“Le nougat” by Brigitte Fontaine


Obscure in the English-speaking world, Brigitte Fontaine is well-known in Europe as a futuristic musician. A bit cryptic, a bit creepy, she tells strange, dramatic stories.

This video and song is about a woman who wanders into her bathroom, only to find an elephant who demands nougat. Unwilling to give the elephant nougat, she seeks out help from her friends – but to no avail.

This video is probably one of my favorite music videos of all time. Daydream-y, trippy, and just a little awkward.

(Lyric translation posted as a comment. In translating, I learned to say, “stammer.”)


2 thoughts on ““Le nougat” by Brigitte Fontaine

  1. I wake up in a good mood
    I plug in the electric coffee pot
    I rush into the bathroom
    And become paralyzed
    Under the shower, there is an elephant
    Looking at me softly
    I stammer and blush
    Problematically mystified
    “But how did you get in?
    The door was closed.”
    He smiles and says to me
    “Don’t worry about that.
    Give me some nougat.
    Don’t worry about that.
    Give me some nougat.”

    I bound over to the telephone
    I dial 1-7 and I blurt out
    “I live at 1 Bidouche Street.
    There is an elephant in my shower.”
    The cop says to me, “Get out of there yourself.
    That will solve all your problems.”
    Bewildered, I redouble.
    And there, where I left the crazy,
    The shower is empty and he is gone.
    And voilà, he’s laying in my bed,
    He looks at me and says,
    “Listen, you. Give me some nougat!
    Listen, you. Give me some nougat!”

    I say, “I’ll go find you some,
    It’s in the kitchen right there.”
    I go towards the kitchen, then I change course.
    I put on a coat and a hat
    To cover my nudity
    And I escape down the stairs,
    Walking the streets in my bare feet.
    Running like a convict,
    I finally arrive at my friend’s house
    Who will welcome me into his sanity.
    He opens the door and he says to me,
    “Sit down. Give me some nougat.
    Sit down. Give me some nougat!”

    I bolted to Marina’s house.
    She’s always on my side.
    She immediately gave me a drink.
    I told her the story.
    She said, “Well, what did you do?
    Me (Marina), I gave him the nougat.”
    In the end, it all backfired.
    I’m going to blow my lid.
    And leave for Montélimar (known as the French capital of nougat)
    She says to me, “I’m coming with you!
    Me, too. I want nougat!
    Me, too, I want nougat!”

  2. thanks for the translation. great song and artist, i’ve just discovered her, while looking for french music for my french studies.

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