Ne Me Quitte Pas

Album: Jacques Brel 4 (1959)


  • 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, 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.


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