Comme des Enfants was the lead single off Couer de Pirate’s eponymous debut album. Coeur de Pirate (real name: Beatrice Martin) is a young woman from Quebec and she scored a major hit with “Comme des Enfants.” This song has a lot of lyrics, and I have provided a detailed translation of them. French lyrics, English translation, video, and an explanation of the phrases and vocabulary are after the jump. This is my own translation, and I go into detail about why I chose to translate certain phrases in particular ways.
The vocabulary and an explanation of the phrases come after the lyrics and translation. Comme des Enfants was a huge hit – it peaked at #2 on the Belgian charts, #4 in France, and #10 on the French downloads chart. A modified version of the song was used in ads for Disneyland Paris. Not bad for a first single!
Check our the full track list of all Coeur de Pirate’s songs, lyrics, and translations.
Comme des Enfants – French Lyrics and English Translation
|Alors tu vois, comme tout se mêle|
Et du cœur à tes lèvres, je deviens un casse-tête
Ton rire me crie, de te lâcher
Avant de perdre prise, et d’abandonner
Car je ne t’en demanderai jamais autant
Déjà que tu me traites, comme un grand enfant
Nous n’avons plus rien à risquer
À part nos vies qu’on laisse de coté
Et il m’aime encore, et moi je t’aime un peu plus fort
C’en est assez de ces dédoublements
Il m’aime encore, et toi tu m’aimes un peu plus fort
Encore, et moi je t’aime un peu plus fort
|So you see as everything gets mixed up|
From your heart to your lips, I become a headache (problem)
Your laugh defies me to let you go
Before losing hold and abandoning
Because I would never ask you for that much
You already treat me like a big child
And we have nothing left to lose
Except our lives, which we have set aside
And he still loves me, and me I love you a little more
That’s enough of this splitting in halves
He still loves me, and you love me a little more
Again, me I love you a little more
Vocabulary from “Comme des Enfants”:
mêler: to mix up, to mix
un casse-tête: Problème difficile à résoudre. English: a headache, or a difficult problem.
lacher: to release, to relinquish, to drop off, to let go
prise: hold, grip, grasp
dédoubler: partager en deux. English: to split in half
dédoublement: the act of splitting in half
décidé: determined, decided, purposeful
Let’s talk a bit about the song overall, and then we can break down some of the phrases.
Comme des Enfants Lyrics, Tone, and Music Analysis
First let’s establish one fact: this song is definitely about a love triangle. The female speaker reflects over and over again “he still loves me, and you love me a bit more; but he still loves me, and I love you a bit more.” The repetition of the chorus shows that she is deeply conflicted about being caught between these two men. I like how the repetition mirrors the sort of circular thinking that people often have when they are ruminating on an impossible situation.
It sounds like she was in a relationship with the first guy, then met the second guy and they became friends in what sounds like an innocent way – when she mentions their relationship she sings “Déjà que tu me traites, comme un grand enfant” (you already treat me like a big kid), but at some point crossed the line. When she sings “Car sans rire c’est plus facile de rêver; À ce qu’on ne pourra, jamais plus toucher” (without laughter it’s easier to dream of what we can never again touch), it sounds like they crossed a line and are now trying to spend time together without crossing that line again. It’s that feeling of “we know we shouldn’t” but still being drawn to each other.
The whole song evokes a youthful innocence: everything from the beautiful piano melody to the lyrics to the music video.
Rather than sounding tortured and angsty, as you might expect a young woman to when reflecting on being caught between 2 men, this song keeps a sort of youthful purity and innocence. It also has a sort of dreaminess to it, and I think that reflects what the speaker feels when she is with this second man. She sings “Nous n’avons plus rien à risquer; À part nos vies qu’on laisse de coté” (we don’t have anything left to risk; except our lives, which we have set aside) it emphasizes that a) they have already hooked up, so that barrier has already been breached; and b) they are operating in a sort of “dream world” where mundane considerations, such as her boyfriend, have been set aside. But again, the wistful repetition of the chorus suggests that she is still struggling with a decision, while also trying to embrace the sweetness of the present moment. The end of the song is ambiguous, the chorus is repeated again and again, this time with more voices chiming in, building the tension, until the speaker ends the song with a single “et moi, je t’aime un peu plus fort” (and I love you a bit more). It sounds like she has perhaps made her choice, or at least acknowledged that her feelings for the second guy are stronger. What do you think?
More Coeur de Pirate Song Translations:
If you like this song, be sure to check out my translation of Coeur de Pirate’s new single: Adieu (French lyrics and English translation).
Check out my translation of Coeur de pirate’s song “Ensemble.”