CHLOÉ / NUIT D’HIVER


I first wrote this article on May 3d 2021

35 years ago on this day we lost Dalida. Life became unbearable to her 🙁 Rest In Peace, dearest Soul. You are never forgotten!

I found out today from one of our groups that Dalida (according to her brother) liked Mylene as she saw her on TV performing Manan a tort and On est tous des imbeciles. This information made me very happy. I am sure Mylene would be very pleased to hear it as well (if she didn’t yet)

I am starting reviewing songs with the first name in the title. If you can name them, please put in the comment box below – good luck!
Chloé is a song proposed in Face B of the single Plus Grandir (1985) then on the album Cendres de lune (1986).


Then in 2012 the song was partially redone on the album Monkey Me as “Nuit d’hiver”. The short text of this title actually corresponds to the beginning of the first verse of the song Chloé. Neither songs have ever been performed in concert.




Chloe haunted me all night in my in-out of state of consciousness …I listened both of the songs before going to sleep (probably, wasn’t the best idea after all – LOL)
I have a nick name for this song now “Creepy Chloe” ,😊 lovingly speaking, of course.

The song is like a bridge between Maman a tort with the same simplified nursery rhymes like mentally compromised text and Agnus Dei / Psychiatric with the background creepiness building up through the entire song.

We are witnessing an evolution even within a short time period between 1984 and 1991. I don’t know everything that was going on in the lives of Mylene and Laurent back then, but they have definitely stepped up and discovered new sounds, harmonies, somewhat new prospective on the familiar topics they have successfully developed in the 80s (what is insane and what is not, life and death and a dilemma of duality).

Chloe once again is delivered in a little girl like manner with a high voice just like in Maman a tort. A choir of children accompanies her on the second refrain making it sound even more eerie despite the usual association with kids’ voices. (that “la-la-la” is just plain creepy!) The topic of course gotten progressively darker this time. I know Boutonnat (by the way his full name is Laurent Pierre Marie Boutonnat) was not happy how “cheery” Maman a tort turned out so it is perhaps a second chance for him to unleash his tinted imagination.

Mylene seems to be happy to follow Jerome Dahan style although making it even more mystified and glamorized with her ways of finding intriguing words that are as vague and open to interpretation as they can be. She is still just scratching the surface, but this later to be known as a “Farmerian style” only will get stronger and more recognizable.

Bear in mind, she just turned 24 (and so is Laurent) when the song first time comes out as a single on 25 September 1985. It’s really incredible to see such an originality in those daring kids! Boutonnnat supports the childish rhymes with his very much “Mary got a little lamb” type of a melody but for the daunting effect moves half way to the flat key…and then alternates it back and forth reinforcing an uneasy feeling. What a genius!


The whole song gives me goosebumps even without understating the words which is genius, no doubts.

I remember listening it back in the 90s and was wondering what is she singing about it. My feel was that something really bad must have happened to this Chloe girl and the little deceivingly innocent voice which sings has something to do with her disappearance…and it its not pretty… they are looking for her only nowhere to be found and Mylene’s character knows for sure what happens (in details) but pretends she has no idea..

When I finally got to see the translation, I said to myself “wow!”…how amazing the music delivery was to get all this even without the lyrics.

“It’s my nursery rhyme … and also the innocence and cruelty of children. It’s devilish! A little girl with blue eyes and an angelic smile who comes to tell you that she killed her little friend …” (Mylène Farmer – “Gai Pied” – 12/01/1987)
Song appears to be influential as I see a lot videos on YouTube inspired by it. It sounds just like a soundtrack for a horror movie (similar to the Agnus Dei an of course Psychiatric)
Chloe was performed three times on television: Aujourd’hui la vie (16 September 1989, Antenne 2), Azimuts (24 September 1986, FR3 Lorraine) and Mon Zénith à moi (September 1989, Canal+)



Did you notice in one of the live performances (see below) there is an Orthodox church choir in the beginning of the song and it’s not on the official album or single. It sounds like “otpevalnaya” – the last church service for the deceased. I wonder, how did it come to Mylene’s radar? and also “baaa” of the lamb – is it a sound of a future Agnus Dei ?

Also notice, Mylene’s body/face language during the song – she is using the same gestures and eye expressions as in Maman a tort live performance trying to describe a disturbed state of mind of the character she portraits. She swings back and forward to paint you somebody who is not all there mentality (perhaps, sociopathic?).

Isn’t she just adorable, closing her ears from the voices calling Chloe (perhaps they are coming from the outside of perhaps from within)?


remixes


remix (Nord Extended Club Remix) – notice the painting on the cover of drown Ophélie



It has been noted that Laurent Boutonnat was inspired by Ophélie for the lyrics of this song as well as by Rimbaud’s poem Ophélie


http://www.frenchlanguageguide.com/culture/literaryfrench/ophelie.asp
and different paintings inspired by Shakespeare’s tragedy.


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lyrics with translation


Eh, oh, ce matin
Y a Chloé qui s’est noyée
Dans l’eau du ruisseau
J’ai vu ses cheveux flotter
Là-bas sous les chênes
On aurait dit une fontaine
Quand Chloé a crié
Quand sa p’tite tête a cogné

Chloé a coulé
C’est sûr qu’elle avait pas pied
Chloé ma moitié
Ce matin s’en est allée
Ton coeur petite soeur
Va sans doute devenir fleur
Sous les saules qui pleurent
L’eau est de toutes les couleurs

Chloé si je pleure
Tu sais ça compte pour du beurre
Ton rire me fait peur
Est-ce que tu joues ou tu meurs?
Adieu petite fée
Pendant longtemps j’ai appelé
Adieu à Chloé
Le courant l’a emportée

Eh oh, ce matin
Y a Chloé qui s’est noyée
Dans l’eau du ruisseau
J’ai vu ses cheveux flotter
Là-bas sous les chênes
On aurait dit une fontaine
Quand Chloé a crié
Quand sa p’tite tête a cogné

Chloé
Pourquoi t’es partie
Chloé
Chloé

Hey, oh, this morning
Chloe drowned
In the water of the stream
I saw her hair floating
Over there under the oaks
It looked like a fountain
When Chloe screamed
When her little head hit the ground
Chloe went under
It’s certain that she had no footing
Chloe my half
This morning she went away
Your heart little sister
Will undoubtedly become a flower
Under the weeping willows
The water is of all the colors
Chloé if I cry
You know it counts for butter
Your laughter scares me
Do you play or do you die?
Farewell little fairy
For a long time I called
Farewell to Chloe
The current took her away
Hey oh, this morning
Chloé drowned
In the water of the stream
I saw her hair floating
Over there under the oaks
It looked like a fountain
When Chloe screamed
When her little head hit
Chloe
Why did you leave
Chloe
Chloe


The page last edited July 8, 2022

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CHLOÉ / NUIT D’HIVER

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