Chanson du Jour: “La Javanaise”

Moniseur Pas de Merde offers two versions of this classic chanson “La Javanaise.” The first is performed by the man who also wrote the song, Serge Gainsbourg.

The second is performed by Madeleine Peyroux. This version was featured recently in the 2017 Oscar-winning film The Shape of Water.

Which do you prefer?


The Javanaise (written by Serge Gainsbourg)

J’avoue j’en ai bavé, pas vous, mon amour?
Avant d’avoir eu vent de vous mon amour
Ne vous déplaise
En dansant la Javanaise
Nous nous aimions
Le temps d’une chanson

À votre avis qu’avons-nous vu de l’amour?
De vous à moi vous m’avez eu, mon amour
Ne vous déplaise
En dansant la Javanaise
Nous nous aimions
Le temps d’une chanson

Hélas avril en vain me voue à l’amour
J’avais envie de voir en vous cet amour
Ne vous déplaise
En dansant la Javanaise
Nous nous aimions
Le temps d’une chanson

La vie ne vaut d’etre vécue sans amour
Mais c’est vous qui l’avez voulu, mon amour
Ne vous déplaise
En dansant la Javanaise
Nous nous aimions
Le temps d’une chanson

Madeleine Peyroux

The Javanaise (English Translation)

I confess, I went through hell, not you,
My love.
Before I got wind of you,1
My love.

Whether you admit it or not
As we danced the Javanaise,
We loved each other
For the time of one song.

In your opinion, what have we seen
Of love?
From you to me, you have had me,
My love.

Whether you admit it or not
As we danced the Javanaise,
We loved each other
For the time of one song.

Alas, April was in vain
When it came to love.
I felt like seeing
That love in you.

Whether you admit it or not
As we danced the Javanaise,
We loved each other
For the time of one song.

Life is not worth being lived
Without love,
But it’s you who wanted it,
My love.

Whether you admit it or not
As we danced the Javanaise,
We loved each other
For the time of one song.
https://lyricstranslate.com/en/la-javanaise.html

Chanson Du Jour: La Javanaise

Chanson Du Jour 10/26/2016: Pauline Croze performing “La Javanaise”

I think Serge Gainsbourg’s songwriting was at its best when he wasn’t attempting to shock with his “audio vérité” smutty songs. While 1967’s ” Je t’aime, Moi Non Plus” feels a bit skeevy today, “La Javanaise” feels like a cool breeze while walking along the Left Bank.

In this great 2010 clip from French TV’s Nouveaux Talents, Pauline Croze’ soulful wordless verse (1:35 to 2:20) is particularly merveilleux. Other good versions? Give a Spotify listen to Gainsbourg’s original and also one from (wait for it… wait for it…) Iggy Pop!  Continue reading “Chanson Du Jour: La Javanaise”