RETENIR L’EAU


Holding Back the Water is a song from Mylène Farmer’s eleventh studio album, Désobéissance released on 28 September 2018.

The lyrics for Retenir l’eau were written by Mylène Farmer. Music composed by Léon Deutschmann.

I spoke before about “Noel” (aka Léon Deutschmann). Please visit the previous chapters for more information: DÉSOBÉISSANCE, Parler d’avenir

String arrangements (beautifully done!): Graham Preskett for the Paris Symphonic Orchestra

I believe James Joyce said: “Can’t bring back time. Like holding water in your hand.

This expression appears to be an inspiration for the song…It is full of nostalgy and reminds us just like L’horloge that the “death is there inside the skin”. The song however sounds very similar to the old/classic farmerian songs from the 90s. So, in some respect you can turn back time.

We hear an echo of the familiar L’autre theme here as she evokes “the double”. She refers so often to the twin-soul or the Soulmate in her lyrics throughout the years. The theme which is also very close to my heart. I personally a believer in soulmates and that there are souls that incarnate together into this life to form unique unions.

Speaking of which, there is another subtext in the lyrics which refers the nature of love. You can’t hold on to it or keep it as you can’t hold the water in your hands. I am sure we all have heard this expression somewhere before…It is a philosophical explanation of impermanence of feeling of love. Many of us question where does the love go? Where those amazing infatuation we feel when we just fall in love go? Everyone who stayed in relationship for a while – no doubts, questions that…And I am sure so does Mylene – thus this song…

Perhaps, the “water” theme is also something Mylene can’t seem to leave behind.

Remember Eaunanisme? She comes back with another “water” song just a year later.

“Of course, impossible to imagine a Farmer’s album without his tear ballad and her voice pulverizing the treble. Retenir l’eau approaches the devastating melancholy of Redonne-moi and Je te dis tout,

last great successes in this register. ” (rfi.fr)

“Less synths, more electro, a strong emotional charge on a good half of the songs (in particular […] Retenir l’eau), and a precise voice, going from the depths to the sky. ” (lepoint.fr)

“We even find her crystalline voice that she had abandoned a little to evolve into more serious tones, a pure farmerian ode which concludes the record with wonder. ” (Pure Charts)

“Fans of the singer Boutonnat period will be in heaven! Just like with the relentless ballad Retenir l’eau, tear deposit for the next concerts. ” (Garcon-magazine.com)

“Three songs, Disobedience, Speaking of the future and Holding back the water, were produced with Leon Deutschmann. We find there the manner of the great hours of Mylène Farmer with Laurent Boutonnat, choral voice, strings, orchestrations provided, readability of the rhythmic-melodic hook. A pleasantly known universe, complementary to the more “” “” experimental “” “part of this record.” (Lemonde.fr)

good-bye Liloup 💔

“Mylène wades into gorgeous balladry on album-Retenir l’eau ” (idolator.com)


video with translation




remixes


Remixes: https://soundcloud.com/search?q=Retenir%20l%E2%80%99eau%20%20mylene%20farmer%20remix


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lyrics with translation


Retenir l'eau qui est dans sa paume
Sentir tout
Et on a beau serrer les doigts
J'ai froid
Mais l'eau...
Mais l'eau s'échappe goutte-à-goutte
C'est fragile
Fragile est l'être en proie aux doutes
Écoute
Et quand la mort est
Là, dedans la peau
Et quand l'épreuve
Et quand j'entends
Trop de vraies souffrances
C'est comme un miroir
Comme un bouche à bouche je sens
Un souffle
Qui nait à l'unisson
Mon double
Retenir l'eau qui est dans sa paume
Dis-moi tout
Quand on a tant besoin de l'autre
Faire quoi?
Et là...
Tu pars et caches sans aucun doute
Un tragique
Gouttes de vie qui tombent et coulent
Je coule
Et quand la mort est
Là, dedans la peau
Et quand l'épreuve
Et quand j'entends
Trop de tes souffrances
C'est comme un miroir
Comme un bouche à bouche en moi
Ton souffle qui nait
Et qui sait
Et qui aime
Et quand la mort est
Là, dedans la peau
Et quand l'épreuve
Et quand j'entends
Trop de vraies souffrances
C'est comme un miroir
Comme un bouche à bouche je sens
Un souffle
Qui nait à l'unisson
Mon double
Hold the water in your palm
To feel everything
And no matter how hard you squeeze your fingers
I feel cold
But the water...
But the water escapes drop by drop
It is fragile
Fragile is the being in the grip of doubts
Listen to
And when death is
There, inside the skin
And when the trial
And when I hear
Too much real suffering
It's like a mirror
Like a mouth to mouth I feel
A breath
That is born in unison
My double
Holds the water in his palm
Tell me everything
When we need each other so much
To do what?
And now...
You go and hide without a doubt
tragic
Drops of life that fall and sink
I sink
And when death is
There, inside the skin
And when the ordeal
And when I hear
Too much of your suffering
It's like a mirror
Like a mouth to mouth inside me
Your breath that is born
And knows
And loves
And when death is
There, inside the skin
And when the trial
And when I hear
Too much real suffering
It's like a mirror
Like a mouth to mouth I feel
A breath
That is born in unison
My double


The page last edited July 20, 2022

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RETENIR L’EAU

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