Jardin de Vienne is a song from Mylène Farmer’s second studio album, Ainsi soit je… released in April 1988
The lyrics to Jardin de Vienne were written by Mylène Farmer. Music composed, produced, arranged and directed: Laurent Boutonnat.
This melancholy song begins with a few notes of Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser.
The text is both poetic and naive. In it, Farmer discovers a little boy who hanged himself in a garden of Vienna. In the refrain, the death is seen as a release.
“There’s a song on the album that was inspired by watching other people. It’s called Jardin de Vienne. It’s the story of a person I knew. French boy who ended up hanging himself in a public garden in Vienna. I found his gesture extremely romantic. ” (Mylène Farmer – “Super” – May 1988)
“(Suicide) fascinates me! It is an act that I could describe as beautiful, and courageous, certainly. In Jardin de Vienne, I’m talking about someone who dresses, who stages his suicide. There, it’s romantic, even aesthetic. Somehow, I have a suicidal soul, it’s both a fear of the hereafter but also a determination, the desire to say: “now that’s enough ” (Mylène Farmer – “Graffiti” – April 1988)
There is not much I can say on such a heavy topic staying politically correct. I am not a stranger to suicidal thoughts as I believe any person who truly thinks and feels. Many times, I have found myself on that very “enough” line, so I don’t judge anyone who makes such a decision. I also believe that many people can be helped through the difficult times and many lives can be saved. So please, reach out for yourself or others: every country has its own suicide help line. Every life is precious and irreplaceable.
I was always wondering whether the song was in any way inspired by the Dalida’s recent (at the time) and shocking suicide on May 3d 1987. or perhaps it was a secret dedication to the beloved fallen star?
In fact, just yesterday I was re-watching a film called What dreams may come…with Robin Williams https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120889/.
The film for me became a tribute to his life as well as a symbol of his tragic exit. For those who haven’t seen the film, you absolutely should. It is a modern version of Dante’s Devine Comedy of the journey to the afterlife…
Jardin de Vienne was sung on all dates of Tour 89 from May 11 to December 8, 1989. Arrangements for the stage: Laurent Boutonnat.
More about the Ainsi soit je… album
It was during the summer of 1987 that the album Ainsi soit je… was largely composed and written.
Laurent Boutonnat composes the music then, Mylène writes her texts for the music.
“We plan to release my second album in October. Or maybe later. If it’s ready or not. We must not rush (…) Laurent has already sketched two thirds of the songs for the next album. I will put him back to work this summer and I will start writing my texts when he is more advanced.” (Mylène Farmer – Hello! July 15, 1987)
The recording of the album takes place from September to the end of December 1987 in the Mega studios of Thierry Rogen near the Bois de Boulogne. Laurent Boutonnat who realizes and produces the album also takes care of the arrangements of the songs. Thierry Rogen is a sound engineer and synth programmer.
“Four months in the studio and, with the writing of the texts, listening to Laurent’s music, etc., we can estimate that overall, at five, six months of work.” (Mylène Farmer – Rock News – April 1988)
Sans contrefaçon was the first song on the album to be recorded on September 16, 1987. It is even the first title recorded in the Mega studio of Thierry Rogen. Mylène then continued with the other songs.
On this album, Mylène is not very present in the musical production, but she is already a perfectionist in the recording of the voices which she generally poses on a well advanced playback: “For Ainsi soit je… we made the voices all the three (Mylène, Laurent Boutonnat and Thierry Rogen, editor’s note), but it’s a job that quickly irritated Laurent, because Mylène wanted the best result and that sometimes took hours. I soon found myself only doing it with her. Mylène has a great talent for synchronizing her voices. Without going into too much manufacturing secrets, the fact of doubling the vocals when working on a chorus, of doing several tracks, managed to give this specific color to the ‘Farmer’ sound. Mylène was very good at this job. Getting to double your voices perfectly, without anything sticking out, is not given to everyone. In fact, she did her own backing vocals.” (Thierry Rogen -” Instant-Mag “- 2003)
Thierry Rogen is also entrusted with the mixing of the album (helped by Philippe Colonna at Studio Méga).
Laurent Boutonnat composed all the music on the album (with the exception of the cover of the song Déshabgez-moi, for which he nevertheless made the arrangements), and we can find it on acoustic keyboards as well as on synths.
He also provides Pan flutes and Shakuhachi (Chinese flute) under the pseudo Pol Ramirez del Piu.
Slim Pezin is the guitarist of the album as he had been on Cendres de Lune. Bernard Paganotti’s
first participation in a Mylène album for basses. If we refer to the credits of the album, the choirs are provided by Mylène and Les Moines Fous du Tibet.
Les Moines Fous du Tibet. (“The Mad Monks of Tibet”) was already credited for the backing vocals on the album Cendres de lune.
On September 24, 1986, Mylène was a guest of the program “Azimut” on FR3 Lorraine and said: ” I sent Laurent Boutonnat who is therefore the producer and director, composer to go see these Tibetan monks, and, like the women are excluded from these monasteries, I couldn’t go. So he went with his lama and… (laughs) he recorded these sound recordings.
“Mylène seemed to have trouble keeping her seriousness during these explanations. And, we understand it even better a few years later since The Mad Monks of Tibet never existed except in the imagination of Laurent Boutonnat.
Jean-Claude Dequéant, It was confirmed to the magazine “Platine” in January 2006: ” It was still an invention of Laurent! I really appreciated this kind of delirium.”
We owe all the remixes of the four singles taken from the album to Laurent Boutonnat and Thierry Rogen who take great pleasure in making them: a real moment of recreation for them.
Mylène takes little part in the creation of these remixes, but she sometimes re-records voices if necessary.
For some titles the long versions are recorded before those intended for the album. For Sans contrefaçon, the creation of a remix of the single even led to the modification of the originally planned single version using gimmicks from the remix. The first single version therefore remains unpublished and never released.
All the lyrics of the songs on the album (except the cover of Déshabillez-moi and the poem by Baudelaire L’Horloge) were written by Mylène Farmer. A great first album since she had only signed three texts on the previous album (Plus Grandir, Au bout de la nuit and Tristana)
“I wrote all the lyrics and I approached authors, characters and themes that come out of me. When I talk about Edgar Poe, it’s because he’s someone who has really been a part of my life. Baudelaire, it’s something else. Without Logic, it’s the satanic and angelic paradox. My personality and my duality, that’s really that. I can switch very easily from one extreme to the other. ” (Mylène Farmer – Rock News – April 1988) ” The album Ainsi soit je… is like a kind of logbook.” (Mylène Farmer – Star Club – November 1988)
“I am lucky to have this facility (for writing) mixed with a kind of modesty and inhibition. ” (Mylène Farmer – Le Progrès – May 18, 1988)
Mylène does not hesitate to approach unusual themes such as death, loneliness, time and others, more classic like love or sex.
“I try to share things that are original, and given the reactions of people, I believe that they have understood them, received them and they are totally involved in this universe which resembles them, and which is as much theirs as mine. Perhaps that is my commitment. ” (Mylène Farmer – Graffiti – October 88)
For the choice of the title of the album, Mylène explains:
” Ainsi soit je…, that doesn’t mean that I hit the table with my fist and say, it’s like that! The ellipses are very important.” (Mylène Farmer – Le Progrès – May 18, 1988)
“The title of my last album Ainsi soit je… don’t be mistaken, I wanted to make a statement. It is as if I were saying: “Here, I present myself, I am like that” . (Mylène Farmer – Super – May 88)
Two photographers will mark the era Ainsi soit je…
Elsa Trillat first of all who already photographed Mylène during the summer of 1987 and for the cover of the single Sans contrefaçon.
The two photos selected for the album (cover & booklet) are signed Elsa Trillat and were taken at the beginning of February 1988 in the apartment of Bertrand Le Page, Mylène’s manager at the time.
Most of the photos of this shoot were taken in front of a mirror with the puppet from the clip Sans contrefaçon: a first series where Mylène looks at herself in this mirror and a second where she turns towards the lens.
Mylène had initially validated exclusively photos on which she looked at her reflection. Laurent Boutonnat and Elsa Trillat had a preference for the other series and were able to convince Mylène and have the last word!
It is also the beginning of a long collaboration, since it will last until 1996 with Marianne Rosenstiehl. Several photoshoots in 1988 and 1989, including various photos that will illustrate the covers of the singles, Pourvu qu’elles soient douces and Sans Logique (she is also the still photographer for the filming of the clips for these two songs) as well as numerous press articles.
Mylène is also photographed for the press by Dominique Doumax and Michel Marizy for “Télé 7 Jours” then SainLouis in 1989. Finally, Joel Casano is the photographer for the shooting of the clip for Sans contrefaçon in 1987.
The promotion for the album is very important, Mylène multiplying the televised performances as well as the interviews in all the media. We note that now, for televisions, Mylène, helping success, abandons the regional channels that she had regularly visited in previous years.
The reviews of the album are mostly very positive:
“Beware the ground is changing it is so easy to get caught in the trap of this siren. The bait is well presented: powerful compositions, catchy sometimes, and often bewitching. Innocence hits home. But beware, these rhymes, seemingly harmless, are perhaps not without a little twist of perversity. ” (Paris Nuit – April 1988)
“Mylène Farmer, so be it, is a star of the long-lasting music video for a big show that we must listen to better. The concept Mylène Farmer (Laurent Boutonnat producer) also goes through the record . Her new album bears witness to this. An opening, nine tracks, and a conclusion make us hear her as in herself. “(“Le Progrès de Lyon” – April 18, 1988)
“The hour of success has come for Mylène Farmer, liar, satanic or angelic. Pretty woman who simply hides that she is cold inside.” (“Télé Poche” – April 30, 1988)
“To the success of a body and a singular talent, we must add the poetic quality of the texts and also the sense of the melody of Laurent Boutonnat.” (Le Télégramme de Brest – April 20, 1988)
“The Clock is unquestionably a success. The other nine titles are in the same vein.” (“The Latest News from Alsace – May 14, 1988)
“An intellectual and musical universe still as creative. ” (” Gai Pied”)
“Difficult to listen to Mylène Farmer’s second album without taking into account the half-real, half-played character that she managed to impose. (…) Certainly, here again, Mylène Farmer’s voice is only a shaky breath with music woven for her by Laurent Boutonnat. and synthetic discos accept to be rich brocades for a moment entertain his endless languor (Jardin de Vienne , Amen I .. . or The Clock of Baudelaire). But this album testifies above all that Mylène Farmer is also an author, with a very old-fashioned style. ” (” Words and Music “- April 1988)
“It is not enough to borrow a text from Baudelaire and play with old-fashioned stylistic mannerism to re-invent poetry. Nor, moreover, to give us approximately the Undress me by Greco to make it erotic. There remains the cover, very successful it . ” (“L’Humanité Sunday” – June 2, 1988)
Ainsi soit je…, enter the 8th place of the top albums in France. He will reach the first position in December thanks to the tube Provided they are soft but there will only remain the time of a classification (two weeks).
The sales are colossal and Mylène herself will give the figures during various interviews: 100,000 sales in early May 1988, nearly 400,000 in September, nearly 600,000 in early December and the million was reached in March 1989. It is estimated total sales in France to around 1.5 million copies.
The album is certified diamond album in France and gold album in Belgium and Switzerland.
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lyrics with translation
Ne sourit plus
La vie en somme
T'as bien déçu
Ton corps balance
Au vent de soir
Comme une danse
Un au revoir
Monte sur l'arbre
Comme un oiseau
Pour que ton âme
Monte plus haut...
Comme une pomme
On t'a cueilli
Ta tête penche
Est-ce pour me voir ?
Au loin balance
La corde noire
"Ce soir j'ai de la peine,
Il s'est pendu
Dans un jardin de Vienne"
Doesn't smile anymore
Life in short
You've been disappointed
Your body sways
In the evening wind
Like a dance
Climb the tree
Like a bird
So that your soul
Has fallen asleep
Like an apple
We picked you
Your head tilts
Is it to see me?
In the distance
The black rope
"Tonight I feel sorry for you,
He hanged himself
In a garden in Vienna".