Jean-Jacques Goldman started his never ending remarkable career in 1981, only one year before I was born, with a song called Il suffira d’un signe. Next time you’re in France, try asking any French person you meet about this song. I guarantee you they will all know it by heart, ou presque.


However it is with his album Non Homologué from 1985 that he stole my heart.

I was too young then of course but I remember using the record player from my sister’s bedroom for hours listening to this album as soon as I was capable enough to do so.

To this day, I feel exactly the same emotions when I listen to it. Timeless.

So yes, I grew up having the biggest crush on Jean-Jacques. Why? Because I loved his music, I loved his lyrics, I loved his voice, I loved his message, I loved his rebellious ways, not to mention he was très mignon, don’t you agree?

The man is beyond talented. Classically trained (violin, piano), he soon moved towards rock n roll and the guitar sounds. He also completed a fairly impressive degree from the fairly impressive École Des Hautes Études Commerciales or as we call it, HEC. Not only does he write all his music and lyrics but he does so for tons of other artists in France. And the fascinating thing is, he was / is hardly ever on TV! He doesn’t even need marketing! He’s a French idol. We all love him. So if you are a Francophile, you simply must know about Jean-Jacques Goldman.

Choosing one song out of his ginormous career was not easy.

I simply do not have a favorite. Instead I probably have about 24… at least.

The 1982 song I chose for you today called Comme toi may be as old as me yet it will probably always sound like an appropriate reminder on some level or another. It’s the story of a little girl named Sarah who lived a normal life, just like other little girls, comme toi meaning like you, until her life abruptly came to an end.

Without further ado, here is Comme toi with the French lyrics for you to sing along and the English translation so you can learn. Enjoy your French singing. Remember, it is such an efficient way to learn a language, whether you have a good voice or not ha!

Comme toi, Jean-Jacques Goldman 1982

Elle avait les yeux clairs et la robe en velours – She had bright eyes and a velvet dress
A côté de sa mère et la famille autour – Next to her mother and her family all around
Elle pose un peu distraite au doux soleil de la fin du jour – She poses a little distracted in the soft evening sun

La photo n’est pas bonne mais l’on peut y voir – The photo is not good but one can see in it
Le bonheur en personne et la douceur d’un soir – Happiness impersonated and the sweetness of an evening
Elle aimait la musique, surtout Schuman – She loved music, especially Schuman
Et puis mozart – and then Mozart

Comme toi – Like you
Comme toi que je regarde tout bas – Like you who I quietly watch
Comme toi qui dors en rêvant à quoi- Like you who sleeps dreaming of what
Comme toi – Like you

Elle allait à l’école au village d’en bas – She went to school in the village below
Elle apprenait les livres, elle apprenait les lois – She learned the books, she learned the laws
Elle chantait les grenouilles – She sang of frogs
Et les princesse qui dorment au bois – and of princesses who sleep in the woods

Elle aimait sa poupée, elle aimait ses amis – She loved her doll, she loved her friends
Surtout Ruth et Hannah et surtout Jérémie – Especially Ruth and Hanna, and especially Jeremy
Et ils se marieraient un jour peut-être à Varsovie – And maybe one day they would get married in Warsaw

Comme toi – Like you
Comme toi que je regarde tout bas – Like you who I quietly watch
Comme toi qui dors en rêvant à quoi- Like you who sleeps dreaming of what
Comme toi – Like you

Elle s’appelait sarah elle n’avait pas huit ans – Her name was Sarah and she was not yet eight
Sa vie, c’était douceur, rêves, et nuages blancs – Her life was sweetness, dreams, and white clouds
Mais d’autres gens en avaient décidé autrement – But other people had decided otherwise

Elle avait tes yeux clairs et elle avait ton âge – She had your bright eyes and she was your age
C’était une petite fille sans histoire et très sage – She was a very good well behaved little girl
Mais elle n’est pas née comme toi – But she was not born like you
Ici et maintenant – Here and now

Comme toi – Like you
Comme toi que je regarde tout bas – Like you who I quietly watch
Comme toi qui dors en rêvant à quoi- Like you who sleeps dreaming of what
Comme toi – Like you

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