Ne dis pas aux copains

“Do not tell our friends I love you more than anything else.” Such are the opening words to France Gall’s 60’s pop song “Ne dis pas aux copains.” And despite the crooning, melancholic melody that seems to permeate me – that seems to make me thing of endings, be it of movies or of lives – endings in the most gentle, bittersweet way – “well, this is it, it is so lovely to be with you in these moments…” – despite these tender sadnesses that this tune brings out in me overwhelmingly – I seemed to be drawn to this song for the lyrics, too.

“Do not say anything to our friends.” It is a song of intimacy, but firstly, of secrecy. Say not that I love you; say not what we have done in private. This is not a song of this age – it is a song where there is still something to hide, and despite that clouds have melted away and left us naked in a field – I too cling to my own shrouds.

For there is an element of shame – of modesty, almost, or shamefastness – that is tacitly portrayed, here – and it is done without feeling bad. For the closing lines are a wish: to go far, far away – an there, there speak with friends. But it is a new set of friends – a set of friends that are completely new to this relationship – who have not witnesses or undergone the transformation of innocents to lovers – of nothing to something. If there was something to be expressed fearlessly, there would be no song of nocturnal sweetness.

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