21/5/15 – Dalida – Je Suis Malade – 1981

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Dalida B:WIf you are a native English speaker you probably don’t know much about Dalida. But I can tell you that she was one of the most successful and greatest artists the world has ever seen and if this performance of the French classic, Je Suis Malade (I’m Sick) doesn’t convince you, then I am the Mona Lisa.

Born Yolanda Cristina Gigliotti in 1933, she was born in Egypt to an Italian family (her father was first violinist at the Cairo Opera House). She was initially a model and in 1954 at the age of 20 she won the Miss Egypt title. At this point she became known as Dalida and went to Paris to become a movie star. Instead she became a fabulously successful singer selling more than a 170 million albums recorded in more than ten languages. She sang in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Russian (I think), Portugese and English but despite her massive successes across the world she remains relatively unknown in the English speaking countries.

Her private life was marred by tragedy, three of her ex lovers committed suicide, two shot themselves, one inhaled exhaust fumes from his Renault. Another close friend Israeli singer and French Pop star, Mike Brant, jumped off a balcony. On May 2nd 1987 Dalida took her own life by overdosing on barbiturates. She left a suicide note “La vie m’est insupportable… Pardonnez-moi.” (“Life has become unbearable for me… Forgive me.”)

Dalida might be hard to get into in this era, I don’t know perhaps it’s all out of context, too late, doesn’t make sense anymore and singing in a style that might not translate for everyone plus her greatest achievements are not in English. But for me this performance of Je Suis Malade, gives me shivers every time I see it or hear it and it simply makes me want to cry.

Je Suis Malade was written by French singer Serge Lama and Alice Dona, here are the words in French and English:

Je ne rêve plus, je ne fume plus
Je n’ai même plus d’histoire
Je suis sale sans toi, je suis laide sans toi
Je suis comme un orphelin dans un dortoir

Je n’ai plus envie de vivre ma vie
Ma vie cesse quand tu pars
Je n’ai plus de vie et même mon lit
Se transforme en quai de gare
Quand tu t’en vas

Je suis malade, complètement malade
Comme quand ma mère sortait le soir
Et qu’elle me laissait seule avec mon désespoir

Je suis malade, parfaitement malade
T’arrives on ne sait jamais quand
Tu repars on ne sait jamais où
Et ça va faire bientôt deux ans
Que tu t’en fous

Comme à un rocher, comme à un pêche
Je suis accrochée à toi
Je suis fatiguée, je suis épuisée
De faire semblant d’être heureux quand ils sont là

Je bois toutes les nuits, mais tous les whiskies
Pour moi ont le même goût
Et tous les bateaux portent ton drapeau
Je ne sais plus où aller, tu es partout

Je suis malade, complètement malade
Je verse mon sang dans ton corps
Et je suis comme un oiseau mort quand toi tu dors

Je suis malade, parfaitement malade
Tu m’as privée de tous mes chants
Tu m’as vidée de tous mes mots
Pourtant moi j’avais du talent avant ta peau

Cet amour me tue et si ça continue
Je crèverai seule avec moi
Près de ma radio, comme un gosse idiot
Ecoutant ma propre voix qui chantera

Je suis malade, complètement malade
Comme quand ma mère sortait le soir
Et qu’elle me laissait seule avec mon désespoir

Je suis malade, c’est ça, je suis malade
Tu m’as privée de tous mes chants
Tu m’as vidée de tous mes mots
Et j’ai le cour complètement malade
Cerné de barricades, t’entends ? je suis malade

I’m sick

I no longer dream , I no longer smoke
I no longer even have a story
I’m dirty without you , I’m ugly without you
I’m like an orphan who has no dormitory

I no longer want to live my life
My life ceases when you go away
I no longer have a life and even my bed
Turns into the platform of a station
When you go away

I’m sick, completely sick
Like when my mother used to go out by night
And when she left me alone with my despair

I’m sick, perfectly sick
You come , I never know when
You go again, I never know where
And it’s been two years soon
That you don’t care

Like to a rock, like to a sin
I cling to you
I’m tired, I’m worn out
To pretend I’m happy when people are around

I drink every night but all the whiskies
Have the same taste to me
And all the boats carry your flag
I no longer know where I should go, you are everywhere

I’m sick, completely sick
I pour my blood down over your body
And I’m like a dead bird while you sleep

I’m sick, perfectly sick
You’ve deprived me of all my songs
You’ve emptied me of all my words
Though I used to have talent before your skin

This love kills me and if it continues
I will die alone with myself
Next to my radio like a stupid kid
Listening to my own voice sing

I’m sick, completely sick
Like when my mother used to go out by night
And when she left me alone with my despair

I’m sick, that’s it I’m sick
You’ve deprived me of all my songs
You’ve emptied me of all my words
And my heart is completely sick
Surrounded with barricades, listen , I’m sick

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