France: Do you like “N’oubliez pas” more after reading the lyrics?

Ever since France announced Lisa Angell will sing “N’oubliez pas” at Eurovision 2015, our readers have been blowing up our comments section. The song was written around the time of Armistice Day, which commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany. Some readers complained that the topic was a total downer, while others wrote that the song was forgettable and more than a tad boring. But as the days have gone by, more of our readers have warmed to the tune and its subject matter. They encouraged us to read the N’oubliez pas lyrics. We’ve done so, and translated les paroles into English.

What’s most striking to us is that the lyrics — all about rebuilding yourself and your community in the aftermath of war — transpose nicely to the recent tragedies in Paris.

I am here tonight
In the middle of these ruins
In order to talk about hope
And to sing about life
And I make the promise
That when the blood will dry
I will rebuild my village
Even more beautiful than before
But don’t forget

Does reading the lyrics change your opinion of the song? Do you think that with the right staging this could be really powerful? Or are you a bit sceptical? As we all know, having meaningful lyrics isn’t always enough to save a song from last place at Eurovision. Let us know in the comments box below!

N’oubliez pas — Lisa Angell

N’oubliez pas lyrics / paroles — Lisa Angel

Il ne me reste que des larmes
Ces quelques notes venues d’autrefois
Et le chant de nos prières
Nos cœurs qui espèrent
Et le vide sous mes pas
Il ne me reste que les cendres
De mon village plongé dans le silence
Je ne suis qu’une blessure
Un cœur sans armure
Comment survivre après ça?
Mais je suis là
Je n’oublie pas
Dans mon village
Balayé par l’histoire
Et je vis là
N’oubliez pas
Effacée des cartes et des mémoires
Je me souviens du rire des enfants
La voix des hommes quand ils partaient aux champs
Les fêtes des moissons
L’odeur dans les maisons
Les éclats d’amour et de joie
Mais je suis là
N’oubliez pas
Effacée des cartes et des mémoires
Quand ils sont arrivés
Cachés derrière leurs armes
Ils étaient des milliers
Ils riaient de nos larmes
Ils ont voulu détruire
Mes croyances sous leurs armes
Avec des mots de haine
Que l’on connaissait pas
Je suis ici ce soir
Au milieu de ces ruines
Pour vous parler d’espoir
Et vous chanter la vie
Et je fais le serment
Quand séchera le sang
De reconstruire ma ville
Bien plus belle qu’avant
Mais n’oubliez pas

“Don’t forget” lyrics / English translation

Don’t forget
Only tears remain for me
These few notes from the past
And the melody of our prayers
Our hearts, that are hoping
And the emptiness beneath my steps
Only ashes remain for me
My village plunges into silence
I am only a wound
A heart without armor
How to survive after that?
But I am there
I don’t forget
In my village
Swept away by history
And I live there
Don’t forget
Erased from the maps and memories
I remember the children laughing
The voices of the men leaving for the fields
Harvest celebrations
The smell inside houses
Bursts of love and joy
But I am there
Don’t forget
Erased from the maps and memories
When they arrived
Hidden behind their weapons
They were thousands
They laughed at our tears
They wanted to destroy
My beliefs under their fire
With the words of hatred
Which were unknown to us
I am here tonight
In the middle of these ruins
In order to talk about hope
And to sing about life
And I make the promise
That when the blood will dry
I will rebuild my village
Even more beautiful than before
But don’t forget

Our readers’ first impressions

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