Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald
rfmcdpei

  • Music:

[MUSIC] Mylène Farmer, "C'est une belle journée"

Mylène Farmer's 2002 single "C'est une belle journée," released as a single off of Mylène's 2002 greatest-hits CD Les Mots, resonates with me. In the Francophone world, Mylène's albums regularly sell hugely. The C'est une belle journée single ranks #38 on the list of the top 100 best-selling singles in France in 2002, and was her last big hit before this year's indifferently reviewed though popular Avant que l'ombre.

The song follows one of Mylène's better musical formulas, starting quietly with a warbling synth line that expands into a lush melody underpinned by a quiet beat, with her fine breathy voice almost speaking the lyrics. It's a rather atmospheric song, I think. Too, the video, a cartoon following a stick-figure Mylène and her confused dog through a day, is amusing. But is anyone surprised to discover that it's the song's lyrics which first caught me?



Allongé le corps est mort
Pour des milliers
C'est un homme qui dort...
A moitié pleine est l'amphore
C'est à moitié vide qu'on la voit sans effort
Voir la vie, son coté pile
Oh philosophie
Dis-moi des élégies
Le bonheur
Lui me fait peur
D'avoir tant d'envies
Moi aussi j'ai un souffle au coeur
Aussi --

C'est une belle journée
Je vais me coucher
Une si belle journée
Qui s'achève
Donne l'envie d'aimer
Mais je vais me coucher
Mordre l'éternité
A dents pleines
C'est une belle journée
Je vais me coucher
Une si belle journée
Souveraine
Donne l'envie de paix
Voir des anges à mes pieds
Mais je vais me coucher
M'faire la belle

Allongé le corps est mort
Pour des milliers
C'est un homme qui dort...
A moitié pleine est l'amphore
C'est à moitié vide
Que je la vois encore
Tout est dit puisqu'en amour
Si c'est du lourd
Si le coeur léger
Des élégies toujours
Les plaisirs, les longs, les courts
Vois-tu mon amour
Moi, j'ai le souffle court
Vois-tu

< refrain > Belle
La vie est belle
Comme une aile
Qu'on ne doit froisser
Belle
la vie est belle
Et je vais là
Belle
La vie est belle
Mais la mienne
Un monde emporté
Elle, j'entre en elle
Et mortelle, va




It's amazing how a song described by one fan site as "[l]e thème du suicide sur une musique entraînante" (the theme of suicide set against music) can be so cheery. I'm not sure why I find it so cheery. there is a certain poetry to the lyrics: "Oh philosophie/Dis-moi des élégies" has a bleak grandiosity to it, and "[m]ordre l'éternité/A dents pleines" is an interesting tactic to apply to the afterlife. The song ends with Mylène announcing her imminent departure from this plane of existence:

Belle
La vie est belle
Comme une aile
Qu'on ne doit froisser
Belle
la vie est belle
Et je vais là


There is some ambivalence in this text, though.

Allongé le corps est mort
Pour des milliers
C'est un homme qui dort...
A moitié pleine est l'amphore
C'est à moitié vide
Que je la vois encore


Mylène claims that the glass half-empty is what she sees, but the very fact of allowing for a different interpretation suggests that there's other ways to go about this. Life is "belle," after all.

The clincher for me, though, might be what I so closely associate with "C'est une belle journée". I bought the single at an Archambault store on rue Sainte-Catherine in Montréal, during my brief two-day stay in that city in August 2003 en route to Queen's University. Back then and there, for the first time in a long while, I felt as if anything was possible: I'd escaped the Island and all of its negative associations, and I was destined for a very specific and prestigious near-term future and for different and greater things after that. Everything that I had achieved, and everything that I would achieve, would at last be up to me. "C'est une belle journée" appeared at just the right time to capture this mood of existential freedom for me. While I haven't lost that mood, things were never quite so clear as they were then.
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