Jacques Brel – Ne Me Quitte Pas (French Lyrics English Translation) (2023)

Jacques Brel – Ne Me Quitte Pas (French Lyrics English Translation) (1)

Song overview

Ne Me Quitte Pas” is Belgian singer Jacques Brel’s single most famous song. Brel first released the song in 1959 and released an album with the same title in 1972. The meaning of “Ne Me Quitte Pas” is “Don’t leave me” or “Do not leave me”. At the bottom of the post we’ve included the French lyrics with English translation as well as listening on YouTube and Spotify.

The song’s lyrics are sorrowful in nature. In the lyrics, Brel begs for his lover not to leave him by repeatedly crying “Don’t leave me!” and creating poetic images of attracting forces in nature.

Brel wrote the song after a breakup with his lover Zizou (Suzanne Gabriello) following the disagreement over a pregnancy. The song has been performed by countless other artists in many other languages.

In addition to this song, you may also enjoy the following other top French songs: “La Vie en Rose” (Edith Piaf). “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” (Edith Piaf), Les Champs Eleysées (Joe Dassin) and “C’est Si Bon” (Yves Montand)

Jacques Brel – Ne Me Quitte Pas (French Lyrics English Translation) (2)

Lyrics analysis

French verb quitter meaning

The French verb quitter has two main definitions: to leave a place and to leave a person. For example, ‘Je quitte Paris’ means ‘I am leaving Paris’. ‘Je quitte ma femme’ means ‘I am leaving my wife’.

In the context of the song title, the meaning of ‘Ne me quitte pas’ is ‘Don’t leave me’. The phrase is in the imperative (commanding tense).

Il faut tout oublier

Translations of ‘il faut + infinitive’ include it’s necessary to, you have to, one has to. In this context of of these songs lyrics, ‘Il faut tout oublier’ can translate to either ‘you / we have to forget everything’.

(Video) Ne me quitte pas (Jacques Brel) - [English subtitles]

This page covers the meanings of il faut in detail with example sentences.

Je creuserai la terre

‘Je creuserai la terre’ translates literally to ‘I will dig the earth’. The translation of creuser is to dig. However, creuser translates loosely to ‘work the land or earth’ in the context of these song lyric as Brel expresses that he’ll ‘work the land until after his death to cover her body in gold and light’.

Jacques Brel – Ne Me Quitte Pas (French Lyrics English Translation) (3)

Je t’inventerai des mots insensés

In the above lyrics translation, we translated ‘Je t’inventerai des mots insensés’ to ‘For you I will make up incredible words’.

The French adjective insensé translates to insane, mad or crazy. However, a French-to-French definition is ‘incroyable’. Hence, we feel that ‘incredible’ works well with our translation.

Le rouge et le noir ne s’épousent-ils pas?

The line, ‘Le rouge et le noir ne s’épousent-ils?’ translates literally to ‘The red and the black, don’t they marry or mold to each other’.

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Using the definition of épouser on wordreference.com, we translated s’epouser to ‘fuse’: The red and the black, do they not fuse together?’

(Video) Ne me quitte pas - Jacques Brel (English and Spanish subtitles)

Je ne vais plus pleurer, je ne vais plus parler

The lines, ‘Je ne vais plus pleurer, je ne vais plus parler’ translate to ‘I am not going to cry anymore, I am not going to speak anymore’.

The most basic rule for French negation is to wrap ne…pas around the verb. For example, ‘Je ne mange pas’ means I don’t eat.

In this situation, ‘ne + verb + plus’ means ‘anymore. This page covers the French negation rules in detail.

Ne me Quitte Pas Lyrics French lyrics & English translation

Ne me quitte pas
Il faut oublier
Tout peut s’oublier
Qui s’enfuit déjà
Oublier le temps
Des malentendus
Et le temps perdu
A savoir comment
Oublier ces heures
Qui tuaient parfois
A coups de pourquoi
Le cœur du bonheur
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Don’t leave me
We must forget
All can be forgotten
That has already disappeared
Forget the time
Of misunderstandings
And the wasted time
To know how
To forget these hours
Which sometimes killed
The blows of why,
The heart of happiness
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me

Moi je t’offrirai
Des perles de pluie
Venues de pays
Où il ne pleut pas
Je creuserai la terre
Jusqu’après ma mort
Pour couvrir ton corps
D’or et de lumière
Je ferai un domaine
Où l’amour sera roi
Où l’amour sera loi
Où tu seras reine
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

I will give you
Pearls of rain
Coming from countries
Where it doesn’t rain
I will work the land
Until after my death
To cover your bosom
With gold and light
I will create an area
Where love will be king
Where love will be the law
Where you will be queen
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me
Do not leave me

Ne me quitte pas
Je t’inventerai
Des mots insensés
Que tu comprendras
Je te parlerai
De ces amants-là
Qui ont vu deux fois
Leurs cœurs s’embraser
Je te raconterai
L’histoire de ce roi
Mort de n’avoir pas
Pu te rencontrer
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Don’t leave me
For you I will make up
Incredible words
That you’ll understand
And I’ll tell you
About lovers
Who saw their
Hearts embrace two twice
I’ll tell you about
The story of a king
Who died from from having not
been able to meet you you.
Don’t leave me
Don’t leave me
Don’t leave me
Don’t leave me

(Video) Jacques Brel - Ne me quitte pas

On a vu souvent
Rejaillir le feu
D’un ancien volcan
Qu’on croyait trop vieux
Il est paraît-il
Des terres brûlées
Donnant plus de blé
Qu’un meilleur avril
Et quand vient le soir
Pour qu’un ciel flamboie
Le rouge et le noir
Ne s’épousent-ils pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

We’ve often seen
Flames flowing from an
Ancient volcano
That one thought to be too old
There exists, it seems
Scorched fields
That yield more wheat
Than the best of April
And when the evening comes
A fiery sky
The red and the black
Do they not fuse together
Don’t leave me
Don’t leave me
Don’t leave me
Don’t leave me

Ne me quitte pas
Je ne vais plus pleurer
Je ne vais plus parler
Je me cacherai là
A te regarder
Danser et sourire
Et à t’écouter
Chanter et puis rire
Laisse-moi devenir
L’ombre de ton ombre
L’ombre de ta main
L’ombre de ton chien
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Don’t leave me
I won’t cry anymore
I won’t speak anymore
Will hide
Watching you
Dancing and smiling
And listening to you
Singing and then laughing
Let me become
The shadow of your shadow
The shadow of your hand
The shadow of your dog
Don’t leave me
Don’t leave me
Don’t leave me
Don’t leave me

Listen to Ne Me Quitte Pas On YouTube & Spotify

Listen to the song and follow along with the French and English lyrics above.

Listen on Spotify

Here you can listen on Spotify if you have an account.

More French song lyrics:

  • C’est Si Bon
  • Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien
  • La Vie En Rose
  • Alouette

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(Video) What does Ne Me Quitte Pas mean in English?
(Video) Jacques Brel - Ne Me Quitte Pas | Learn French with Lyrics | English Translation

FAQs

Why did Jacques Brel write Ne me quitte pas? ›

"Ne me quitte pas" is considered by some as "Brel's ultimate classic". It was written after Brel's mistress "Zizou" (Suzanne Gabriello) threw him out of her life. Zizou was pregnant with Brel's child, but Brel refused to acknowledge the child as his own.

What is Jacques Brel most famous song? ›

Jacques Brel – 10 of the best
  • Quand On N'a Que l'Amour.
  • Ne Me Quitte Pas.
  • Les Flamandes.
  • Les Bourgeois (Live Olympia 61)
  • Amsterdam.
  • Le Tango Funèbre.
  • Au Suivant.
  • La Chanson Des Vieux Amants.
27 Jul 2016

What language is Ne me quitte pas? ›

The meaning of “Ne Me Quitte Pas” is “Don't leave me” or “Do not leave me”. At the bottom of the post we've included the French lyrics with English translation as well as listening on YouTube and Spotify. The song's lyrics are sorrowful in nature.

Who wrote Ne me quitte pas? ›

Ne me quitte pas

What is Jacques Brel known for? ›

Jacques Brel, in full Jacques Romain Georges Brel, (born April 8, 1929, Schaerbeeck, Belgium—died October 9, 1978, Bobigny, near Paris, France), Belgian singer and songwriter whose literate, passionate songs made him one of the most popular French-language musicians in Europe and gained him a worldwide following.

What does Brel stand for? ›

BREL stands for British Rail Engineering Limited, which was the engineering division for British Rail until the design and building trains in the United Kingdom went private.

Is Jacques Brel still alive? ›

Did Nina Simone sing in French? ›

This song showcases Nina Simone's impressive and exquisite range as an entertainer who was as comfortable singing in French as she was in English. The emotion evoked in her rendition of this song is powerful.

Who sang the original If You Go Away? ›

"If You Go Away" is an adaptation of the 1959 Jacques Brel song "Ne me quitte pas" with English lyrics by Rod McKuen.

Is Regina Spektor famous? ›

Musical career

After self-releasing her first three records and gaining popularity in New York City's independent music scenes, particularly the anti-folk scene centered on New York City's East Village, Spektor signed with Sire Records in 2004 and began achieving greater mainstream recognition.

Who is Breland? ›

Breland has released two EPs on Bad Realm Records/Atlantic Records, and his music been streamed on Spotify over 150 million times.
...
Breland (musician)
Breland
Birth nameDaniel Gerard Breland
BornJuly 18, 1995 Burlington Township, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresCountry rap R&B gospel soul
Occupation(s)Singer songwriter record producer
6 more rows

Was Jacques Brel a smoker? ›

A heavy smoker, Brel died of lung cancer in 1978.

Who wrote the song Seasons in the Sun? ›

Where did Jacques Brel live? ›

Jacques Brel

Did Jacques Brel have children? ›

Jacques Brel

Who is the most popular song in the world? ›

As of June 2022, only two songs have reached 3 billion streams, those two songs being Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" and The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights", with "Shape of You" ranked in the top position. A total of 19 songs have reached 2 billion streams.

Who is the most famous singer in the world? ›

Popularity rankingArtist
01RihannaTrack artist
02DrakeTrack artist
03ColdplayTrack artist
04EminemTrack artist
94 more rows

Did Jacques Brel speak Flemish? ›

Jacques Brel grew up speaking Flemish and French and acquiring a hatred for the bourgeosie from which he sprang. "The bourgeois," he once said, "are like pigs. The older they get, the stupider they get." His professional singing career was pure accident.

Was Jacques Brel married? ›

Did Jacques Brel write his own songs? ›

Brel never sang a song he did not write himself. He never made an exception, not even for friends who wrote songs for him.

How did Nina Simone passed away? ›

She was 70. Clifton Henderson, who was at Simone's bedside at her death, said she died of "natural causes" in her sleep after a long illness. He refused to provide the name of the town where she lived.

Who is Lisa Simone married to? ›

Simone is married to Robert Kelly. Simone has appeared on Psychic Kids, the Larry King Show, and the Tyra Banks Show. Simone is also fluent in French, having been partly raised in Switzerland. She was featured on the France 24 program A l'Affiche on April 5, 2016.

Who wrote if u go away? ›

Who wrote If You Go Away '? ›

How did Jacquees get famous? ›

On October 1, 2014, Jacquees announced that he had signed a recording deal with Cash Money Records. In May 2016, he collaborated with label-mate Birdman on an EP titled Lost at Sea. He found mainstream success with his 2016 single "B.E.D.", charting at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Did Jacques Brel write his own songs? ›

Brel never sang a song he did not write himself. He never made an exception, not even for friends who wrote songs for him.

Where did Jacques Brel live? ›

Jacques Brel

Videos

1. Ne me quitte pas - Jacques Brel - 1959 - with English Subtitles
(AlineCunio)
2. Celine Dion - Ne Me Quitte Pas - Live [French & English On-Screen Lyrics]
(Golden Lyrics)
3. Ne me quitte pas Jacques Brel French and English subtitles mp4
(Renata Borovac)
4. Ne me quite pas English translation
(MR journals)
5. Ne me quitte pas - Jacques Brel - New English Translation
(baracine)
6. Nina Simone - Ne me quitte pas - English Translation
(marc vu)
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