"Je T'Aime (Moi Non Plus)"

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Dear all, Hi! I recently saw Serge Gainsbourg's film "Je T'Aime (Moi Non Plus)" (I love you no more), feautiring Jane Birkin and Joe Dalessandro and Vian's name was mentioned in the credits, but I have no idea why. Can anyone help me with this, please? Thank you all in advance. Manolis




Boris Vian was the first 'famous' artist to acknowledge Serge Gainsbourg in print. I am not really sure if they had a personal relationship, but Gainsbourg thought very highly of Vian and his work. And there is for sure a shared aesthetic. Gainsbourg dedicated his film 'Je T' Aime (Moi Non Plus) to Boris Vian. If you don't know Gainsbourg's work - do check out his music as well as his novel Evguenie Sokolov - which proudly I am the publisher as well as Vian's I Spit on Your Graves and soon-to-be-published L'Ecume des jours.

-- Tosh Berman (tosh@loop.com), January 25, 2001.

Je t'aime, moi non plus DOES NOT mean I love you no more! It means "I love you" and the reply is "Me neither". It's strange - but true. It's a play on words. If you don't believe me, ask any COMPETENT linguist!

-- Jean-Philippe Martin (jeanphilippe2000@caramail.com), April 06, 2001.

Tosh, hi there - As the publisher can you help? I am wanting to discover who owns the film rights to L'Ecume des Jours with a view to producing an animated film based on the book. Can you enlighten me, or else point me in the right direction? E

-- Emma Maguire (emma@tworivers.co.uk), May 10, 2001.

The exact title for the film in english must be I love you me neither. They had the wrong translation. (I told jane birkin but she didn't seemed that bothered. I'm as the meaning is very different.)

For your answer, apparently Boris Vian wrote or inspired the title.

-- nick peterson (nick@Y2KDiary.com), June 29, 2001.

A bit offtopic, maybe, but a good english translation of the song "Je T'Aime (Moi Non Plus)" is made by (I think he made the translation at least) Mick Harvey and was originally published as a b-side on the Anita Lane single ("Worlds a girl"). The song named "I love you... Nor do i" is now availiable on Mick Harveys second album of Gainsburg- covers translated to english, named "Pink Elephants", and the song is performed by Nick Cave and Anita Lane.

-- Henning Norén (confusion@whoever.com), April 23, 2002.

Hi! I should say I don't speak French, but just wondering if couldn't it be "Je t'aime... Moi non plus" translated into something like: "I love you... I can't love you more(than I do)" ???

(The thing is whether Gainsbourg's reply is positive or negative, in other words, if he replies that he loves her no more(negative) or he can't love her more than he does(positive)).

-- Juanjo Pérez-Cellini Portet (juanjo_perez@hotmail.com), May 22, 2002.

In a recent BBC Radio 3 documentary it was claimed that Gainsbourg was a protege of Vian's, who worked with him in the music business in his early days. Gainsbourg does seem to exemplify the loucher aspects of Vian's personas, as well as the energy and love-hate of the US. I'm surprised there's no consensus on the meaning of the title yet, but then my French is crap. The mixture of ardour and cynicism it appears to contain is very Vianesque.

-- Brian Clover (brianclover@hotmail.com), September 15, 2002.

"Je t'aime ... moi non plus" should be translated as "I love you ... neither do I". You would expect "Je t'aime ... moi aussi" ("I love you ... so do I") or "Je ne t'aime pas ... moi non plus" ("I don't love you ... neither do I") but this strange construction is called "poesie" ("poetry") ... Serge Gainsbourg was a very talented author and music writer... A french fan.

-- Laurent (noemail@please.com), November 25, 2002.

speaking of linguists, visit:


-- imme (¿¿¿??@greenspun.com), January 21, 2003.

as it has been said before : "je t'aime... moi non plus" does not absolutely mean "I love you no more" but "I love you... ME NEITHER" and was originalement composed for Brigitte Bardot. In an interview given to Gilles Verlant. Serge gives somes explainations (I'm too bad and to lazy to translate in english): "j'aime les femmes en tant qu'objet, les belle femmes, les mannequins, les modèles. C'est le peintre qui revient en moi, je ne leur dit jamais je t'aime. Je t'aime... moi non plus exprime la supériorité de l'erotisme sur le sentimentalisme [...] Il existe des milliers de chansons consacrés à l'amour romantique, sentimentale, des rencontres, découvertes, jalousies, illusions, désillusions,des rendez vous, des trahisons, des remord, des haines, etc... Alors pourquoi ne pas consacrer une chanson à une sorte d'amour bien plus courant de nos jours, l'amour physique? "je t'aime" n'est pas une chanson obscène, elle me semble raisonnable et comble une lacune. L'explication est que la fille dit je t'aime pendant l'amour et que l'homme, avec le ridicule de la virilité, ne le croit pas. Il pense qu'elle ne le dit que dans un moment de jouissance, de plaisir. cela m'arrive de le croire, c'est un peu ma peur de me faire avoir. mais ca c'est aussi une démarche ésthétique, une recherche d'absolu" About Vian: Serge met Vian, in Paris and more precisely in "les trois baudets", an old café in the 6th district, serge was very impressed by his lyric, and his way to be on stage. It is Vian, who has given to serge the will to be a singer (he was a painter before). Jer, big fan

-- jer, Paris (johnnyaufdermauer@hotmail.com), March 24, 2003.

This is not answer, but can someone translate the following lyrics in english that make sense. I have tried translation right, it did not make sense.

Danser, du regard et des mains apprivoiser Une proposition, un pour parler Une invitation à tout oublier

Tanguer, comme les radeaux dérivent, les canoës Comme le vin ennivre, se griser Comme un tango, tanguer, se renverser

Tomber, comme l'oiseau porté par les grands vents Comme le bateau au fond de l’océan Comment choisir de vivre le néant

Aime-moi... Aime-moi... Aime-moi... Aime-moi...

Danser, fermer les yeux, ne surtout plus penser Du bout des doigts, te toucher, te troubler Dire que je danse, mais t'apprivoiser

Tomber, dans cet orage, mourir foudroyé Dans ce volcan, me perdre et m'y brûler Mourir d'amour et en ressusciter

(Aime-moi) Comme une parenthèse, une pose, une trêve, un vide ou je me noie (Aime-moi) Comme l'amour en rêve, sans interdit, sans règle, ne plus penser qu'à ça (Aime-moi) Et comme un sacrilège, assouvir le cortège de mes désirs de toi (Aime-moi) Et j’arrête le temps, respire à contre-temps, ne respire presque pas

(Aime-moi) (Je trace le chemin de la bouche, de mes mains, te dessine la voie ) (Aime-moi) (Et c'est moi qui décide, qui t’emmène et te guide et dispose de toi) (Aime-moi) (Te manger comme une pomme qu'on croque et abandonne, te prendre comme un homme) (Aime-moi) (Je connais la manière et comment il faut faire pour trouver la lumière)

Aime-moi... Aime-moi... Aime-moi... Aime-moi...

-- Travis Delgado (the_rappi@hotmail.com), June 05, 2003.

Lovely movie - Even remotely referencing Bardot is an offense to both the art and gay community. She is an old, homophobic whore which is rather paradoxical to the movie, is it not? As for the direct translation of aforementione title your right and wrong as it is a play on words and. ;)

-- Joe (voxetpraet@aol.com), June 18, 2003.

As much as i can get translated of ***johnnyaufdermauer@hotmail.com***

I like the women as an object, the beautiful women, the mannequins, the models. This is the painter that returns in me, I does not say for them never I like you. I t'aime... me no more expresss the superiority of the erotisme on the sentimentalisme… It exists thousands of songs devoted to romantic, sentimental love, of the meet, discovered, jealousies, illusions, disillusions, of the return you, treasons, remord, hates, etc... Then why not to consecrate a song to a love sort well more running these days, physical love? "I like you" is not an obscene song, she seems to me reasonable and fills a gap. The explanation that the girl said I like you during love and that the man, with the ridiculous one virilité, does not believe it. *** It thinks that she does not say it that in a moment of jouissance, of pleasure. that arrives me to believe it, this is a little my fear to do me to have. but ca this is also a gait ésthétique, a research of absolute one"

-- (Raptaur@hotmail.com), July 29, 2003.


I love (the) women like an object, the beautiful women, the mannequins, the models. This is the painter that returns in me, I never tell them I love you. I love you… me neither expresses the superiority of the erotism on the sentimentalism… There exist thousands of songs devoted to romantic, sentimental love, to encounters, discoveries, jealousies, illusions, disillusions, meetings, betrayels, remorses, hates, etc... Then why not devote a song to a love sort well more running these days, physical love? "I love you" is not an obscene song, it seems reasonable to me and fills a gap. The explanation is that the girl says I love you during sex and that the man, with the ridiculousness of virility, does not believe her. He thinks that she says it in a moment of enjoyment, of pleasure. that arrives me to believe it, this is a little my fear to do me to have. but that is also an esthetic step, a search of the ultimate"

-- elke (tweedltje@yahoo.co.uk), September 12, 2003.

"I love women as an object, the beautiful women, the mannequins, the models. This is the inner painter in me. I never tell them I love them. Je t'aime... moi non plus (I love you... me neither) expresses erotism overcoming sentimentalism… So many songs about romantic and sentimental love, encounters, discoveries, jealousy, illusions, desillusions, betrayals, remorses, hatred, etc... Then why not devote a song to a sort of love much more commom these days: physical love? "Je t'aime" isn't an obscene song, it's very reasonable to me, and fills this gap. Its explanation is that girls say "I love you" during sex, and the man with their ridiculous virility doesn't believe them. They think the girls only say it as a result of enjoyment, of pleasure. I guess i believe the girls, or maybe that's a result of my fear. But that's also an aesthetic step, a search of absoluteness" - Serge Gainsburg

-- stooges (foo@bar.com), October 26, 2003.

Can someone just tell me where to find an english translation of the lyrics and I'll figure out the deep stuff?

Thanks, Bob

-- Bob (bdoyle@cleardatacorp.com), November 02, 2003.

Happy to help:


-- Test (test@test.com), November 10, 2003.

I have to say that the translation the person above linked to is not a very good one... I recommend anyone seeking a good English translation of the beautiful song, Je T'Aime (Moi Non Plus), to check out Mick Harveys version featuring Nick Cave and Anita Lane. Not a perfect translation but it is one of the best I've come across. The lyrics (not printed in the sleeve but posted on a Mick Harvey mailinglist);

<----------------------------------------------> I love you I love you Oh yes I love you

Nor do I

Oh my love

Like the wave Irresolute

I go I go and I come Inside you my love I go and I come Inside you my love And then I hold on

I love you I love you Oh Yes I love you

Nor do I

You are the wave And I the naked island You go you go and you come you go and you come inside me my love and then we are one

I love you I love you Oh yes I love you Nor do I

Oh my love

Like the wave irresolute

I go i go and I come Inside you my love I go and I come Inside you my love And then I hold on

(orgasms--universal, i think, in any language)

I love I love you my love Inside me my love I love you my love Deep inside me my love And then we are one

I love you I love you Oh yes I love

Nor do I

Oh my love

Physical love is a dead end*

I go I go and I come Inside you my love I go and I come And I hold on


(orgasms again)

*another translation says "physical love is without exit" I think Mick Harvey's translation is good, but it is still a bit rough. You should check out the song--Anita Lane and Nick Cave (from the Bad seeds--"red right hand") <-------------------------------------------------------------->

You can find the original mail at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gainsbourg/message/557

Sincerely /Henning

-- Henning Norén (confusion@whoever.com), November 24, 2003.

Hi, could someone please clarify one thing: I saw the film at the Stockholm cinemateque and it was all in English (spoken Enlish that is, Swedish subtitles). Not that it would be too strange since both Joe Dallesandro and Jane Birkin have English as their native tongue.

However all other references to the film (imdb.com amazon.fr) lists it as being in French (which would be the expected).

So - is originally in French and for some reason Sweden ended up with a dubbed print (for no obvious reason at all) - or is the film indeed in English and the above listings are wrong?

many thanks jakob - who will buy the French release asap if it is confirmed being in English..

-- jakob (parabellum@japan.com), February 01, 2004.

Serge has recently just entered my life. I don't speak French but was drawn to the beautiful melodies and humorously seductive voice. What I want to know is why haven't there been more attempts to translate his work. I would think that there could potentially be enough interest. I would love to see a collection of interviews and the like translated as well as his songs. Even analysis of his lyrics. I read the book by Sylvie Simmons, A Fist Full of Gitanes, but I want MORE information. One would think that some French major at some university could make a few bucks doing this very important cultural exchange. Regarding Harvey's version of the song in question, I like it. Basically I am grateful to have a bit more insight into Serge's lyrics. Please someone, take up the task. Traslate the writings on Serge so I might devour them. Thanks, Nicole Santa Clara, California

-- Nicole (nicole1968@hotmail.com), February 18, 2004.

My first boyhood passion, Bridget Bardot, God, was I in love, I've been in love with France eversince. "Je T'Aime", even if you can't speak French properly, like me, the music has all the magic of love, the words, mysteriously sensual. Blow the technicalitys, its the greatest last record of any dance.

-- Chris Norris (cnor@freenetname.co.uk), April 24, 2004.

There are english versions of Gainsbourgs's songs: "Comic Strip", "Bonnie And Clyde"

-- Adrian (slogan@vp.pl), June 23, 2004.

Hi!I think anyone that made love with someone and really felt love in that moment should know what "she" feels...and should understand the man that in that moment feels the erotic part of love and doesn`t think of love ike that "stupid" "i love you"...He doesn`t feelo love anymore...what he feels is really something ....he almost doesn`t feel "love"...he feels something more then it...he is a kind of a superman of love and making love...I haven`t seen the movie...i heard the song now...But..whatevere it would mean....This man....loves "her"..and knows what it means ..."je t`aime"... And this woman...Well..(this is for women..)....don`t you feel like saing "je t`aime" eveerytime you make love?But really love!

-- Irene Alessandrre (cuddle_frog@yahoo.com), July 17, 2004.

The lyrics "Je vais et je viens entre tes reins" actually translate into "I come and go between your kidneys" don't they? French speakers please clarify.

-- Sophie Brown (smbrown@col-westanglia.ac.uk), July 23, 2004.

This is so wonderful to see that more than 3 years after the first posting, still people are intrigued with this marvell of a song. I first heard it when I was overseas (in lebanon) at a friends house. I can understand some words in french, but I requested to my friend, to translate it for me as the song was playing. hehehe She was very flustered, and couldn't complete the song, now I understand why. Few songs have this effect on people, and I salute this great composition. I do miss french music, it is hard to find songs in english which dare to traverse the emotional and plough the physical simultaneously, two songs which come to mind are Brian McKnight; Love of My Life and Alanis Morriset; Uninvited.


-- Zero (complexfield@hotmail.com), September 27, 2004.

Hey... "songs in english which dare to traverse the emotional and plough the physical simultaneously"? Give a try to Leonard Cohen.

-- Garreth (garreth__@hotmail.com), October 03, 2004.

I don't speak any French. Gainsbourg & Birkin captured "something" does any body have a true translation??? Please let me know...

-- sandra powell (sandrapowell2@hotmail.com), November 01, 2004.

"reins" also means "lower back"

-- niu (annushka_p@hotmail.com), January 07, 2005.

I'm only on the begining of french 3 and i'm not absolutely sure what all of this means so if somebody could translate it I would greatly appreciate it....

C'est le malaise du moment L'épidémie qui s'étend La fete est finie on descend Les pensées qui glacent la raison Paupières baissées, visage gris Surgissent les fantomes de notre lit On ouvre le loquet de la grille Du taudit qu'on appelle maison

Sommes nous les jouets du destin Souviens toi des moments divins Planants, éclatés au matin Et maintenant nous sommes tout seuls Perdus les reves de s'aimer Les temps où on avait rien fait Il nous reste toute une vie pour pleurer Et maintenant nous sommes tout seuls

-- Kaitlin Cornett (sweeteezz@yahoo.com), January 31, 2005.

I speak Spanish and English too. I understand French a little, just a little, and it seems to me that in one line of the conversation the man says "Amour physique est fantastique", not "L’amour physique est sans issue", 'cause the translation would be different. It would be, in Spanish, for the first, "El amor físico es fantástico (grandioso, maravilloso, "de otro mundo")", and for the second woul be "El amor físico no tiene propósito". In English it would be, for the first, "Physical love is fantastic" and, for the second, "Physical love has no purpose". Really, that's what it is. Besides, it's a good song. [To tell you the truth, it has a bit of ska and the heritage of reggae riddims.] I like this kind of songs, lusty songs...

-- John (disconnected@starmedia.com), February 05, 2005.

Only read a part of this conversation but to me (A swedish-speaking student) it is completly obvious what the correct translation would be and also what the song is trying to say. "Je t'aime...moi non plus" - "I love you...me neither/Nor do I" is exactly what it means and as all of you may have heard, the song is like a long sexual intercourse. The lyrics are even quite funny as they speak of how physical love and sex often can be misstaken for "the real deal" and how during sexual intercourse one easely might say "I love you" without reason nor meaning. It is also a bit sexual desciminating since one may interpret the whole thing as if the woman says "Oh, I love you etc..." and the man is more like "Yeah yeah, whatever, I don't love you either but this is good sex baby"....it's sort of a game between the sexes and women and mens different way of looking at love vs. sex. Is it trying to speak of a more romantic and soft feminine side and a more realistic and wild masculing side? Who the two sexes experiences love-making quite diffrently... So basicly, I don't think that it's about that the woman loves the man but he doesn't love her...you have to go deeper than that and see that the lyrics (well, at least the titel) of this song is really interresting and has a message and a meaning that can not be understood just by knowing the correct translation. Oh though, I have one question..."entre tes reines"...As I said, I only speak a little french but the translation I found of this sentence was "Between your kindneys"...Please tell me that it is not the correct translation?

-- Caroline (Caroline_starletter88@hotmail.com), February 12, 2005.

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