Ne me quitte pas  

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"Part of the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 by Franz Liszt was borrowed by Belgian singer and songwriter Jacques Brel in his 1959 song "Ne me quitte pas". The lyrics "Moi, je t'offrirai des perles de pluie venues de pays où il ne pleut pas" ("I'll offer you rain pearls from lands where it does not rain") are sung to a theme borrowed from the second part, Lassan (Andante), of this piece." --Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"Ne me quitte pas" ("Don't Leave Me") is a song written and sung in French by the Belgian chansonnier (singer-songwriter) Jacques Brel in 1959. It has been covered in the original French by many artists and has also been translated into and performed in many other languages. A well-known English adaptation - by Rod McKuen - is called "If You Go Away".



Jacques Brel first recorded this song on 11 September 1959, and it is on his album La Valse à Mille Temps. The song is published by Warner-Chappell Publishing. In 1961, he recorded a Flemish version of the song, entitled "Laat Me Niet Alleen". In 1972, Brel recorded another version as the title track of his album Ne Me Quitte Pas.

The lyrics "Moi, je t'offrirai des perles de pluie venues de pays où il ne pleut pas" ("I'll give you pearls of rain that come from lands where it does not rain") are sung to a theme borrowed from the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 by the composer Franz Liszt.

Ne me quitte pas was written after Brel's mistress "Zizou" (Suzanne Gabriello) threw him out of her life. Zizou was pregnant with Brel's child, but Brel refused to acknowledge he fathered the child. Zizou later had an abortion as a result of Brel's actions.

It is considered by some as "Brel's ultimate classic". He would later say in an interview that the song is not a love song, but rather a song about the cowardice of men.

Nina Simone performed a well known cover of the song, in her 1965 album I Put A Spell On You. "Ne Me Quitte Pas" was used by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar in his sixth film, Law of Desire, in a striking performance by Brazilian singer Maysa Matarazzo.

Cover versions


  • 1959:
  • Simone Langlois (possibly the very first recording: Brel would have passed it to her prior to recording his own version)
  • 1961:
  • Maysa Matarazzo in Maysa Sings Songs Before Dawn and Maysa Matarazzo 1961 (released in Argentina). This version was used by Pedro Almodovar in the movie Law of Desire (1987). Also used in 2001 for the Brazilian mini-series Presença de Anita (Anita's Presence).
  • 1961:
  • 1965:
  • Nina Simone in her June 1965 I Put a Spell on You album
  • Frida Boccara (some versions): 1. Duet with Luis Recatero (EP Belter 51532, 1965); 2. «Frida Boccara Sings» - 1967, LP Melodia, made in USSR («Поёт Фрида Боккара» [Д-20579-80]); 3. "Place des Arts - Montreal '71 Live" (2 LP Philips, 1971 and CD 2006, Canada); 4.«An Evening With Frida Boccara» (1978, Live at Dallas Brooks Hall, Melbourne - 2 LP Philips and some CD compilations)
  • 1970:
  • Vicky Leandros - Brel asked Leandros to sing this song after they met in a French TV studio. The song was released on the album Ich Bin released January 1971 and on the French album Je Suis Comme Je Suis released in Canada (October 1971
  • 1974:
  • 1987:
  • 1988:
  • 1994:
  • Alison Moyet Appears as the B-side to "Getting Into Something"
  • 1996 HARIS ALEXIOUHaris Alexiou in her live album:gyrizontas ton kosmo (during her world tour).
  • 1998:
  • 1999:
  • 2001:
  • Maria Bill sings Jacques Brel
  • 2002:
  • 2003:
  • 2004:
  • 2005:
  • Pierre Bachelet in the Tu ne nous quittes pas CD.
  • Olivier Laurent ('à la manière de Patrick Bruel, Julien Clerc, Serge Lama, Johnny Hallyday') in Ces gens-là
  • 2006:
  • Estrella Morente, a flamenco singer, on her album Mujeres, whose arrangement and performance is based on Nina Simone's.
  • 2007:
  • 2009:
  • Maria Gadú in the Maria Gadú CD & live at Vivo Altas Horas (Brazil) 19 September 2009. Used in 2010 for the brazilian mini-series Cinquentinha.
  • Barbra Streisand sings a mixed French/English lyric on her album Love Is the Answer.
  • 2010:
  • Brian Molko performed the song in the "I love EU" concert in Brussels .


  • 2011


  • 1980:


  • 1965 :
  • 1967 :
  • 1968 :
  • 2005:


  • 1971 :


  • 1977:


  • 1961:
  • 1968:


See the "If You Go Away" article.

  • In 1967, singer Lana Cantrell - album LP 1967 "And Then There Was Lana" - CD 'Lana Cantrell', 1998

Scott Walker recorded a cover of "Ne me quitte pas" on his third solo album Scott 3, originally released in 1969. Scott Walker released various Brel covers on the albums Scott 1, 2 & 3, which were translated by Mort Shuman.

There is also another translation of the song by Nick Currie, aka Momus, called "Don't Leave". This is closer literally to the original text than "If You Go Away"Template:Citation needed, and was released first in 1986 on the Jacques EP and later on an extended version of the album Circus Maximus.

Regina Spektor released a different song by the name "Ne Me Quitte Pas" on her 2002 album, Songs.

American duo the Black Veils translate the song as "Don't Leave Me" on their 2009 CD Troubadours, which includes translations of six other French chansons.


  • 1968
  • 1979
  • 1984
  • 1985
  • 2010


  • 2007:


  • 1963:
  • 1976
  • Klaus Hoffmann "Geh nicht fort von mir"; "Bitte geh nicht fort" (1997)


  • 1971:
  • 1979:
  • Yiannis Parios's studio version "Min me afinis mi", from the LP "Tha Me Thymithis".
  • 2007:
  • Yiannnis Parios' live rendition of the aforementioned song.


  • 1974: Dani Granot Sang "Ana Al Telchi", a translation by Dafna Eilat, in his album Shkiot Nashim Vechol Hashar.
  • 1992: The late Yossi Banai sings Al tilchi mikan, a translation by Naomi Shemer, in the Im neda' le'ehow - Songs of Jacques Brel record
  • 2001: Rita and Rami Kleinstein sang the same Hebrew version live in their tour, that was later released on a CD, Rita Rami On Stage
  • 2008: Itay Pearl Israeli composer, wrote a song as a response to the original Jacques Brel version.
  • 2009: Shlomi Shaban: Translated by Dory Manor, Al Telchi Achshav (Don't go now)


  • 1962:
  • 1970:
  • 2006:


  • 1986:
  • 1995:
  • 1995:
  • 1998:
  • Edyta Jungowska, "Nie opuszczaj mnie"
  • 2007:
  • Joanna Jabłczyńska, "Nie opuszczaj mnie"


  • 1974:
  • 1979:
  • Altemar Dutra (Brazil) "Se Você Partir" - Se Você Partir (Ne Me Quitte Pas) (J.Brel - Romeo Nunes)
  • 1989:
  • Raimundo Fagner (Brazil) "Não Me Deixes" - Não Me Deixes (Ne Me Quitte Pas) (J. Brel - Fausto Nilo)


  • 2001:


  • 2009:


  • 1997:
  • 1977:
  • ?:
  • Matt Monroe "No me dejes no"
  • Alma Ritano "No me dejes no"


  • 1968:
  • 1982:
  • 2000:


  • 1972:
  • 1975:
  • 1977:


  • 2008:
  • Mendy Cahan's version "לאָז מיך נישט אַלײן"


  • 2007:
  • Das Blaue Einhorn's version of "Ne Me Quitte Pas" in French and German, from their album Verkauf dein Pferd - Lieder vom Halten und Lassen (2007)


  • 1982:
  • 2005:
  • 2008:

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ne me quitte pas" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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