Ballade de Melody Nelson
Serge Gainsbourg Lyrics

Ça c'est l'histoire de Melody Nelson
Qu'à part moi-même personne
N'a jamais pris dans ses bras
Ça vous étonne
Mais c'est comme ça

Elle avait de l'amour, pauvre Melody Nelson
Ouais, elle en avait des tonnes
Mais ses jours étaient comptés
Quatorze automnes et quinze étés

Un petit animal que cette Melody Nelson
Une adorable garçonne
Et si délicieuse enfant
Que je n'ai connue qu'un instant

Oh, ma Melody, ma Melody Nelson
Aimable petite conne
Tu étais la condition
Sine qua non de ma raison

Written by: Jean-Claude Vannier, Serge Gainsbourg

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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

Isaac Thomas

+Nevada cornwell Cornwell The album was inspired by Lolita, if I'm not mistaken. Serge Gainsbourg plays a 40 something year old who becomes obsessed with a 15 year old girl. This song explains their relationship. The translation is something like:

"This is the story
Of Melody Nelson
Whom apart from myself
No one had taken in their arms
That surprised you
But that's how it is

She had love
Poor Melody Nelson
Yeah, she had tons of it
But her days were numbered
Fourteen autumns
And fifteen summers

A small animal
That Melody Nelson
An adorable girl
And a delicious child
Whom I've known
For a moment

Oh! My Melody
My Melody Nelson
Lovable little idiot
You were the condition
Sine qua non (Latin legal term for "without which there is nothing")
Of my reason"

It's also worthy to note that he while he says "je n'ai connu" (I have known) he splits up connu on two different lines so he ends up being con-nue. Con is not a nice word in French (it's the English equivalent of c*nt) and nue means "nude," so it's very explicit what he's trying to get across.

((I'm not a native French speaker though, I've just been studying it, so if any native speaker notices something that needs correcting, go ahead.))

All comments from YouTube:


One of the greatest tracks ever recorded.I feel my thoughts flyin' very high for two magnificent minutes. Unadulterated, ineffable pleasure.

Ludovic Senou

Ça ne s appelle pas une chanson ça
Ça s appelle une oeuvre d art
C est juste sublime !

le gueux gueule

j'adore cette chanson mais je ne saurai expliquer pourquoi....ce mélange quasi orgasmique d'une basse sourde et profonde et des ces violons volontairement atténués....une pure merveille 48 ans après sa naissance! Merci MR GAINSBOURG pour l'empreinte que vous avez laissée dans ma mémoire...

Arthur Morgan

Cet album n'a qu'un défaut, pourquoi est-il si court ? Je l'ai en vinyle et le son est magique !


C'est vrai que les chansons durent 2mn, vraiment trop court 😭😭😭

Kevin Mcnamara

I just heard this song today and It gave me asmr Chills on my scalp!!!! so now I’m going to have to fall asleep every night listening to this beautiful piece of art!


This bass tone is INSANE!

Sylvain Parachini

Un véritable chef d'œuvre, Serge était un génie, tu nous manques Sergio.


Aie aie aie !! On aime ou pas les chansons de Gainsbourg mais il faut avouer que l'instrumental de tout ces chansons sont vraiment énormes !!


I absolutely love this song.

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