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Brave the Storm - Face Au Vent

·1394 words·7 mins·
song-swap 2022
Jerry S
Author
Jerry S
Table of Contents

Listen
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  1. Youtube Special ;-) - Highly recommend this version
  2. Artist's Bandcamp Account - Listen and Buy!
  3. Amazon Music
  4. Spotify
The album cover

Intro
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Either my life is amazing or Amazon Music knows my tastes because I discovered this song just when I needed it. The beauty is that all the lyrics impart something as a whole, and they also sparkle on their own when taken apart.

Tidbit about the Artist
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Louis-Jean Cormier is a favorite artist of mine that hails from Québec. I know some think of the Québecois as a mutated dirty version of the French but they are their own beautiful broken soul.

Louis-Jean Cormier

I’ll definitely be including more of his songs and translations for them here on my blog since all his albums have struck chords in me that needed to resound and vibrate.

Favorite Lyrics
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At times the sparks of joy transform into sadness

Those moments when suddenly all the joy of life we had gets twisted into such sadness by the very life we were joyful about.

As a writer, a simple yet trivial example I can provide is dreaming up a wonderful way to structure a sentence and then suddenly forgetting as soon as I wake up. I roll out of bed to write down something already lost to the forgetting.

Maybe a better example might be coming home after a day of being out. During the day I might have gotten some good news I’d like to share with family and friends as soon as possible, but I’d like to do it in person. When I get home, excited as I can be, I can suddenly become deflated when I see that the house is empty and that I’ve no one to share the news with. Sure, I can call someone, but it’s not the same thing. The sadness here is meek and temporary compared to actual tragedies, but it can serve for illustration of how joy can be transformed, instantly, into something other. There are deeper and darker instances of this happening, but I needn’t go into those into any detail I hope.


Do all the songs burn up when the stage goes down in flames
or do they stay safe behind a shield?

This is one of the lyrics that most impacted me from this song because it isn’t uncommon for me to share songs with friends. There are some friends I have been sharing songs with for years. But…what happens when the stage of a friendship, or any other relationship, is burned away? What becomes of all those songs? Where do they go? We can surely listen to them again…but do they remain the same after the friendship is gone? Are they safely behind a shield to protect them from the flames? No. They’re not.

By the way, where is it that songs go after they’ve been played anyway? How do they survive when the artist is away from their piano or guitar? I know we have MP3s, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube, other services, and we can say the song lives on at a specific link on the internet but you know what I mean. What happens to it while it’s not being played?

Where does a song go when we aren’t listening anymore?

Where is the song that has not yet been composed and played?

This lyric mentions songs specifically but we can expand it to lived experience. Maybe that’s the answer. When a friendship dies you are left with the memories and they play themselves back in our minds, in our imagination, as they struggle to survive. When they are played back they are not the same as when the stage was still there.

Yes, maybe that’s the answer.

Where does a song go when we aren’t listening anymore? The forgetting.

Where is the song that has not yet been composed and played? Niltasia (a word I made up). The place where all things that don’t yet exist reside. Others might call this void. They might be the same thing.


I’ve known many a home where misfortune goes to stay
No knocking, no reason, even when we are deep sleep\

We can all experience a temporary misfortune, yet it seems others can experience persistent misfortune. What is that? Why does misfortune feel so welcome in one home more than another?

It comes in as it pleases during the most peaceful of nights. Even on nights where the inhabitants of the home have finally been able to fall into a deep sleep.

No one is immune to this type of misfortune, but some are more prone it it than others.

There are some see you’s that sound like real goodbyes
and throw us back into the dark

Wow, I can feel this one deep even though it hasn’t happened often in my life. There was one time I had mentally prepared myself for a “see you” from a long-time friend to turn into a real goodbye. That specific goodbye didn’t plunge me into darkness exactly, but regardless, like Borges has said, foreseeing something and having it actually happen are two very different things.

It was gamble for me when this happened. I said see you later knowing I might not ever get to hear another “hello” again. Well, I’m not dead yet so it’s still possible, just not too likely.

I can see that the darkness could envelop a person after they realize a goodbye is forever. In this Psychology Today article title “ Rewiring the Brain in Grief” it mentions that the neurons that have been trained to respond to a loved one keep looking for that person even though they are gone. This causes pain as the neurons rewire to the absence of what was once there.

The good news is the pain lessens with time especially if we give ourselves the chance to face it, dwell in it, and let it wash over us when it comes and letting it go when the tide recedes.

Lyrics
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As always, I try to translate the sense of the song while keeping the timing of the music as well where possible so it can be sung similarly in English. Any suggestions/corrections are welcome.

The French version makes it sound like a part of the song is specifically split between genders. I decided to keep this “split” in the English translation as well when I use both “guys” and “gals” but I think it’s important to say that the general understanding of the song is that there are those of any gender that know to thrive in adversity. That’s my take away. I could’ve made the translation gender neutral but I didn’t.


Des fois les feux de joie se transforment en tristesse
Et tous les chiens aboient pendant qu’les souvenirs disparaissent
Est-ce que les chansons brûlent quand l’théâtre passe au feu
Ou si elles restent dans leur bulle

At times the sparks of joy transform into sadness
And everyone will talk while the memories begin to fade
Do all the songs burn up when the stage goes down in flames
or do they stay safe behind a shield?

J’pense à tous ceux qui savent faire face au vent
J’pense à toutes celles qui se relèvent tout l’temps
Tout l’temps

I think of all guys that know to brave the storm
I think of all gals that get up every time
Each time

J’ai connu des maisons où l’malheur aime entrer
Sans cogner, sans raison, même quand on dort à poings fermés
Y’a des au revoir qui sonnent comme des adieux
Et qui nous replongent dans le noir

I’ve known many a home where misfortune goes to stay
No knocking, no reason, even when we are deep sleep
There are some see you’s that sound like real goodbyes
and throw us back into the dark

J’pense à tous ceux qui savent faire face au vent
J’pense à toutes celles qui se relèvent tout l’temps
J’pense à tous ceux qui savent faire face au vent
J’pense à toutes celles qui se relèvent tout l’temps
Tout l’temps

I think of all guys that know to brave the storm
I think of all gals that get up every time
I think of all gals that know to brave the storm
I think of all guys that get up every time
Each time