Alors On Danse Encore

Long post. Don’t worry, it’s mostly lyrics. 🙂

I used “Alors On Danse” for the title of my last blog post.

“Alors on danse” basically means, “And so we dance”, and it’s the title of a song by the Belgian singer-songwriter Stromae.  It was remixed by Kanye West in 2010, and released in the US…though I’m not sure if Stromae has crossed over into American radioplay. Here’s the original video and the song:

Stromae is huge here in France, and this song, along with a couple others, dominated the radio last year when I first moved here. I think you have certain playlists for certain periods in your life, and Stromae is one of the main people on my Moving to France mental mix tape.

His real name is Paul Van Haver; he later changed his stage name to Stromae (a syllablic inversion of “Maestro”, a practice called verlan, which is a kind of French pig latin-like slang involving inversion of syllables used a lot in youth culture and hiphop, particularly for references to drugs, the cops, etc.) 

Here are the words…in French first, and then my translation. 

 Alors on danse… (x3)

Qui dit Ă©tudes dit travail
Qui dit taf te dit les thunes
Qui dit argent dit dépenses
Qui dit crédit dit créances
Qui dit dette te dit huissier
Oui : dit assis dans la merde
Qui dit amour dit les gosses
Dit toujours et dit divorce
Qui dit proches te dit deuil
Car les problèmes ne viennent pas seuls
Qui dit crise te dit monde, dit famine, dit Tiers-Monde
Qui dit fatigue dit réveil, encore sourd de la veille
Alors on sort pour oublier tous les problèmes
Alors on danse… (x9)
Et lĂ  tu te dis que c’est fini car pire que ça ce serait la mort.
Quand tu crois enfin que tu t’en sors,
Quand y en a plus, eh ben y en a encore !
Est-ce la zik ou les problèmes,
Les problèmes ou bien la musique ?
Ca te prend les tripes, ça te prend la tête
Et puis tu pries pour que ça s’arrĂŞte
Mais c’est ton corps, c’est pas le ciel,
Alors tu te bouches plus les oreilles
Et lĂ  tu cries encore plus fort et ça persiste…
Alors on chante
Lalalalalala, Lalalalalala,
Alors on chante
Lalalalalala, Lalalalalala

Alors on chante (x2)
Et puis seulement quand c’est fini… (alors on danse)
Alors on danse (x7)
Eh ben y en a encore! (x5)

Translation:

And so we dance

When we say study, it means work,
When we say work, it means money,
When we say money, it means spending
When we say credit, it means debt,
When we say debt, it means bailiff,
We agree to being in deep shit
When we say love, it means kids,
When we say forever, it means divorce.
When we say family, we say grief, because misfortune never comes alone.
When we say crisis, we talk about the wold, famine and then third world.
When we say tiredness, we  talk about waking up still deaf from sleepless night
So we just go out to forget all our problems.

And so we dance… (X9)

So you say that it’s over because the only thing worse would be death.
When you finally think you’ll make it, there’s more and more!
Ecstasy means a problem, problems or just music.
It grabs you by the guts, it takes hold of your head and then you pray for it to end.
But your body is no heaven so you block your ears even more.
And then you yell even louder and it goes on…
And so we sing
Lalalalalala, Lalalalalala,
And so we sing
Lalalalalala, Lalalalalala,

And so we sing
And so we sing
And then only when it’s over, and then we dance
And so we dance (x7)
And well, there’s still more (x5)

Here are two more Stromae songs I really like. Tous les MĂŞmes:

He’s an incredible dancer, and this strange video plays with gender. I love how each time he turns, his movements and poster and facial expressions seamlessly change to …

Last one: called Papaoutai, which is a run-on slang for Papa, oĂą t’es, or: Papa, where are you? Stromae was born in Brussels to a Rwandan father and a Flemish mother. His father was mostly absent during his childhood and was killed during the 1994 Tutsi Genocide. His mother raised him in a French community in the suburbs of Brussels. This song is written to his absent father, portrayed in the video by Stromae as a manikin. Strange and pognant:

 

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