ALLAN


Collage curtesy of MYNA MORAMENTO RAFI

To continue the theme of the songs with the name in the title. So far I have covered the following:

ALICE
AVE MARIA
CHLOE
GRETA
LEILA
LONELY LISA
MYLENE IS CALLING
TRISTANA

We have a few more to go… Can you guess what they are? Comment below if you do. Just as Greta the next song is inspired by the real person who young Mylene was very fond of.

“Allan” is a 1988 song recorded by Mylène Farmer from her second album Ainsi soit je.... It was the first single from her first live album En Concert and was released in December 1989 with the B-side of “Psychiatric” (interesting choice! Knowing Edgar Poe’s mental inconsistencies)

The lyrics clearly refer to a story by Edgar Allan Poe as they mentioned one of his characters – Ligeia. Although the single met success in discothèques, its sales remained relatively low in comparison with Farmer’s other singles.

Did you know that Allan is not his middles name but rather a last name of his foster family. His biological parents die when Allan was very young. Back in time when I first heard the song, I naively assumed it was about Alain Delon 😊 and no I have not seen the spelling either as it was a pirate copy of the En Concert where everything looked like a battlefield smoky and blurry…Yes, dear friends, I didn’t discover Mylene in the comfort of the music store but rather overcoming numerous obstacles – but maybe that is why I cherish her so much. She a child of hard labor to me.

The song “Allan” was chosen as the first single from the 1989 concert before the live album En Concert was released. Unlike Farmer’s previous singles, the B-side of the vinyl was not another live song, but the first version of “Psychiatric” (the ‘new beat remix’), which appeared two years later on the album “L’Autre…“. Interesting choice! Knowing Edgar Poe’s mental and psychological disturbances.

“Allan” is a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe, an American poet, that Farmer is very appreciative and that she has evoked in many interviews. One verse of the song containing the word “Ligeia” which refers to the name of Poe’s story published in 1837 in the review The American Museum. Farmer also sings “Pauvres poupées / Qui vont qui viennent” (Poor dolls / Who come and go), which is an excerpt from “Ligeia”.

In the refrain, the singer slips into the skin of Lady Rowena, one of the heroines of the fairy tale, who died but was reborn in the guise of another woman. In the lyrics, Farmer addresses this death woman as if she was her blood sister. Thus, the singer “appropriates Poe’s literary work giving another dimension, her own”. The French magazine Top Secrets tried to give an interpretation of the lyrics, noting several references to Poe’s life in the song.

Edgar Allan Poe (born January 19, 1809 – died October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and of American literature as a whole, and he was one of the country’s earliest practitioners of the short story. He is also generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle developed it a few decades later creating unforgettable characters of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

Poe was the first well-known American writer to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

Poe was born in Boston, the second child of actors David and Elizabeth “Eliza” Poe. His father abandoned the family in 1810 when Edgar was just a baby, and his mother died the following year. Thus orphaned, Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia. They never formally adopted him, but he was with them well into young adulthood. Tension developed later as Poe and John Allan repeatedly clashed over Poe’s debts, including those incurred by gambling, and the cost of Poe’s education. Although being brilliant academically, young Edgar has shown a streak of individualism which led him astray from his peers.

His work forced him to move among several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. (all my nearby towns)

As was practice widely (remember Einstein? He did the same) Edgar married his first cousin, Virginia Clemm, when she was 13 and he was 27. (OK, so maybe that’s a bit odd by today’s standards but again back then it was pretty standard practice.) She unfortunately died at the age of 24 from tuberculosis. And that broke Edgar’s spirit to the ground. He outlived her by 2 years only, suffering greatly and spending his days in emotional agony. His Jekyll/Hyde personality has gotten much worse during the final years and he was often seen walking along the streets talking to himself loudly and if bothered could turn quite violent in the split second.

In 1849, Poe went missing for five days and was found delirious in Baltimore. He was taken to the hospital where he died soon after at the age of only 40 . No autopsy was performed, the cause of death was listed as a vague “congestion of the brain” and he was buried two days later. Experts and scholars have proposed everything from murder and rabies to dipsomania and carbon monoxide poisoning as the reason for his demise, but to this day the cause of Edgar Allan Poe’s death remains a mystery. Could there be a more befitting legacy?

Some sources say that Poe’s final words were, “Lord help my poor soul”. All medical records have been lost, including Poe’s death certificate. Indeed, the life was a tale on its own. Perhaps, young Mylene was deeply touched by his life story and wanted to give him an honorable tribute just like she did with Greta Garbo a few years earlier and in a way Francis Farmer.

“I wanted to write Allan since Edgar Poe fascinates me to the point of wanting to make him exist in a song. ” (Mylène Farmer – “L’Est Républicain” – 10/30/1988)

” In this song Allan, I speak of Ligeia which is one of the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe, who undoubtedly speaks of his ideal women. ” (Mylène Farmer – Skyrock – 05/07/1988)

Here is where another influential connection comes to play:

Mylene’s beloved “spleen” poet Charles Baudelaire published extensive translations of Edgar Allan Poe’s works from 1852 until 1865. These translations reflect the affinity he felt for Poe as a poet and writer. … Baudelaire chose the tale “Mesmeric Revelation,” published in the Wiley & Putnam edition of 1845, as his first translation of Poe. Charles Baudelaire remains one of the best translators of Poe’s work (so I’ve been told since my modest level of French won’t allow me to speak confidently) as he definitely felt a connection to the Poe’s state of mind. No wonder those two blurred into one unity and affected Mylene profoundly over the decades from l’horloge to Au Lecture .

When NEVERMORE Tour was first announced a year ago – it didn’t take us long to figure out the connection. Mylene once again takes a chance to make a full circle and use a famous poem The Raven by her beloved poet Edgar A Poe. What a classy, elegant, finish line she creates. Mylene Mylene Mylene! One thing for sure: Its hard to love you any harder, I love you though forever more ❤



The video, a 5:42 Requiem Publishing production (Boutonnat’ owned company by the way), was directed by Laurent Boutonnat, and François Hanss, who filmed several subsequent videos for Farmer including “Je te rends ton amour“,  “Innamoramento”, “Dessine-moi un mouton”, “Redonne-moi“, “Avant que l’ombre…” and “Déshabillez-moi“, made all the important shots, with a budget of about 30,000 euros. The screenplay was written both by Boutonnat and Hanss. It was shot for two days in Marne-la-Vallée, France: one day for the monk and the white horse, and another for Farmer and the stage’s decoration ignited. Two explosives and a rocket-flame were needed to set fire to the stage. In the video, Farmer appeared on stage, her face bathed in sweat and locks of hair pasted to her forehead, then she is in front of a cemetery.

The video’s backstage was filmed by an amateur who sold unofficially this video; it contains many secrets of the 1989 concert tour’s video, and that of “Allan” (for example, Farmer slips on the dress for the video in her car because there was no dressing room on the stage). In the video, the monk who opened the cemetery’s gates which were used as stage’s set during Farmer’s concert lights the fire to this set. The scene takes places in a field. The photograph of Edgar Allan Poe burns in the video.


Tour 1989



The Allan song was only performed on Tour 89 . It does not appear in the setlist of Mylène’s subsequent tours.

In 1990, in the Toutankhamon studios, the novelist Philippe Séguy attended exclusively to the showing of the music video, accompanied by Farmer and Boutonnat.

“Allan” does not feature on the VHS En Concert, but as well as the video of the following single “Plus grandir“, was included on Les Clips vol. III, as both songs were released as live singles.

According to Star Music, “Allan” is a “sad” but “beautiful” song with “dance” sonorities. On the French SNEP Top 50 Singles Chart, the song was listed for eight weeks, from 13 January to 3 March 1990, peaking at number 32 in its fourth week. Its remixes were bigger successes in discothèques. In April 2018, as the song was re-edited under new formats, the studio version entered the chart at a peak of number ten.

For the release of Allan as a live single, a remix (“Extended Mix”) is produced by Laurent Boutonnat and Thierry Rogen from the studio version of the track.

Released 4 December 1989 three single physical media Allan Live: a 45s, 45s maxi and Maxi CD. These supports are illustrated by a photo by Marianne Rosenstielh (taken during the performance of Jardin de Vienne and not of Allan).

Allan Live is the first Maxi CD presented in a crystal box from Mylène’s discography.

On the B side of Allan, we can discover a first version of the new Psychiatric. A remix (“New Beat Remix”) of this new track is also available on the Maxi CD and the Maxi 45 rpm. Surprisingly, Psychiatric will also be part of the track listing of the album L’autre … (released in 1991), in a new version.

Mylène’s first live album, En Concert was released in France on DECEMBER 04, 1989 , the very same day as the single Allan.

Allan Live will remain classified eight weeks in the Top 50 in France not exceeding the 32nd position. Total sales are estimated at around 70,000 copies.

The title will have a nice run on the radio waves reaching the 4th position of airplay France in February and March 1990.

Behind the monk’s habit that appears in the clip hides the director François Hanss.

Images filmed the day before the destruction of the set will not be used for the clip. These shots brought together all the dancers on the tour (except Sophie Tellier) in a large hangar completely filled with mud (with 60 to 70 cm of mud).

“We were living dead with big white shrouds. We walked in the mud, then we lay down in it, so that we looked almost naked. Boutonnat was filming us very closely with a Super 8. We had saw the rushes; the images were quite harsh, even violent. Mylène even came to help us afterwards because we were struggling to get rid of this mud that stuck to our skin. capped ” (Edwige Chandelier – ” IAO “- 2006)

“The images were totally unusable because we were all awful on it! So, it was never used ” (Dominique Martinelli -” Styx Magazine “special Tour 89 – 2014)

I found this fan video. It’s an excellent compilation of the Allan song over 2012 film The Raven which fictionalized take of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe




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lyrics with translation


Pauvres poupées
Qui vont qui viennent, Allan, Allan
Pauvre fantôme
Étrange et blême, Allan, Allan
J’entends ton chant monotone
La nuit frisonne, Allan, Allan
J’entends ton cœur fatigué
D’avoir aimé, Allan, Allan

D’étranges rêveries comptent mes nuits
D’un long voyage où rien ne vit
D’étranges visions couvrent mon front
Tout semble revêtu d’une ombre
L’étrange goût de mort
S’offre mon corps
Saoule mon âme jusqu’à l’aurore
L’étrange Ligeia renaît en moi
De tout mon être je viens vers toi

Masque blafard
Tu meurs ce soir, Allan, Allan
Masque empourpré
De sang séché, Allan, Allan
D’où vient ta peur du néant
Tes pleurs d’enfant, Allan, Allan
Qui sont les larmes
De tes tourments? Allan, Allan

D’étranges rêveries comptent mes nuits
D’un long voyage où rien ne vit
D’étranges visions couvrent mon front
Tout semble revêtu d’une ombre
L’étrange goût de mort s’offre mon corps
Saoule mon âme jusqu’à l’aurore
L’étrange Ligeia renaît en moi
De tout mon être je viens vers toi

Masque blafard
Tu meurs ce soir, Allan, Allan
Masque empourpré
De sang séché, Allan, Allan
D’où vient ta peur du néant
Tes pleurs d’enfant, Allan, Allan
Qui sont les larmes
De tes tourments? Allan, Allan

D’étranges rêveries comptent mes nuits
D’un long voyage où rien ne vit
D’étranges visions couvrent mon front
Tout semble revêtu d’une ombre
L’étrange goût de mort s’offre mon corps
Saoule mon âme jusqu’à l’aurore
L’étrange Ligeia renaît en moi
De tout mon être je viens vers toi

Poor dolls
Who come and go, Allan, Allan
Poor ghost
Strange and pale, Allan, Allan
I hear your monotonous song
The night is chilly, Allan, Allan
I hear your heart tired
Of having loved, Allan, Allan

Strange dreams count my nights
Of a long journey where nothing lives
Strange visions cover my forehead
Everything seems to be clothed in a shadow
The strange taste of death
Offers itself to my body
Drunken my soul until the dawn
The strange Ligeia is reborn in me
With all my being I come to you

Pale mask
You die tonight, Allan, Allan
Stained mask
Of dried blood, Allan, Allan
Where does your fear of nothingness come from
Your childish tears, Allan, Allan
Who are the tears
Of your torments? Allan, Allan

Strange dreams count my nights
Of a long journey where nothing lives
Strange visions cover my forehead
Everything seems to be clothed in a shadow
The strange taste of death offers itself to my body
Drunken my soul until the dawn
The strange Ligeia is reborn in me
With all my being I come to you

Pale mask
You die tonight, Allan, Allan
Stained mask
Of dried blood, Allan, Allan
Where does your fear of nothingness come from
Your childish tears, Allan, Allan
Who are the tears
Of your torments? Allan, Allan

Strange dreams count my nights
Of a long journey where nothing lives
Strange visions cover my forehead
Everything seems to be clothed in a shadow
The strange taste of death offers itself to my body
Drunken my soul until the dawn
The strange Ligeia is reborn in me
With all my being I come to you


The song was last edited July 8, 2022

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