J'en connais

In this song, Carla Bruni reflects on the many men of different character that she knows.  In her later song: “Je suis une enfant” on her third album of 2008, she tells us with her usual engaging frankness that she has had thirty lovers.  As she is an attractive, intelligent young lady with a very active social and professional life, we can understand that she has relationships with a lot of men, at varying levels of intimacy.  Apparently, however, according to some lines in this song, her mother is not so understanding about this.  Beauty, talent and success have always aroused envy, which is given full voice in our censorious contemporary media.  In the face of this Carla Bruni asserts her right to live her own life.

The lady who posted this song on You Tube, illustrated it with the cover photo from the later third album “No Promises”, explaining that she likes this picture.

YouTube Video


J'en connais des qui charment,
Des qui me laissent femme,
J'en connais qui me pâment(1)...
J'en connais des jolis,
Des qui roule comme des filles,
Des qui me piquent(2) mes bodys...

J'en connais tant tellement ça me prend tout mon temps,
Et même ma maman qui m'adore tendrement,
Elle me dit : "C'est pas bien, ce n'est pas bon tout ce rien,
Reprends ton droit chemin..."

 

J'en connais des superbes,
Des bien-mûrs, des acerbes,
Des velus, des imberbes,
J'en connais des sublimes,
Des mendiants, des richissimes,
Des que la vie abîme...

 

J'en connais même tellement ça me prend trop de temps,
Et ma pauvre maman se dit en soupirant,
"Qu'ais-je fait pour cela ? Est-ce de ma faute à moi,
Si ma fille est comme ça ?"

 

(Musique)

 

J'en connais même tellement ça me prend trop de temps,
Et ma pauvre maman se dit en soupirant,
"Qu'ais-je fait pour cela ? Est-ce de ma faute à moi,
Si ma fille est comme ça ?"

 

 

J'en connais dans chaque port,
Dans chaque Sud, dans chaque Nord,
J'en connais sans efforts,
J'en connais qui vont dire,
Que je suis bonne à maudire,
Et moi ça me fait sourire...




I know some who can charm,
Some who leave me woman,
I know some who make me swoon...
I know some nice-looking,
Some who move like girls do,
Some who pierce my body’s…

I know so many that it takes me all my time,
And even my mum who loves me dearly,
She says to me: "It isn't right, it isn't good all this nonsense,
Get back on the right track..."

 

I know some quite superb,
Some mature, some waspish,
Some hairy, some clean-shaven,
I know some sublime,
Some who must beg, some super rich,
Some whom life’s destroying...

 

 

I know so many even it takes too much time
And my poor mum says to herself with a deep sigh,
"What have I done for this? Is it through fault of mine,
If my daughter’s like this?"

 

 

 

I know so many even it takes too much time
And my poor mum says to herself with a deep sigh,
"What have I done for this? Is it through fault of mine,
If my daughter’s like this?"

 

 

I know some in each port,
In each South, in each North,
I know without effort,
I know some who will say,
That I am to be condemned,
And me that just makes me smile.






TRANSLATION NOTES

  1. qui me pâment – « se pâmer » means « to swoon » /se pâmer devant qch/ être pâmé devant qch means to be enraptured by something

  2. qui me piquent – « Piquer » means (a) to sting/ to bite e.g. a bee or snake – (b) to stab/stick something in/ (c)  To pick up –e.g. an illness/  piquer qch is to pinch/ steal something and also gives the adjective piquant, which has the same meaning in English. As there are so many alternatives, we just have to take our pick as we translate.

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