Music Monday – Mika’s Elle Me Dit vs Emily

Took a week off from posting, it seems. Mostly because I never actually sat down at my computer long enough to type up anything of substance. I have things to say but sometimes I am tempted by Steam saying “oh just play a quick game of Dorfromantik, it’s only 10:30!” and then it is midnight and sleep must happen.


Here’s a question for you – have you ever listened to a song in a foreign language? Like, a language you have NO grasp of what so ever? I’m a fan of Mika and he put out the song “Elle Me Dit” back in 2011 and it is a BOP. I love it. At the time, I Googled the translation to get the gist of what it was about and then listened to it on repeat, never actually learning any of the French beyond the “Elle Me Dit”.

Here, give it a listen. (Warning: your toes are going to start tapping, you may need to get up and dance)

Later that year, on the album Origin of Love, Mika included “Emily”, an English version of the song and, for some strange reason, I just prefer how the French sounds? The lyrics are VERY close, he did a great job of translating and keeping the rhythm of the song (most of the chorus is still in French) but I guess because I heard the French first, even though I don’t know exactly what is being said, even though it is the SAME thing being said in English…

Except that, in French, “She” is telling the singer to do all of these things, but in the English version, the “Elle Me” because “Emily” so now the singer is telling Emily to do these things…which kind of changes the meaning of the song, instead of the singer talking about how “She” is giving him all of this life advice, pushing them to do different things, to be better, to DANCE, now the singer is the one telling Emily to get it together. WHY DOES THIS MATTER TO ME? I don’t know. But the chorus goes from “She tells me to dance” to “Emily, Dance with me!”

Here’s EMILY (sadly, no music video…no idea why, guess they didn’t think it would be the hit single it was in France?)

What do you think – does the translation change the song or am I just overthinking? Is there a song you love that is in a language you don’t actually understand? Has a translation ever left you wanting? Let me know in the comments!

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