Sunday, 13 September 2009

Serge Gainsbourg - Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M'En Vais

Album Vu de L'extérieur (Phillips,1973) Chart pos: N/A

More songs about Whisky & Gitanes.

On an album where the subject matters include sex, flatulence and fecal matter you hardly expect a surprisingly tender break-up song wedged between them. But if you think beyond the whisky, hedonism, womanizing and the televised lewdness you see someone who was at heart a romantic. In the song Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M'En Vais (I Just Came to Tell You i’m Going) Serge bids adieu to a former lover backed with a spare folksy arraignment backed by piano and chiming percussion. This is a good example of the stripped down feel of some of Serge’s early 70’s music. In many ways it's a continuation from the last album (1971’s Melody Nelson) folksy sound minus Jean-Claude Vannier’s strings, yet much of the remainder of Vu de l'extérieur experiments with a laid-back funk style. In the years since his death Serge’s influence seems to grow year by year influencing groups like Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Goldfrapp and The Super Furry Animals. And despite being an ambivalent figure amongst the French in his lifetime his enduring popularity there has seen him compared to such songwriting greats as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.

Here’s an obituary from 1991 including one weird clip near the end where a bunch of children dressed like Serge are singing Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M'En Vais with a Gitane an a glass of whisky in their hands while a rather disheveled Serge looks on.

And for an English translation.

No comments:

Post a Comment