CITY OF LOVE


Collage curtesy of MYNA MORAMENTO RAFI

City Of Love is a song from Mylène Farmer’s tenth studio album, Interstellaires (2015). It is the second single from it.

Although the text of the City of Love was written by Mylène Farmer, the words “City of love” are credited to Matthew Koma – such a delicate fairness to her collaborators!


Matthew Koma is becoming known for being a versatile and talented artist, producer and songwriter who can create music in several genres. Probably best known as a pop/EDM singer/songwriter who is signed to RCA Records, he has also written, produced or remixed songs for such varied artists as Zedd, Shania Twain and Bruce Springsteen. Koma has co-written songs for Kelly Clarkson, Carly Rae Jepsen, Far East Movement, Kat Graham, Hilary Duff, Sebastian Ingrosso, Black Cards and Mylene Farmer.


The music for City of Love was composed by 2 American guys (Martin Kierszenbaum and Matthew Koma) as well as Mylène herself. It is the only title of the Interstellaires album in which Matthew Koma participates.

I think the music is beautiful and very touching. Very Mylene, very lyrical and somewhat nostalgic. The words as perplexing as usual. Perhaps in order to build the City of Love with another human one must abandon a part of themselves, the part that identifies us as separate. But how to succeed on such quest? “Who doesn’t know fear, Doesn’t know courage” she says and perhaps that’s what it takes!?


Did you notice a little irony how she states that
Si je suis de belle humeur
Pas de rage

As opposed to the line from the Rolling Stone 3 years later – “Je suis de bad bad mood


But as I am thinking about it a bit longer, maybe it is a broader idea. Being here and being a human is such an ordinary state of existence for so many of us. Did we lose the sight of how incredible the gift of human love is? It’s a unity of bodies and souls, it’s an ecstasy of being fed of each other’s passions. What if our uniqueness as far as the species go is something to treasure and be aware of?



What if in order to give such a perspective on the human kind of love, Mylene needs to step out and become an alien creature with the body unsuitable for being a part of a human love interactions: the long claws unable to touch and be touched, scaled body without an open skin to experience a true closeness? Hence, she needs to become just like us (aka abandon herself) to feel what we feel and what those pictures describe. I wonder…

The track was in fact recorded in the United States with two other musicians alongside Martin Kierszenbaum: Jerry Fuentes on guitar and Zach Jones on drums.

Shortly before the single’s release, Martin Kierszenbaum, director and co-composer of Interstellaires, offers a reggae remix of the track with the collaboration of Shaggy.

Martin Kierszenbaum,on the right

Martin Kierszenbaum, Jerry Fuentes and Zach Jones were alongside Mylène and Sting for their live performance of Stolen Car on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on NBC on December 4, 2015 (which somehow I managed to miss!)


The first single from the Interstellaires album, the duet with Sting Stolen Car was a real hit in the charts. As for the album, it has already sold more than 280,000 copies at the end of 2015.


City of Love which is chosen to become the second single and the promotion will begin in a rather unusual way with the broadcast of the clip of this song.


Unveiled on December 21, 2015 in full, the City of Love music video is directed by Pascal Laugier. It is following this successful collaboration that the singer will play in the film Ghostland directed by him, which will be released two years later and will be a critical and public success, winning several international awards.



Here is what director said about working with Mylene on the clip in an interview for “50 Minutes Inside” – TF1 on January 16, 2016:

“If there’s anyone I want to work for, it’s her! I think that in France, in terms of clip, it’s the most ambitious that has ever existed. And for me, she really marked my generation by the formal proposal of what she did in addition to music.

She suffered what actors suffer in this kind of cinema, that is to say hours and hours of immobility with an army of special make-up artists around, people to stick silicone-based prostheses on her almost all over the body. Others who paint these prostheses with propelled paint, who do classic make-up on the prosthesis… Well, it takes an infinite amount of time.

We made a lot of jokes all together on the set. Our big fear was that she knocked out a technician with her picks, the length of which she had trouble controlling, and so several times she almost knocked out a technician or myself (laughs).”

I believe Baudelaire himself said “Beautiful is always weird”.

This clip is for sure all that. As Mylène wanders in an abandoned and dusty house, as a white winged alien pterodactyl like creature, she seems to be very curious to learn more about the human anatomy and the human physical love. She contours pictures of female body with her long claws with amusement and as she moves on to other images, she seems to be more and more taken by this thing pictured in the book called “City of Love”.

She is examining a wooden mannequin as if trying to get familiar with a shape of a human body and in the end settles down on his lap. I love the oddness of the clip. Some even insinuate it’s been inspired by Alfred Hitchcock and Tim Burton… maybe as far as the oddness goes…

Here is what it reminded me of as soon as I saw the video. Have you seen a film The Shape of Water?

The Shape of Water is a 2017 American romantic fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro and written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. I wonder if it somehow became a part of collective fantasy. Creative minds work mysterious ways.

According to the Wikipedia, the idea for The Shape of Water formed during del Toro’s breakfast with Daniel Kraus in 2011, with whom he later co-wrote the novel Trollhunters It shows similarities to the 2015 short film The Space Between Us. It was also supposedly primarily inspired by del Toro’s childhood memories of seeing Creature from the Black Lagoon and wanting to see the Gill-man and Kay Lawrence (played by Julie Adams) succeed in their romance. Similar notion, right?


There was not a televised performance, neither TV commercial for this single for City Of Love. City of Love has never been sung in concert. I hope that it can be performed in NEVERMORE. It is such a great song with such a minimal exposure, don’t you think? Would you like it to be included into the NEVERMORE setlist?


The makeup and the entire costume she had to wear for the clip is just insane. I could not believe what she went through to get it filmed. Wow! Mylene is just heroic in her efforts to make the pieces she believes in.

A unique official City Of Love remixis proposed. “Martin’s Remix”, a ragga-sounding remix by Martin Kierszenbaum featuring Shaggy.

And of course it would not be me if i wouldn’t discover a deeper meaning in this beautiful title.

In the book revelations it is a lot to be said about the New City where God and people will not longer be separate:

The New Heaven and the New Earth
I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea. Then I saw New Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband.

God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. 4 He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.

The New Jerusalem
I saw one of the seven angels who had the bowls filled with the seven last terrible troubles. The angel came to me and said, “Come on! I will show you the one who will be the bride and wife of the Lamb.” Then with the help of the Spirit, he took me to the top of a very high mountain. There he showed me the holy city of Jerusalem coming down from God in heaven.

The glory of God made the city bright. It was dazzling and crystal clear like a precious jasper stone. 12 The city had a high and thick wall with twelve gates, and each one of them was guarded by an angel. On each of the gates was written the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. (it is a reference to the 12 zodiac signs)

When the angel measured the city, it was about 2,400 kilometers high and 2,400 kilometers wide. 17 Then the angel measured the wall, and by our measurements it was about 60 meters high.

The wall was built of jasper, and the city was made of pure gold, clear as crystal. Each of the twelve foundations was a precious stone. The first was jasper, the second was sapphire, the third was agate, the fourth was emerald, the fifth was onyx, the sixth was carnelian, the seventh was chrysolite, the eighth was beryl, the ninth was topaz, the tenth was chrysoprase, the eleventh was jacinth, and the twelfth was amethyst. Each of the twelve gates was a solid pearl. The streets of the city were made of pure gold, clear as crystal.

Nations will walk by the light of that city. Its gates are always open during the day, and night never comes. The glorious treasures of nations will be brought into the city. But nothing unworthy will be allowed to enter. No one who is dirty-minded or who tells lies will be there. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life will be in the city.

Visit QUENTINE LAMBERT ANECDOTE about the song HERE


remixes


REACTIONS



MY POETRY INSPIRED BY THE SONG


Have I ever seen the stars before?
You’d ask –
Yes Yes Yes
And so I confess…
Have I ever left the fears behind the door?
You’d want to know –
No No No
And so I’m wrong…
Will I ever melt my muscles into wings?
I’d wish to believe –
If If If
And so I hope…


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lyrics with translation


Quand la danse cessera
Trop tard
Tout prendra un goût de cendres
Hum hum
Si seulement chemin faisant
L’amour surgit du néant
N’avoir d’autres vœux que l’autre
Même un instant
Les mots au bout des lèvres un chemin vers la vie
Si je m’abandonne
Je bâtirai the city of love
Si je sais que je l’ai et le monde et l’envie
Si là, je t’attends
Je bâtirai the city of love
The city of love
Qui ne connaît pas la peur
Ne connaît pas le courage
Si je suis de belle humeur
Pas de rage
Quand progressant dans le noir
Quand j’étudie l’infini
Je vois des flocons de neige
De poésie
Les mots au bout des lèvres un chemin vers la vie
Si je m’abandonne
Je bâtirai the city of love
Si je sais que je l’ai et le monde et l’envie
Si là, je t’attends
Je bâtirai the city of love
The city of love
The city of love
The city of love
Les mots au bout des lèvres un chemin vers la vie
Si je m’abandonne
Je bâtirai the city of love
Si je sais que je l’ai et le monde et l’envie
Si là, je t’attends
Je bâtirai the city of love
The city of love
Les mots au bout des lèvres un chemin vers la vie
Si je m’abandonne
Je bâtirai the city of love
Si je sais que je l’ai et le monde et l’envie
Si là, je t’attends
Je bâtirai the city of love
The city of love
Les mots au bout des lèvres un chemin vers la vie
Si je m’abandonne
Je bâtirai the city of love
Si je sais que je l’ai et le monde et l’envie
Si là, je t’attends
Je bâtirai the city of love
The city of love
The city of love

When the dance stops
Too late
Everything will taste like ashes
Hum hum
If only along the way
Love emerges from nothingness
To have no other wish than the other
Even for a moment
The words at the end of my lips a way to life
If I give myself up
I'll build the city of love
If I know I have it and the world and the desire
If I wait for you there
I'll build the city of love
The city of love
Who doesn't know fear
Does not know courage
If I am in a good mood
No rage
When progressing in the dark
When I study the infinite
I see snowflakes
Of poetry
Words on the lips a path to life
If I give myself up
I'll build the city of love
If I know I have it and the world and the desire
If I wait for you there
I'll build the city of love
The city of love
The city of love
The city of love
The words at the end of my lips a path to life
If I give myself up
I will build the city of love
If I know I have it and the world and the desire
If I wait for you there
I'll build the city of love
The city of love
The words at the end of my lips a path to life
If I give myself up
I will build the city of love
If I know I have it and the world and the desire
If I wait for you there
I'll build the city of love
The city of love
The words at the end of my lips a path to life
If I give myself up
I will build the city of love
If I know I have it and the world and the desire
If I wait for you there
I'll build the city of love
The city of love
The city of love

The page last edited July 8, 2022

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CITY OF LOVE

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