Ensemble – Coeur de Pirate / French Lyrics and English Translation

I love Coeur de pirate. I saw her perform last summer in Vancouver, and I was worried that she wouldn’t be as good live. Fortunately, she was AMAZING! She sounded great, was very sweet and engaging, and was all around a great entertainer. “Ensemble” (“Together” in English) is another single off her debut album. Lyrics, translation, and video after the jump!

Vocabulary and explanation of the translation and phrases will follow the video and translation. My apologies if the video doesn’t work – you can watch it on YouTube but unfortunately it has become very difficult to embed videos with copyrighted content.

Check our the full track list of all Coeur de Pirate’s songs, lyrics, and translations.





FrenchEnglish
Côte contre côte nos corps vibrent partant
Et dans ces courses sans dérive
On tombe presque hors champ
Et dans tes rires qui défoncent plus que l’égo qui te prend
Tu nous réduis à l’impossible dans tes tourments

Et sans gêne tu te défonces, tu ne comprends pas
Car nous avions une belle histoire, tu le nieras pas
Par contre tes cris défoncent les murs de ton appartement

Pour atteindre mon coeur qui meurt un peu plus à chaque instant

~~*~~

Car ensemble rime avec désordre,
Et l’homme que tu es n’est plus que discorde
Car ce que tu es rime avec regret

De ma part je n’ai que ceux qui restent à jamais

~~*~~
Tête contre tête tu m’as vaincu juste à temps
Et quand tu es revenu
Tu n’étais plus comme avant
Et tes mensonges tiennent le seul homme que tu pourrais être
Mes plaies s’ouvrent un peu plus à chaque fois que tu t’entêtes

Et sans gêne tu te défonces, tu ne comprends pas
Que tu détruis une belle histoire, je le nierai pas
Par contre nos cris détruisent les murs de ton appartement

Pour atteindre l’amour qui meurt un peu plus à chaque instant

~~*~~
Car ensemble rime avec désordre,
Et l’homme que tu es n’est plus que discorde
Car ce que tu es rime avec regret

Pour ma part je n’ai que ceux qui restent à jamais
REPEATS

One against the other, our bodies vibrate gamely
And in these races, without drifting
We’re nearly out of sight
And your destructive laughter, even more than your giant ego
Reduces us to the impossible, with its tormenting

And shamelessly, you freak out, you don’t understand
Because we had a beautiful story, you can’t deny it
On the other hand, your shouting knocks down the walls of your apartment
To reach my heart, which dies a little more with each passing moment

Because “together” rhymes with “chaos”
And the man that you are, is nothing but strife
Because what you are rhymes with “regret”
As for me, I’ll only have those who will stay forever

Head to head, you beat me just in time
And when you came back
You weren’t like before
And your lies tarnish the man that you could be
And my wounds open a little more each time you persist

And shamelessly you freak out, you don’t understand
That you’re destroying a beautiful story, I won’t deny it
On the other hand our shouting knocks down the walls of your apartment
To reach the love that dies a bit more with each passing moment

Because “together” rhymes with “chaos”
And the man that you are, is nothing more than strife
Because what you are rhymes with “regret”
As for me, I’ll only have those who will stay forever

Vocabulary:
The entire first verse is quite challenging so let’s go through it:

Côte contre côte: this is a play on words. “Côte à côte” means “side by side” but here she is using “contre” rather than “à”. So it directly translates as: “side against side” (contre = against). So I’ve translated it as “one against the other.”

les courses (fem.): races




dérive: drift
“à la dérive” translates as drifting.

“hors champ”: is a cinematic term that means “off-screen.” It literally means “outside the field” (as in the field of vision).

“Dans ces courses, sans dérive
On tombe presque hors champ”

This lyric is a bit complicated – let’s break it down.

What she is saying is that in their races they haven’t drifted (off the racecourse) but they have fallen out of view (off-screen). This is clearly metaphorical – what do you think she is referring to?

défoncer: This verb is used over and over again in this song. It has a few different translations, including:
to smash in
to demolish
to break (something) down
“tes rires qui défoncent”: Literally “your laughs which demolish”

réduire: to reduce
This verb can be used in French in many of the same ways that it is used in English, including: to reduce something to a pulp, or to reduce something to ashes.

“l’égo qui te prend”: l’égo = ego
The phrase “qu’est-ce qui te prend?” means “what’s wrong with you?”, so she is saying the this guy’s ego is what’s wrong with him. Literally I would translate this as: “the ego, which is what’s the matter with you.” I’ve chosen to translate it as “your giant ego” since I think it’s implicitly obvious that she considers his ego to be a problem. (Haven’t we all been there?)

Let’s look at this entire lyric since it’s pretty tough:

Et dans tes rires qui défoncent plus que l’égo qui te prend
Tu nous réduis à l’impossible dans tes tourments

I think it’s almost easier to read it as a sentence like this:
Et dans tes rires (qui défoncent plus que l’égo qui te prend) tu nous réduis à l’impossible dans tes tourments.

This translates as: “And in your laughs (which destroy more than your giant ego) you reduce us to the impossible in your torments.” That doesn’t really make sense, so let’s make it a bit more idiomatic:

“And your laughter (which is more destructive even than your ego) reduces us to the impossible with your tormenting.” I believe that in this context “tes tourments” refers to “torments” as jeers or harassment. In this case his laughter is tormenting the speaker.

If anyone has a better or clearer translation of these lines I am open to suggestions!

Don’t worry – the rest of the song is more straightforward!

gêne: shame – hence “sans gêne” = “without shame” or “shamelessly”

se défoncer: se défoncer means a few different things. In this context it means “to freak out” hence “tu te défonces” means “you freak out.” Se défoncer is also a slang term that can mean “to get high” (on drugs), but that is not how it is used in this song.

nier: to deny (tu ne le nieras pas = you will not deny it)

par contre: on the other hand, by contrast

désordre: mess, chaos

discorde: strife, discord

à jamais: forever, for life, forevermore

les mensonges (fem.): lies (untruths)

ternir: to tarnish

tes mensonges ternissent = “your lies tarnish”

tes mensonges ternissent l’homme que tu pourrais être = “your lies tarnish the man that you could be”

I think many of us have thought this about a man (or woman) in our lives, yes?

That’s all! Please feel free to ask questions in the comments. Let me know if there is a particular song that you would like to see translated!

More Coeur de Pirate Song Translations

Here is my translation and analysis of Coeur de Pirate’s hit single Comme des Enfants

Here’s my translation of Coeur de Pirate’s single Adieu (French lyrics and English translation).

6 Comments

    • Terry

      Hello, I looked up défoncent and Google seems to translate it as “f*ck”. Is that incorrect or were you trying to make the translation more child-friendly?

      • French2Music

        Hi Terry, défoncent can certainly mean f**k but I don’t think it makes sense in the context of the song for his shouting to f**k the walls. 🙂 Maybe that is a saying that I’m not aware of though. Also se défoncer means “to freak out” (or to get very high/f**ked up) so in this context I think she means he is freaking out. Now that I think about it though, she could be writing about someone who is messing up a relationship by getting high all the time. What do you think?

  1. Nathan

    Thanks for breaking the whole thing down, as somebody still learning French that helped me a lot more than just seeing the translation!

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