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 Il suffit de passer le pont - Georgers  Brassens

Il suffit de passer le pont

Un favori personnel de Brassens, cette chanson raconte qu'un garçon et une fille font l'amour pour la première fois.

We only have to cross the bridge

A personal favourite of Brassens, this song tells of a boy and girl making love for the first time.

En termes simples, c'était l'histoire de deux adolescents qui se rendaient à la campagne pour faire l'amour au milieu des fleurs du printemps. Pour y arriver, ils doivent d'abord traverser un pont.

Put simply, this was the story of two teenagers going into the country to make love amid the Spring flowers. To get there they first must cross a bridge.

En tant que poème plus sérieux, c'est l'histoire, décrite en images de la nature, d'un garçon persuadant une fille de faire l'amour pour la première fois.

As a more serious poem, it is the story, described in images of nature, of a boy persuading a girl into making love for the first time.

Cette chanson comptait beaucoup pour Brassens. C'était la seule chanson qu'il a incluse dans chaque performance qu'il a donnée. Il véhicule la nouveauté et l'excitation mais aussi l'angoisse et la douleur de leur expérience furtive.

This song meant a lot to Brassens.  It was the one song that he included in every performance he gave. It conveys the novelty and the excitement but also the anxiety and the pain of their furtive experiment.  

Les souvenirs de ses premières amours ont été très précieux pour Brassens et reviennent dans de nombreuses chansons. Un autre est "La Première Fille", dans lequel il dit que
"la dernière fille qu'un homme oublie est la première fille avec qui il a fait l'amour."

The memories of his first loves were very precious to Brassens and recur in many songs.
Another is "The First Girl", in which he says
“the last girl a man forgets is the first girl he made love to.”

Version Instrumentale Version Chantée
(Un chanteur interprète le guide vocal)

notes

Il suffit de passer le pont

It is enough to cross the bridge

1

Il suffit de passer le pont

It is enough to cross the bridge

2

C'est tout de suite l'aventure
Laisse-moi tenir ton jupon
Je t'emmène visiter la nature

It’s straightaway a love affair
Just let me take hold of your skirt
I’m taking you to view nature

3

L'herbe est douce à Pâques fleuries

The grass is soft at Easter in bloom

4

Jetons mes sabots, tes galoches
Et, légers comme des cabris
Courons après les sons de cloches

Off with my clogs, your galoshes
And light of foot as baby goats
Let’s run after the sounds of bells

5

Ding din don ! les matines sonnent
En l'honneur de notre bonheur

Ding, ding dong ! the morning bells ring
To honour the joy that we feel

6

Ding din dong! faut l'dire à personne
J'ai graissé la patte au sonneur

Laisse-moi tenir ton jupon

Ding, ding dong ! Must not tell a soul
I have greased the bell ringer’s palm.

Just let me take hold of your skirt

7

Courons, guilleret, guillerette
Il suffit de passer le pont
Et c'est le royaum' des fleurettes
Entre tout's les bell's que voici
Je devin' cell' que tu préfères

Let’s run, lad, lass without a care.
All it takes is t'cross the bridge
And it’s the kingdom of spring flowers
Among all the pretty ones here
I guess the one that you prefer

8

C'est pas l'coqu'licot, Dieu merci
Ni l'coucoumais la primevère
J'en vois un' blottie sous les feuilles

It’s not the red poppy, thank God
Nor cowslip, but the spring primrose
I see one snug beneath the leaves

9

Elle est en velours comm' tes joues

It is velvety like your cheeks

10

Fais le guet pendant qu'je la cueille

Keep a close watch whilst I pluck it

11

" Je n'ai jamais aimé que vous "
Il suffit de trois petits bonds

I’ve never loved any’one but you.
All it takes is three little jumps

12

C'est tout de suit' la tarantelle
Laisse-moi tenir ton jupon

It’s straight off the wild Tarantella
Just let me take hold of your skirt

13

J'saurai ménager tes dentelles 
J'ai graissé la patte au berger

I’ll treat your lace with tender care
I have greased the shepherd boy’s palm

14

Pour lui faire jouer une aubade
Lors, ma mie, sans croire au danger
Faisons mille et une gambades
Ton pied frappe et frappe la mousse
Si l'chardon s'y pique dedans

To get him to play a serenade
So, my love, with no thought of risk
Let’s romp a thousand and one times
Your foot keeps pummelling the moss
If a thistle barb gets lodged in  it

15

Ne pleure pas, ma mie qui souffre
Je te l'enlève avec les dents
On n'a plus rien à se cacher, On peut s'aimer comme bon nous semble

Don’t weep with the pain my love, 
I’ll pull it out for you with my teeth.
We’ve naught more to hide from  each other, We can love just as we think fit

16

Et tant mieux si c'est un péché
Nous irons en enfer ensemble
Il suffit de passer le pont
Laisse-moi tenir ton jupon

All the better, if it’s a sin
We’ll go down to Hell together
All it takes is to cross the bridge
Just let me take hold of your skirt

Notes:

  1. Il suffit de passer le pont
    Perhaps a bridge over a stream for the two young lovers to cross, but this has a similar meaning to “cross that bridge when we come to it”.
    With the theme of the poem in mind there is a further suggestion of an anatomical “bridge”. Similarly “jupon” means underskirt but could have another interpretation.

  2. l'aventure means the adventure but « une aventure amoureuse » means a love affair.  Une aventure d’un soir is, in English slang, a one-night stand.

  3. Visiter la nature:  On one plane the boy is inviting his girlfriend to admire the sights of nature on their country walk but the subtext is that he is to show her the roles that nature requires a male and a female to play.

  4. Pâques fleuries :  The easter flowers are a metaphor in this poem and other Brassens’ poems for the arrival of maturity. (note 7).

  5. Mes sabots:  The wearing of clogs puts this tale in the 1940s. The clogs of the girl were more ladylike. She wore “galoches”, which are waterproof boots worn over shoes.

  6. Ding din don ! les matines sonnent.  Reference to the children’s song « Frère Jacques ». The poem is about the entry into the adult world. Perhaps this is a glance back to the world of childhood.

  7. Guilleret, means perky, cheerful and lively, “être guilleret” – “ full of beans.”

  8. c'est le royaum' des fleurettes- coqu'licot - coucou  - primevère. 
    Young flowers symbolise the arrival of maturity. Each flower is symbolic.
    La primevère, tells us in its French name that it is the early flower. It is the flower of first love. A “coucou” is another primrose that has medicinal qualities. The line about le coquelicot would not make sense if it was not explained that "les coquelicots" means menstruation.

  9. Elle est en velours comm' tes joues-     another intimate anatomical image.

  10. Pendant qu'je la cueille  – Cueillir la fleur - has also a second meaning.

  11.  Je n'ai jamais aimé que vous – It is also the first time for the boy.

  12.  La tarantelle – A very lively and energetic dance from Southern Italy.

  13.  Dentelles – Lace, transparent and light – another suggestive image.

  14.  Pour lui fair' jouer une aubade. An aubade was a serenade traditionally sung under some-one’s window in the morning. This links with the boy’s request to the girl to keep careful watch so that they are not caught in the act of love. He had paid the shepherd to sing his tune if some-one was coming near.

  15.  Ne pleure pas, ma mie qui souffre
     A moment of pain and a link to what was said in the image of note 11.

  16.  C'est un péché – Sex outside marriage is a sin for which they will suffer the punishment of Hell. Brassens was not of the faithful and had no such worries, but his partner may not have been encouraged by the remark.

Version Instrumentale
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Version Chantée
Video Avec Paroles

(Un chanteur interprète le guide vocal)

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