Carla Bruni wrote this song in memory of her late friend François Baudot (1950- 2010).  Originally Baudot had been an architect, specializing in interior design. He moved into journalism by contributing articles to leading magazines and became an editor and professional writer.  He had been a long-time friend of Carla Bruni, who was previously a student of architecture, and, when her son, Aurélien, was born in 2001, Baudot was a godfather.  At the end of 2009, during the presidency of her husband, Nicholas Sarkozy, he was given a major administrative post in the French Ministry of Culture, prompting accusations of patronage in some sections of the press.

François Baudot committed suicide on the 7th May 2010 at the age of 60.

Carla Bruni provides us with us a full introduction to this song in an interview which she gave.  She tells us that “Darling” was the nickname by which François Baudot always addressed her and it was also the first word on the note which he left for her when he took his own life.  After his death, she had been in a state of deep distress for many long days.  She tells us that she felt guilty because she had never telephoned him even though she knew things weren’t right with him.  She was away from France on an official visit to China and had allowed herself to be trapped by her commitments and by the time difference between China and France.  Previously, François had confided in her that he no longer felt like doing anything anymore and she blamed her self-concentration for not giving enough weight to these words and for failing to realize the depths of his loneliness.  She vows never to make a mistake like this again.

During this period, she had been suffering from a writer’s block, but miraculously the words of the song came to her easily and they opened up for her a door which released her  from her sorrow.

Typically, Carla talks with total frankness about one of her most painful personal experiences and from this she produces a sad and melodious poem.


YouTube Video


Il m'appelait darling

En buvant son long drink

Tout de lin blanc vêtu

Pochette mauve et pieds nus

Il m'appelait darling

Comme un grand frère unique

Un oncle d'Amérique

Tout seul dans le living

Il me disait darling

L'époque est bien cruelle

Mais pour toi elle est belle

Tu es faite pour le ring

Et il me disait darling

Quand on à l'étincelle

Et des rêves à la pelle

On doit piquer son sprint


Il m'appelait darling

Comme un vieux Lord anglais

Un cousin égaré

Entre Proust et Kipling

Il m'appelait darling

Tout en me souriant

Et je le revois si grand

Nostalgique et charming


Il me disait darling

Prends garde à l'existence

Tout est dans l'élégance

Même au creux d'un looping

Il me disait darling

Rien ne vaut l'éphémère

Rien ne vaut le mystère

Dans une larme de gin


Il m'appelait darling

Mais plus rien ne lui était cher

Et sa solitude amère

Lui allait comme un smoking

Il m'appelait darling

Mais quand tombait le soir

A l'heure du désespoir

Il plongeait dans son spleen


Il me disait darling

Certains sont trop fragiles

Certains sont mal habiles

Tout le monde n'a pas ton swing

Il me disait darling

Je n'ai plus de saveur

Je n'ai plus rien à cœur

Plus l'ombre d'un feeling


Il m'appelait darling

Maintenant j'ai ton silence

Le trou de son absence

Et sa montre Breitling

Il m'a écrit darling

À toi mon dernier mot

Ne m'en veux pas darling

Je quitte le bateau

Et il m'appelait darling

Dis à ceux que j'aimais

Que mon corps de bastringue

A fini par lâcher


He used t’call me darling

While drinking his long drink

Dressed all in white linen

Mauve kerchief and  bare feet

He used t’call me darling

Like an only big brother

An uncle from the States.

All alone in the lounge

He said to me darling

The time we live in is cruel

 But for you it is fine

You are made for the ring

And he said to me darling

When you’ve a real spark

And got dreams aplenty

You must put on a sprint.


He used t’call me darling

Like an old English Lord

Or a long-lost cousin

Between Proust and Kipling

He used t’call me darling

While giving me a smile

And I see him now so tall

nostalgic and charming


He said to me darling

Beware the lives we lead

All is about elegance

Ev’n in looping the loop  

He said to me darling

Nothing  beats the ephem’ral

Nothing beats the mystery

In a drop of gin


He used t’call me darling

But he no longer warmed to a thing

And his bitter solitude

Suited him like a tuxedo

He used t’call me darling

But when the evening fell

At the hour of despair

He plunged into his woes.


He said to me darling

Some people break too easy

Some just don’t have the knack

Not everyone has  your swing

He said to me darling

I can no more  savour,

Can no more take to my heart

No more the hint of a feeling


He used t’call me darling

Now I have just your silence

The hole from his absence

And his Breitling wristwatch

He wrote to me darling

To you my very last note

Don’t reprove me  darling

I’m leaving the boat

He was calling me darling

Tell all those whom I loved.

That my rubbish body

Has finally let go .