Such a haunting beginning with the familiar notes from …all the 80s hits and particularly from “À quoi je sers…”. And no wonder as it ended up on the B side of the single À quoi je sers (1989). The melody is very much early Boutonnat. But it’s different, its unsettling but so beautiful as if the fears are turned into the poetry in notes, somehow it makes it enticing. It creeps me out as much as it attracts me. Mission accomplished! Black widow indeed!
Lyrics by Mylène Farmer. Music composed, Produced Arranged by Laurent Boutonnat. Recording and Mixing: Thierry Rogen
“It is the insect that I hate the most in the world without wanting to destroy it because I am completely incapable of it. But it is true, I have an inexplicable phobia concerning this creature. That said, the black widow “, is a very nice word for a spider.” (Mylène Farmer – “Grafifti” – April 1988)
Mylène have written the text of this song after the end of the first part of Tour 89 at the same period as that of À quoi je sers … Mylène was then on vacation in a villa (which is described with an atmosphere mysterious) in the South of France with Laurent Boutonnat. Some find in the words of La Veuve Noire a potential indirect reference to this first meeting with her audience on stage which upset her, in particular testify to the use on several occasions of the words: “this evening of May” (the concerts were held in May).
Here are a few photos of Mylene from that era by Marianne Rosenstiehl.
LA VEUVE NOIRE was unveiled in 1989 during several live performances of the single À quoi je sers…. It was, however, not until 2001 and the best of Les Mots we can find this song on an album.
Mylene admits many times her arachnophobia but as Mylene quite often does, she disobeys the fear and beats it by creating infamous song Alice a few years later and makes it totally legendary during her live concerts in Bercy 1996. See dedicated chapter to Alice.
Male black widows are not black, but brown or gray with small red spots. Black widows are poisonous arachnids—animals that have a skeleton outside their body, a segmented body, and eight jointed legs.
They are not insects. Their deadly poison is said to be 15 times stronger than rattlesnake venom.
Black widow spiders are arachnids that are known for the females’ unique appearance and tendency to eat their mates. They are considered the most venomous spiders in North America; however, their bite is rarely fatal to humans.
Black widows are found in temperate regions throughout the world, including the United States, southern Europe and Asia, Australia, Africa, and much of South America. In the United States, they exist primarily in the South and West. They may be found in dark, dry shelters such as “barns, garages, basements, outdoor toilets, hollow stumps, rodent holes, trash, brush and dense vegetation.
The female creates papery egg sacs that contain between 200 and 900 eggs each and supposedly eats the male mate for the protein much needed for the parenting process…yeah…that’s dark, my friends…
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Vois cette veuve noire
Tu l'as aimée
Pauvre amoureux d'un soir de mai
Vois cette dame noire
L'heure à sonner
Tu périras ce soir de mai
Vois cette toile noire
C'est ton linceul
Tu reposeras ce soir de mai
Quand l'araignée d'un soir
D'un long baiser
Enivre vos espoirs
See this black widow
You have loved her
Poor lover of a May evening
See this black lady
The hour to be sounded
You will perish this evening of May
See this black cloth
It is your shroud
You will rest this evening of May
When the spider of an evening
With a long kiss
Intoxicates your hopes