A-t-on jamais (Have we ever) is a song # 9 from Mylène Farmer’s ninth studio album, Monkey Me released on 3 December 2012.

The lyrics to A-t-on jamais were written by Mylène Farmer. Music, arrangements, programming, keyboards and production: by Laurent Boutonnat.

This song in a way continues that mysterious trail of the previous songs where there is no information of what inspired it nor what specials meaning does it have for Mylene. No doubts it holds a special personal meaning but at this point we can only contemplate. I hope that with a lot of dedication and hope, one day we will get the clarification. If you are, my dear readers friends, can shed the light on the textual meaning, please comments on the page.

The melody is beautiful, the long notes are very flattering in the context of the entire piece. Laurent once again creates a gorgeous opportunity for Mylene’s voice show its range and unforgettable high notes. I absolutely adore this song!

Did you know there is children’s book series called Monkey Me: https://www.scholastic.com/branches/monkeyme.htm

Here my two cents as far as the meaning of the lyrics:

I find a few (obvious to me) hints to the story of Exodus and Moses in particular. Please watch this astonishing video of the mount Sanai search and the documents found confirming the Old Testament story

The referenced to me are:

  1. À-t-on jamais vu mer se cabrer, se déchirer moi (Has the sea ever been seen to rise, to tear me apart) Very vivid recall of the famous biblical story of the Moses saving the Jews from Egypt slavery by parting/rising the Red Sea and let them pass through just to close down over the Egyptian army of chariots. See the documentary above – there is an actual proof of the story to be real. The escape of the Jews from Egypt is remembered by Jews every year in the festival of Passover.
  2. Marcher vers l’échafaud ou faut il se réfugier? (To walk towards the scaffold or to take refuge?) – The Moses would have to be executed for the murder of an Egyptian guard who was abusing a Jewish worker. That is why he had to escape from Egypt. The parallel might as well to be figurative but nevertheless it is a moment of a choice that shapes up the future and has great consequences (just like in the Moses story)
  3. Aller où tu vois les montagnes (Go where you see the mountains) – Sounds like a very clear reference of the moment when God speaks to Moses telling him to go the Mount Sanai in order to obtain the 10 commandments. The moment of the Higher Calling regardless common sense. I love that allegory. Personally, I find it very inspiring.
  4. And finally, to seal the story we get this: Alléluia (Hallelujah). If its not the most obvious Biblical reference, then I don’t know what is.

Lets recall a little more of the story:

The Jews were helped on their journey by God; the same God who’d promised Abraham that he would look after the Jews. God parted the Red Sea to help them escape and helped them in many other ways.

When they reached a Mount Sinai, in present day Egypt, God spoke to Moses high on the mountain slopes and made a deal (called a covenant) with the Jews that renewed the one he had made with Abraham.

At the same time, God gave the Jews a set of rules that they should live by.

On behalf of Israel, Moses received torah, traditionally translated ‘law’. This is not law in the modern sense but rather authoritative teaching, instruction, or guidance. The most famous of these commandments are the Ten Commandments. But there are actually 613 commandments covering every aspect of life including law, family, and personal hygiene and diet.

Most scholars date the beginning of Judaism as an organized and structured religion to this time.

On the side note: Moses is a significant character in other religions – not only Judaism and Christianity but Islam too. He is an important prophet for Muslims, who call him Musa.

The Ten Commandments:

In the Ten Commandments, Moses outlined a basis for morality which has lasted over 3,000 years and been embraced by two-thirds of the world’s population. The most common form of the Ten Commandments is given in Exodus chapter 20 and Deuteronomy chapter 5.

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
  4. Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy
  5. Honor thy father and thy mother
  6. Thou shalt not kill
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
  8. Thou shalt not steal
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
  10. Thou shalt not covet any thing that is thy neighbor’s

Personally, I relate to the view “mountains” a lot as I find the places with mountains to be very coming and spiritually intense. That is why Love spending time in the northern mountains of Vermont and upstate New York. The views are breathtaking, and the feeling is very hard to described. Perhaps it is the ancient energy oozing through the present of the giant formations, perhaps it the number of trees creating an air of the purest kind, perhaps that the mountain well water that detoxifies not only the body but the entire being with its refreshing clarity. All of it made me fall in love with Vermont. Plus, Mylene’s hometown only a few hours away of the boarder. When I taste Maple Sirup (and I do it so often) I am imaging a little girl Mylene having pancakes with maple syrup in teh morning or having a maple syrup candy to satisfy her baby sweet tooth…

Although a few other lines stay very vague and unexplained to me, I am ok to have some place for mystery. It is Mylene, it is unspoken, it is “…”in the end of the sentence and I hope there more to come.

Let’s visit her public memorable appearance prior to release of Monkey Me album.

Mylene appeared gorgeous for closing the Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2011/2012 show by Jean-Paul Gaultier. Laurent Boutonnat and Benoît Di Sabatino were present in the room.

At the end of the parade, Jean-Paul Gaultier joined Mylène and they exchanged loving embraces.



lyrics with translation

À-t-on jamais les mots pour se convaincre d'oublier?
Marcher vers l'échafaud ou faut il se réfugier?
À-t-on jamais vu mer se cabrer, se déchirer moi
J'aurais voulu lui plaire pour qu'il reste à mes côtés
Aller où tu vois les montagnes
Donner tout de moi pour t'y voir
D'affronter tant de nuits les désastres du passé
J'ai oublié de vivre d'accrocher l'astre à mon pied
A trop vouloir ton coeur, dis, rien pour me raccommoder
C'est toi qui m'as donné vie, ce soir je pose mes clés
Aller où tu vois les montagnes
Donner tout de moi pour t'y voir
Aller où tu vois les montagnes
Donner tout de moi pour t'y voir

Do we ever have the words to convince ourselves to forget?
To walk towards the scaffold or to take refuge?
Have we ever seen the sea rise up, tear me apart?
I would have liked to please him so that he stays by my side
Go where you see the mountains
To give all of me to see you there
To face so many nights the disasters of the past
I forgot to live to hang the star on my foot
To want your heart too much, say, nothing to mend me
It is you who gave me life, tonight I lay down my keys
Go where you see the mountains
Give all of me to see you there
Go where you see the mountains
Give all of me to see you there

The page last edited July 8, 2022

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