"Ne me quitte pas" (English: "Don't leave me") is a 1959 French song by the Belgian chansonnier (singer-songwriter) Jacques Brel. It has been covered in the original French by many artists and has also been translated into and performed in many other languages. A well-known adaptation, with English lyrics by Rod McKuen, is "If You Go Away".

Background [edit]Edit

Jacques Brel first recorded this song on 11 September 1959, released on his fouth album La Valse à Mille Temps. The song is published by Warner-Chappell Publishing. In 1961 a Dutch language version sung by Brel was released on the Philips label. Entitled "Laat me niet alleen", with lyrics by Ernst van Altena and was a B-side to an also Dutch language version of Marieke. Brel recorded another version as the title track of his 1972 album.

The lyrics "Moi, je t'offrirai des perles de pluie venues de pays où il ne pleut pas" ("I'll offer you rain pearls from lands where it does not rain") are sung to a theme borrowed from the second part, Lassan (Andante), of the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 by the composer Franz Liszt.

Ne me quitte pas was written after Brel's mistress "Zizou" (Suzanne Gabriello) threw him out of her life. Zizou was pregnant with Brel's child, but Brel refused to acknowledge the child as his own. Zizou later had an abortion due to Brel's actions.

It is considered by some as "Brel's ultimate classic". He would later say in an interview that the song is not a love song, but rather a song about the cowardice of men.

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