
Ma perle, mon bijou, ma reine, ma duchesse                                 my pearl, my jewel, my queen, my duchess


La femme qui est dans mon lit                                                         The woman who is lying in my bed
N'a plus vingt ans depuis longtemps.                                                  is no more 20 since long ago
Les yeux cernés                                                                             the eyes with rings
Par les années,                                                                              because of years
Par les amours                                                                                because of loves
Au jour le jour,                                                                                 every day
La bouche usée                                                                                the mouth worn out
Par les baisers,                                                                                by kisses
Trop souvent mais                                                                              too often
Trop mal donnés,                                                                               but too badly given
Le teint blafard                                                                                  the pale complexion
Malgré le fard,                                                                                   despite the makeup
Plus pâle qu'une                                                                                paler than
Tache de lune.                                                                                    A stain on the moon

La femme qui est dans mon lit                                                        The woman who is lying in my bed
N'a plus vingt ans depuis longtemps.                                                   is no more 20 since long ago
Les seins trop lourds                                                                           the breasts too heavy
De trop d'amours                                                                                from so many loves
Ne portent pas                                                                                   don’t bear
Le nom d'appâts,                                                                                 the name of bait,
Le corps lassé                                                                                      the body too tired
Trop caressé,                                                                                        too much caressed
Trop souvent mais                                                                                 too often but
Trop mal aimé.                                                                                       Too badly loved.
Le dos voûté                                                                                         the back hunched
Semble porter                                                                                         seems to be carrying
Les souvenirs                                                                                         the memories
Qu'elle a dû fuir.                                                                                     She had to flee

La femme qui est dans mon lit                                                            The woman who is lying in my bed
N'a plus vingt ans depuis longtemps.                                                    is no more 20 since long ago
Ne riez pas.                                                                                       
Don’t laugh at her
N'y touchez pas.                                                                                  Don’t touch her
Gardez vos larmes                                                                               keep your tears
Et vos sarcasmes.                                                                               And your sarcasms.
Lorsque la nuit                                                                                     When the night
Nous réunit,                                                                                          unites us
Son corps, ses mains                                                                            her body her hands
S'offrent aux miens                                                                                are offered to mine
Et c'est son cœur                                                                                 and that’s her heart
Couvert de pleurs                                                                                    covered with tears
Et de blessures                                                                                      and injuries
Qui me rassure.                                                                                      That soothes me



What would I buy for my best friend  ?

(click on the album image corresponding to your country,
it will connect you to the right page on Amazon)

Your country


"best" album
on Amazon
(including "Sarah")
(single mp3 download)
Sarah mp3
 not available,
just the album above
Sarah mp3
Sarah mp3
 not available, just the album above
 not available, just the album above
Note : Why do I suggest different  albums for different countries ? Well, strange as it may seems, there is sometimes a HUGE difference of price for the same album in different countries (supposing it's available) ; and what is a good bargain somewhere is a total rip-off elsewhere. So, for each country, I usually look for the two or three albums that have all (or most of) the "must have" songs, and then I compare the prices and carefully weigh the pros and cons...

Exceptionally, for some countries I don't suggest the "CD format" album, but its equivalent as "mp3 download" album, because :
- the original CD, when available, is sold by resellers at a very high price ;
- the mp3 album is really a good bargain for its price ;
- Compared to the other albums of this artist, the mp3 album has the advantage of being the original recording, remastered.



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