You know what, this has got to be my longest love story because I’m 35 years old and I fell under the charm (like millions of other French people) of Mylène Farmer when I was 6. That’s almost 30 years of loving and singing and dancing and dreaming, all thanks to Mylène, mon héroïne! Ma déesse de jeunesse!

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Today Mylène is 56 so when the little girl that I was saw her face for the first time on my sister’s records, she was much younger of course, but in fact, she didn’t really have an age. She simply looked perfect. An Angel. I was instantly intrigued & seduced. So I played my sisters records and her dark & mysterious lyrics that I couldn’t quite understand reinforced my fascination from this magical not quite from this world being. That was it. I was in love!

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In case you’re thinking Farmer is not much of a French name, you’re right! Her birth name is Mylène Gautier, but she chose the stage name of Farmer as a tribute to her idole Frances Farmer, a 1930’s Hollywood actress from Seattle! Even though both her parents were French, Mylène was born and grew up in Canada where her father’s work took her family for a few years.

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They came back to France and she began her singing career in 1984. If you like numbers, here’s what Wikipedia has to say: “She has sold more than 30 million records in France and is among the most successful recording artists of all-time in France. She holds the record for the most number one hits in the French charts, with seventeen to date – eight of which were consecutive. Twelve of her albums have also reached number one in France.”

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The reason why I call her a goddess in the title of this blog post isn’t simply caused by how different she appears to be but also because of the adoration she generates from her fans. All you need to do is watch a video of her singing live (I chose one and added it at the bottom of this blog post) to see people in a trance, in tears. I don’t know how she does it. Like them, I cannot watch her sing without crying.

My mother bought me some shelves from Emmaüs (French version of the American Goodwill!) last week, which I decided to paint and decorate last night while singing at the top of my lungs to my beloved Mylène. I had so much fun! That experience made me want to share her with you so I hope you’ll love her too!!!

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Before you start watching, you need to understand that Mylène is not just a singer. She is a true artist, and her videos reflect this. A lot of them are actually mini movies that are incredibly beautiful. Was it hard to pick one particular song? Oui et non. A lot of Mylène is… a little shocking. I guess not so much these days but when I was young, her work was considered extremely subversive. She was able to mix innocence, purity, sex, violence, death, and religion in the most poetic way. You must come to Mylène with an open artistic mind or it won’t work (as well).

So! I chose the below song Désenchantée from 1991 as a very soft introduction! If you want some more of her more “risqué” work, you’ll find it ha ha! Or you can ask me.

Here we go:

Désenchantée by Mylène Farmer 1991 – Disenchanted

French lyrics + English translation:

Nager dans les eaux troubles – Swimming in the troubled waters
Des lendemains – Of forthcoming days
Attendre ici la fin – Waiting here for the end
Flotter dans l’air trop lourd – Floating in the too heavy air
Du presque rien – Of the almost nothing
A qui tendre la main – To whom should we hold out our hand

Si je dois tomber de haut – If I must fall from high
Que ma chute soit lente – May my fall be slow
Je n’ai trouvé de repos – I have only found rest
Que dans l’indifférence – In indifference
Pourtant, je voudrais retrouver l’innocence – And yet, I would like to recover my innocence
Mais rien n’a de sens, et rien ne va – But nothing makes sense, and nothing is well

Tout est chaos – Everything is chaos
A côté – Beside the point
Tous mes idéaux : des mots abimés – All of my ideals : damaged words
Je cherche une âme qui – I’m looking for a soul who
Pourra m’aider – Will be able to help me
Je suis d’une génération désenchantée – I am from a disenchanted generation
Désenchantée – Disenchanted

Qui pourrait m’empêcher – Who could prevent me
De tout entendre – From hearing everything
Quand la raison s’effondre – When reason collapses
A quel saint se vouer? – Which way to turn?
Qui peut prétendre – Who can pretend
Nous bercer dans son ventre – To rock us in one’s womb

Si la mort est un mystère – If death is a mystery
La vie n’a rien de tendre – There is nothing tender about life
Si le ciel a un enfer – If heaven has an hell
Le ciel peut bien m’attendre – Then heaven can still wait for me
Dis moi – Tell me
Dans ces vents contraires comment s’y prendre – How to handle these headwinds
Plus rien n’a de sens, plus rien ne va – Nothing makes sense anymore, nothing is well

Tout est chaos – Everything is chaos
A côté – Beside the point
Tous mes idéaux : des mots abimés – All of my ideals : damaged words
Je cherche une âme qui – I’m looking for a soul who
Pourra m’aider – Will be able to help me
Je suis d’une génération désenchantée – I am from a disenchanted generation
Désenchantée – Disenchanted

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Here Mylène Goddess Style on stage singing “Rêver”. I forgot to mention she also often cries on stage. She is strong & fragile at the same time. And in case you thought the lyrics of Disenchanted were sad (which yes they are) look these up, they are full of light & hope. Remember, all you need to do when looking for a French song’s lyrics is:

1- Type the name of the artist

2- Along with the French title of the song

3- And the word “paroles”, which means lyrics in French

Rêver by Mylène Farmer 1995

Let Mylène help you improve your French and sing with her. She loves it!

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