Rêver is a song from the forth studio album Anamorphosée released on October 17 1995. It is the fifth and last single extracted.
Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful creation by the soulmates in song writing – Mylene and Boutonnat. It is a signature song and one of the most recognizable and beloved by Mylene’s fans.
Initially, only four singles from the studio album Anamorphosée were scheduled.
However, because of the fall of Farmer during a concert in Lyon on 15 June 1996, the song “Rêver” was chosen as the fifth single to make the fans wait, since the release of the live album would be deferred. (well blessing in disguise, isn’t it?). It was released on 16 November 1996.
The single was released only as CD, and there was no vinyl. On the single cover, Farmer is kneeling, completely naked while showing modesty: it is vulnerable and as it is honest. No coverts, no pretense – just Mylene in her beautiful fragile body. Just like us all. This is how we enter this world and this is how we leave.
The photo session with photographer Karl Dickenson taken a few months earlier. The single is a nice success reaching the 7th place of the French top singles with a total of about 100,000 sales. But what makes Rêver a real hit is above all its ability to boost sales of the album Anamorphosée. This one, thanks to this single, will reach for the first time the pole position of the top French albums for two consecutive weeks in January 1997. Another element which contributed to make Rêver a hit are its numerous radio broadcasts and extended (the title will reach the 8th position of the Airplay Media Control FM in France in December 1996 and January 1997).
The digipack version of the CD maxi contains a new remix of “XXL”. The second track of the CD single is the live version of the song.
The lyrics of the song Rêver were written by Mylène Farmer. The music for Rêver was composed by Laurent Boutonnat.
“Rêver” was Farmer’s first song to refer to the genocide of World War II, the first line in the lyrics “‘avoir mis son âme dans tes mains” is from the book “Si c’est un homme” (If This Is a Man, printed in the USA by the title: Survival in Auschwitz) written by Primo Levi. The second song quoting this book was “Souviens-toi du jour“
Being deeply touched by the faith of Jewish people during the World War II, the heartbreak of the Holocaust (and the war in general) Mylene transforms the pain to the call for tolerance.
Look at the images that has been made only 70 years ago! Dear humanity, take off your bloody coat! 🙏🙏💔🙏🙏
The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide of European Jews during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews across German-occupied Europe, around two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population. The murders were carried out in pogroms and mass shootings; by a policy of extermination through labor in concentration camps; and in gas chambers and gas vans in German extermination camps, chiefly Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bełżec, Chełmno, Majdanek, Sobibór, and Treblinka in occupied Poland.
It is also perhaps indirect but very appropriate reference to the anti-Semitic movements even in the modern times where Jewish cemeteries and graves are often vandalized and “spit at”. Mylene is gentle even in her anger:
"J'irai cracher sur vos tombeaux N'est pas le vrai n'est pas le beau J'ai rêvé qu'on pouvait s'aimer"
The song is such a beautiful call for tolerance and love for the entire planet, for the entire Humanity. It echoes John Lennon’s “Imagine” and a famous speech of Martin Luther King “I have a dream”.
One line of the chorus, “J’irai cracher sur vos tombeaux“, refers to a book by Boris Vian under the pseudonym of Vernon Sullivan. This book provoked a controversy in 1947 because of its violent and sexual content.
Several lyrics are inspired by poems by Mylene’s favorite author Pierre Reverdy: e.g., words “Nous ne marcherons plus ensemble” is an exact quote of the poem “Dans le monde étranger”. “Dansent les flammes, les bras se lèvent” refer to the poem “Esprit pensant” and lyrics “Le monde comme une pendule, qui s’est arrêtée” seem to be inspired by the poem “Toujours là”. The song also mentions the “angels”, a recurrent theme in Farmer’s songs.
It is important to note that the song was born at the time of Mylene’s life when she was deeply grieving after failure of Giorgino and her separation with Lauren Boutonnat. Laurent who dreamed of this movie since he was very young and took the rejection of public to the heart. We know from the people close to him at the time that he was severely depressed and spent many month in complete isolation. It left Mylene also alone in the foreign land with a few people she knew – Giorgino co-star Jeff Dahlgren is being one of them. Laurent then finally joined in them LA and as a result or reconciliation Rêver was born out of pain and deep wounded grief.
On the deeply person note: what a beautiful (pardon the repetitions) BEAUTIFUL song it is! It is perfectly uniformed; the melody and the words are simply made for each other – in fact, they’re so entwined that seem to be made from the very same fabric which can be felt and touched only in the Dream.
The melody is wide-ranging like a starry night sky, it’s as fresh as a waterfall in the mountainous forests, it feels like the tears of the Soul…Its simply ANGELIC.
It is a Heartbreak risen to the level of the Proclamation of Love (once again!)
Dear God, how does she do it? We all can relate as we all lost someone we loved. We all can admit we have been in this place of the Overwhelming grief. Isn’t it why it’s so easy to relate?
We know deep down the only way to keep someone in our Heart is to dream of them and give our all to this Feeling even if it’s the saddest thing we’ve ever felt.
She leads our Emotional Bodies to rise over the basic perception of the Loss and Grief into the Poetic and Enlightening Memory Lane even if we walk there alone. The music supports the ascension every step of the way.
Even if we are angry over the past, even if we feel betrayed, the Love is still the most powerful emotion that overrides the rest. She surrenders herself to it and we have no choice as to do the same.
She cuts us open with the High opening note….ahh…It hurts like a scalpel, I know what’s coming next – I‘ll find myself bleeding from my emotional veins …but it’s a relief…
Am I dead yet? I feel so much! But instead, I find myself on the gentle cloud of softness and comfort…I am not sure how the pain can feel so good as well as so heart-breaking and yet so beautiful all at the same time.
But wait…as the song comes to an end, I am confused by what just happened…how come I feel what she feels? She is a Genius – that’s how! She just united us all into the one Universal Field of Feeling…multiplied by many hundreds and thousands of us – I bet the song affected our collective energy. Think about it for a bit…
I cry…How can I not? Why shouldn’t I? During live Bercy 2006 performance she cries so sincerely, all I could think of is to hug her, kiss all her tears away and tell her everything is going to be all right. The humanity will in the end love each other. Although it might take more time and more innocent blood.
For a few brief seconds I forget that the song is performed to Me. I disconnect from myself and immerse my Soul into the Feeling for HER.
She has created a Collective Dream so effortlessly and naturally simply by being herself and openly sharing with us how she feels… Have you ever tried that in your life? In your relationship with others? Give it a try…you might be able to spread the miracle just like our Mylene did.
If we all dream the same dream, will it then become a reality? I sure sincerely hope so!
“Rêver” ends in a different way from other Farmer’s songs: not with the chorus, but with the phrase “J’ai rêvé qu’on pouvait s’aimer / J’avais rêvé du mot aimer“. French author Erwan Chuberre says Rêver is probably “one of the most moving songs of Farmer’s repertoire.“
It was directed by François Hanss from images of concerts filmed at Bercy on May 31 and June 1, 1996. The video broadcast on television starting October 15, 1996.
The Rêver live clip is very different from the version that will be found for this song in the film of the Live concert at Bercy which will be released in May 1997. Indeed, the clip offers a very large part of Mylène’s performance recorded at Bercy on June 1, 1996. However, that evening Mylène will make a mistake in the words of the second part of the first verse and noticing it will very quickly stop. We will not find this moment on the film of the concert since it will offer for Rêver the performance of the concert at Bercy on December 12, 1996.
Initially, a video in a studio version was scheduled, but finally a live version was produced (in two versions). The video shows images from the 1996 concert in which Farmer is wearing a metallic colored dress. Mylène confided that it is her favorite stage outfit among those created by Paco Rabanne for this tour. Mylène will wear it again during a television performance on TF1 on November 27, 1996 in the program ” Les enfants de la guerre ” for the promotion of the single.
The dress weighs 10 kilos and required thirty hours of work to make. The unusual material required technical adjustments for the designers of the lights so this outfit can truly shine 🙂
The recording of this program in November 1996 was particularly painful for Mylène who had learned very recently about tragic death of her brother Jean-Loup. The fans present had been surprised by the distance of the artist, notably refusing to sign autographs. They had expressed their dissatisfaction but they were not then informed of this very particular context.
Note that Luciano Pavarotti, also a guest of the show, had made known his desire to meet Mylène. There is no info if they ever actually met.
Another performance on Rêver , much later, on January 18, 2003 , during the ” NRJ Music Awards 2003 ” after Mylène won the trophy for the best French-speaking female artist for the fourth consecutive year. A rare moment, Mylène offering an unpublished version of the title performed live and accompanied by Yvan Cassar on the piano.
Mylène performed Rêver during the Mylenium Tour concerts from September 21, 1999 to March 8 , 2000. Stage arrangements: Yvan Cassar.
Rêver was initially not in the setlist for the Mylenium Tour concerts. The song CONSENTEMENT actually was planned for but got finally replaced by Rêver À Quoi je sers and XXL also were considered but didn’t make the cut. The decision for this change would have been taken place just hours before the first date in Marseille. During this concert, a technician also held a large panel with the lyrics of the song in order to prevent Mylène from having a small memory lapse.
AVANT L’OMBRE À BERCY…2006
Rêver was performed live during the thirteen concerts of 2006, Avant que l’ombre…at Bercy from January 13 to 28, 2006. Stage arrangements: Yvan Cassar. It is a beautiful piano only accompanied perfomance
The song starts off with Mylene being very emotional and asking for a moment from the audience to regroup. Yvan Cassar skillfully extends the piano interlude until Mylene is ready to continue. It is very endearing and sensitive side of Mylene we all love the most, don’t we?
TOURNEE Nº5 (2009)
Rêver was sung on all the dates of the 2009 Tour (indoor concerts from May 2 to July 1, 2009 then during the five stadium concerts from September 4 to 19, 2009 ). Stage arrangements: Yvan Cassar.
In my opinion one of the most touching performance of this song ever. Another level of vulnerability was added due to the day of filming on her birthday 48th September 12. It is unforgettable moment when the 80 thousands people sang her Happy Birthday! Mylene thanks the crowd with tears in her voice…🧡
For the 2009 Tour the song was included into the setlist in the very last moment (just like for Mylenium Tour)
Rêver was sung on all dates of the Timeless 2013 tour from September 7 to December 6, 2013 .
Stage arrangements: Yvan Cassar. Like in the previous performance it sang with mostly piano accompaniment until Mylene is surrounded by cloud and vanishes from view behind the transparent curtain. Rêver is the very last song of the show setting the final mood of the concert – beautiful exit indeed!
La Défense Arena 2019
Mylène sings Rêver during the nine concerts at Paris La Défense Arena from June 7 to 22, 2019 .
Stage arrangements: Olivier Schultheis. It is for the first time Mylene performs the song without Yvan Cassar. (and we still don’t know why). Rêver was performed Nº19 in the setlist between Désenchantée and Je te rends ton amour. Mylène was sitting in the high podium watching the crowd filled with the flashlights reminiscing thousands of little stars. Must be quite a view for Mylène to enjoy!🧡 Please leave your comments below if you would like to see Rêver again in NEVERMORE Tour of 2023.
In 2002, Gregorian covered the song in a 5:02 new age version which features on the album Masters of Chant Chapter II.
The most notable cover was recorded with a video in 2002 by Les Enfoirés for the album 2002 “Tous dans le même bateau”.
In this version, Alizée sings alone the first verses.
As for the single remix (‘stripped dream remix’), it was produced by Laurent Boutonnat himself.
translation to English by Peter Ferrera
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D'avoir mis son âme dans tes mains Tu l'as froissé comme un chagrin Et d'avoir condamné vos différences Nous ne marcherons plus ensemble Sa vie ne bat plus que d'une aile Dansent les flammes, les bras se lèvent Là où il va il fait un froid mortel Si l'homme ne change de ciel Pourtant j'ai rêvé... J'ai rêvé qu'on pouvait s'aimer Au souffle du vent S'élevait l'âme l'humanité Son manteau de sang J'irai cracher sur vos tombeaux N'est pas le vrai n'est pas le beau J'ai rêvé qu'on pouvait s'aimer A quoi bon abattre des murs Pour y dresser des sépultures A force d'ignorer la tolérance Nous ne marcherons plus ensemble Les anges sont las de nous veiller Nous laissent comme un monde avorté Suspendu pour l'éternité Le monde comme une pendule Qui s'est arrêtée J'ai rêvé qu'on pouvait s'aimer Au souffle du vent S'élevait l'âme l'humanité Son manteau de sang J'irai cracher sur vos tombeaux N'est pas le vrai n'est pas le beau J'ai rêvé qu'on pouvait s'aimer J'ai rêvé qu'on pouvait s'aimer J'avais rêvé du mot AIMER
For putting his soul in your hands You crumpled it up like grief And condemned your differences We'll never walk hand to hand again His life is now flapping with one wing Flames dance, arms rise Wherever he goes it's deadly cold If man does not change his sky Yet I dreamed... I dreamed that we could love each other With the breath of the wind The soul of humanity was lifting Its bloody coat I will spit on your graves Its not right and not beautiful I dreamed that we could love each other What's the point of tearing down walls To put up graves By ignoring tolerance We will no longer walk hand to hand The angels are tired of watching over us Leave us like an abandoned world Suspended for eternity The world like a clock That has stopped I dreamed that we could love each other In the wind's breath The soul of humanity was lifting its bloody coat I will spit on your graves Its not right and not beautiful I dreamed that we could love each other I dreamed that we could love each other I dreamed of the word LOVE