Plaisir d’amour

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Something for the weekend.  Plaisir d’amour, “The Pleasure of Love”.  Written in 1780 by Jean Paul Egide Martini, it was orchestrally arranged by Hector Berlioz.  The haunting melody has always been a favorite of mine.

Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment.

 chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.

  J’ai tout quitté pour l’ingrate Sylvie.

 Elle me quitte et prend un autre amant.

  Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment.

 chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.

  Tant que cette eau coulera doucement

 vers ce ruisseau qui borde la prairie,

  Je t’aimerai me répétait Sylvie.

 L’eau coule encore. Elle a changé pourtant.

  Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment.

 chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.

The pleasure of love lasts only a moment

 The pain of love lasts a lifetime.

  I gave up everything for ungrateful Sylvia,

 She is leaving me for another lover.

  The pleasure of love lasts only a moment,

 The pain of love lasts a lifetime.

  “As long as this water will run gently

 Towards this brook which borders the meadow,

  I will love you”, Sylvia told me repeatedly.

 The water still runs, but she has changed.

  The pleasure of love lasts only a moment,

 The pain of love lasts a lifetime.

Like most Americans I first encountered the melody courtesy of Elvis Presley:

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I was never much of a Prelsey fan but I always loved the melody, and it was quite a few years before I encountered the French original.  If one is going to steal, steal from the best!

5 Responses to Plaisir d’amour

  • This is a very pleasant song but, in the 70s it became second only to Kumbaya at the Novus Masses – of course, with semi religious lyrics.
    I cannot hear it now without thinking of those awful guitars and mod nuns crooning in a dirge.

  • Peter Dans says:

    The original melody is haunting, but alas, the original lyrics are not. They come across a little whiney, as if he had nothing to do with the break-up. It’s all Sylvie. Actually, the lyrics Elvis sang were more reflective of true, not momentary, “love.” That’s probably why it was his #1 love song and the song he ended his concerts with.

  • Mary De Voe says:

    Elvis has no regrets. Elvis accepts his humanity in falling in love. The other version hautingly is sung by a woman magnificently, but nonetheless better by man. “The pleasure of love lasts only a moment, The pain of love lasts a lifetime.

  • Robbie says:

    Thank you, Mr McLarey. I prefer Elvis’ version, too. It always spoke to me, it was so very haunting. The French version does sound whiny. Oh well, thanks again,

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