Ne Me Quitte Pas

Album: Jacques Brel 4 (1959)

Songfacts®:

  • The Belgian born French cabaret star Jacques Brel wrote some fine songs but "Ne Me Quitte Pas" was considered his finest as well by far his biggest hit. Live, he would perform it with great emotion.
  • The literal translation of the title is "Do Not Leave Me," but it is better known to native English speakers as "If You Go Away."
  • Brel recorded this song originally for his fourth album, on September 11, 1959. He recorded it again in 1972, by which time the English translation had been recorded by a number of artists. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above
  • Brel penned this song after leaving his mistress Suzanne "Zizou" Gabriello. He wrote it in the "Au Rêve" bar, on the northern slopes of the Parisian district of Montmartre from which he could see Zizou's apartment on the other side of the little square.

    Zizou was pregnant with Brel's child at the time, but the composer refused to acknowledge he was the father and Brel later declared, "this is not a love song, but a song about the cowardice of men."
  • The song's melody is partly from the "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6" by the classical composer Franz Liszt.
  • According to information put together by Concert Hotels.com, when Nina Simone recorded "Ne Me Quitte Pas" for her June 1965 I Put a Spell on You album, she reached an E2, the lowest voice on record by a woman.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"They're Playing My Song

Chris and his wife Tina were the rhythm section for Talking Heads when they formed The Tom Tom Club. "Genius of Love" was their blockbuster, but David Byrne only mentioned it once.

Francesca BattistelliSongwriter Interviews

The 2011 Artist of the Year at the Dove Awards isn't your typical gospel diva, and she thinks that's a good thing.

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A TimelineSong Writing

Untangling the events that led to the "Stairway To Heaven" lawsuit.

Tommy JamesSongwriter Interviews

"Mony Mony." "Crimson and Clover." "Draggin' The Line." The hits kept coming for Tommy James, and in a plot line fit for a movie, his record company was controlled by the mafia.

Howard JonesSongwriter Interviews

Howard explains his positive songwriting method and how uplifting songs can carry a deeper message.

Graham ParkerSongwriter Interviews

When Judd Apatow needed under-appreciated rockers for his Knocked Up sequel, he immediately thought of Parker, who just happened to be getting his band The Rumour back together.