Derrière les fenêtres (Behind the Windows) is a song # 7 from the sixth album Avant que l’ombre… released on 4 April 2005

Lyrics of Mylène Farmer. Those are hard to understand, the text seems to be a tribute to unknown people who remain in the shadows.

I am sure there is much more to the story as any Mylene’s songs but I will stay hopeful that one day I will be able to know more…

For this text, I could trace back to the title of the novel by Nathalie Rheims (who is a close friend of Mylène for many years) published in 2003: “Lumière invisible à mes yeux’”. Could she inspire Mylène for the first verse:

La lumière est invisible
A nos yeux
C’est ce qu’ils disent en silence
Quand ils sont deux…

But aside of that it is perhaps a reminder that what is inside (behind the windows) can be sometimes much different from what it appears to be. She brings this notion up once again in the Rolling Stone . Remember, the moment she looks up at the window where an adorable old couple embracing …You just can’t help but hope for this type of elderly bliss in the arms of your loved one. It is somewhat nostalgic…

I always loved looking though the windows – its an innocent curiosity about what others’ life really look like. For real – away from public eyes…Often I would imagine a tory of who lives there, story of they love and family…Don’t you like doing the same? Perhaps, so does Mylene? Or perhaps, there is more cryptic meaning to that…You know our Mylene… Please comment your thoughts below!

Music composed, produced, programming, keyboards and arrangements, percussions and xylophone: Laurent Boutonnat

Derrière les fenêtres has never been performed in concert.

I haven’t had a chance to read any books by Nathalie Rheims. If you have, please comment on the page which books and what you think about them. Here is what I found on this particular book which inspired the song.

“Light invisible to my eyes” by Nathalie Rheims

The heroine inherits an unusual house, populated with particular portraits in which she will take a close interest. The originality – and the strangeness – of this metaphysical story which recalls Edgar Allan Poe, lies in the reproduction of some sixty photographs dating from the 19th century. All of them represent deceased people: lifeless babies in their mother’s arms, famous writers on their deathbed… We walk through these images with emotion and fascination. In this fifth opus, Nathalie Rheims devotes himself once again to her favorite themes: absence, disappearance, the difficulty of mourning. She takes a look that is both daring and respectful on these final images, those of death, in vogue in the last century.

Since Mylene is apparently a good friend of Nathalie’s, let’s talk a little bit about her.

Nathalie Rheims is a French writer and producer, born on April 25, 1959 in Neuilly-sur-Seine,

Nathalie Rheims comes from an Alsatian Jewish family through her father: she is the granddaughter of General Léon Rheims, the daughter of Maurice Rheims, auctioneer and academician , and the sister of the photographer Bettina Rheims.

Her mother, Lili Krahmer, abandoned her when she was 15. She has a brother, Louis, who died at the age of 33 and for whom she wrote her first novel, L’Un pour autre in 1999.

Her first husband is the songwriter Frédéric Botton 3, N 1 . She married Léo Scheer for a second time in 1989, then a few years later became the companion of director and film producer Claude Berri.

She is related by her mother to the Rothschild family, descended both by her great-grandfather (so-called “von Worms” branch) and by her great-grandmother (called “Naples” branch) from the banker Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), founder of the dynasty. In addition, his maternal grandmother, Alix Schey de Koromla, had married Baron Guy de Rothschild as a second marriage. So some blood line there indeed 🙂

She is also the goddaughter of actor Yul Brynner.

Nathalie Rheims began her artistic career as a theater actress. In 1976, just aged 17, she entered the rue Blanche conservatory. She performed on the boards in La Mante polaire by Serge Rezvani , directed by Jorge Lavelli , with Maria Casarès in the title role in 1977 at the Théâtre de la Ville. For seven years, until 1983, Nathalie Rheims continued her acting career, alternating theater and television films. From 1981 to 1985, she was also a journalist for Elle magazine. In 1982, released his first 45 rpm Asphalt.

As a singer, she takes as a pseudonym Alix, the first name of her maternal grandmother. Four other 45s follow, all written by her then-husband, Frédéric Botton.

Frédéric Botton writes for her seven songs in total N 1. The last one, Big Bang Song! , is the song used by the Big Bang Smurf theme park.

It was also during this period that the trio Nathalie Rheims, Frédéric Botton and Jean-Daniel Mercier wrote six of the seven tracks that make up the album Number One of Paradis Latin 1985, Nathalie Rheims became a producer, first for TV6 directed by her future husband Léo Scheer, first version of M6, then for France 2, by producing with Léo Scheer the show on art High curiosity presented by Claude Sérillon and Maurice Rheims .

In 1999, Nathalie Rheims published her first novel, One for the other (Galilée edition), which won the Gai Savoir prize. In 2000, she published the Letter of a Dead Lover for Flammarion editions . The Flowers of Silence and The Angel of the Last Hour followed one another in 2001 and 2002. Also in 2002, Nathalie Rheims, co-produced the film A Cleaning Lady. In 2003, she offered the public a new novel, this time published by Léo Scheer, entitled Lumière invisible à mes yeux . The Dream of Balthus, The Circle of Megiddo and The Shadow of Others appear inSeptember 2004, 2005 and 2006, and make it into the bestseller lists.

Companion and collaborator of producer-director Claude Berri, she created with him the cinema production company Hirsch production and was involved, as associate producer, in the films, One remains, the other part , The Children , The Demon de midi , The House of Happiness , Ensemble, c’est tout , La Graine et le Mulet , Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis . She is the author of the title One part… the other remains interpreted by Charlotte Gainsbourg on the soundtrack of One remains, the other part, album composed and arranged by André Manoukian and Frédéric Botton. This title is taken up in 2009 by Sylvie Vartan and engraved on several albums of the singer.

In 2006, she devoted an article in Le Point to Bernard-Henri Lévy, titled: “BHL, the Magnificent”, in reference to the book Gatsby the Magnificent by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In Rue 89, Laurent Calixte mocks this sycophantic article and comments ironically: “Madame Rheims, you don’t like Bernard-Henri Lévy, that’s no reason to inflict on us this ironic pamphlet falsely flattering and entirely written in the second degree! Always the same mockery on his “open white shirt”; always falsely emphatic sentences like: “He knows how far men have gone”, always those compliments which make one think of those addressed to Kim Il-sung in North Korea: “He has this capacity, this height of sight and today, perhaps a little more, this wisdom, which allows the thought not to disappear completely in a world which could easily plunge into darkness. ” “

Nathalie Rheims & Claude Berri

Her eighth novel, “L’Ombre des autres”, was to be brought to the screen, with Mylène Farmer in the lead role, but the project was abandoned possibly because of the death of Claude Berri (Nathalie’s companion) or for other reasons. We know that Bruno Aveillan was supposed to be a director. What a blow for Mylene! 😪 By the way the movie was planned to make in 2006- 2008. Right on time when Mylene chose to call her concert series in Bercy “Avant que l’ombre…” (is it a clever wink to the fact that she would be in the film “L’Ombre des autres”?

In 2008, his tenth novel, Le Chemin des sortilèges, appeared. In 2015, her autobiographical novel, Place Colette, was published, telling her love story, at the age of 14, with an actor whose name she was named, thirty years her senior.

Here is her recent interview:



lyrics with translation

La lumière est invisible
A nos yeux
C'est ce qu'ils disent en silence
Quand ils sont deux...

Hommes et femmes de pierre
Aux destins sans gloire
Mal étreints, trop fiers
L'absence d'eux...

Derrière les fenêtres
Des vies, longtemps, se perdent
Derrière les fenêtres
J'envie des mondes
Qui ressemblent aux songes
Derrière les carreaux
Tombent en lambeaux des êtres
Derrières les pâleurs, on sait qu'un
Coeur va naître ou disparaître

Silhouettes exquises
J'imaginais vos cernes
Des amants qui sont tranquilles
A leurs fenêtres

Hommes et femmes dignes
Je voudrais rencontrer vos ombres
Parler à vos âmes
Qui plongent
Et qui se signent 
The light is invisible
To our eyes
That's what they say in silence
When they are two...

Men and women of stone
With fates without glory
badly embraced, too proud
I hear...
The absence of them...

Behind the windows
Lives, for a long time, are lost
Behind the windows
I envy worlds
Which resemble dreams
Behind the windows
beings fall in tatters
Behind the pallor, we know that a
Heart will be born or disappear

Exquisite silhouettes
I imagined your rings
Lovers who are quiet
At their windows

Dignified men and women
I would like to meet your shadows
To speak to your souls
Who dive
And sign themselves

The page last edited July 8, 2022

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