Re: Vos Cerveaux

November 29th, 2007


Whilst carefully avoiding the completion of “My Beige Bear” I found myself distracted by a little side project. I’ve always wanted to record a couple of the hits in other languages just to see what would happen. Jeremsoft (who is French, and judging from the name, an AI) sent me a French translation for “Re: Your Brains” just out of the blue, and while I don’t speak fluently enough to understand everything in it, I caught enough clever translation choices to make me think it was pretty good.

I took a few years of French in high school but never got very good at it. So I spent a lot of time this week mimicking Jeremsoft’s recorded pronunciation, reading a phoenetic version supplied by Rhiannon, eliding syllables past the point of reason, and eating as many snails as I could. While recording I couldn’t help but notice an opportunity in the third verse for a reference to “Alouette,” that famous old French song about plucking feathers off a bird. My first ever joke in French! Vive me!

The result is this new version of Re: Your Brains for French speaking zombies everywhere (yes, even Canada). I hope zat you like eet.

Re: Vos Cerveaux

Special French lyrics can be found here.

89 Responses to “Re: Vos Cerveaux”

  1. Len says:

    That was awesome. I forsee myself drawing some french zombies in the near future. :)

  2. Kaethe says:

    That makes me so happy : )

  3. Kaethe says:

    And I have copies of the Beatles in German. I wish they had recorded more, but they had so many problems with the pronounciation they only did the two. It’s a pitty, they sound better in German, too.

  4. WTL says:

    This is pricelessly awesome!

  5. Ben says:

    Bonne anniversaire, JoCo!

  6. Liza LS says:

    Viva you, indeed, JoCo! And a happy birthday, too!

    ^_^

  7. Mike says:

    Re: Vos Cerveaux is amazing! It really is!

  8. Justin says:

    Happy birthday, JoCo…

    Come have some cake. It’s so delicious and moist.

    (^ you do know, of course, that you’ll never live that line down.)

  9. randal says:

    Now if we can only get Celine Dion to do a cover version…

  10. Venom says:

    I have listen to your song on Wil Wheaton and it’s great!

    By the way, I’m from Belgium, and I speak French as a native language also.

  11. Len says:

    Hey Happy Birthday! :)

    I can’t believe I am a month older than you. I thought you were older than me. :(

  12. Katie o_O says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mr. Jonathan coulton! I just recently heard about your music and it’s awesome, and you are a very talented musician and are amazing at your live shows :) I hope you have a great birthday!

  13. Demetrius says:

    Happy Birthday, JC! – And, many returns of the day… Which you happen to share with my oldest brother – who is also a Jon! (well, John, anyway…)

  14. Thomas says:

    Um … Bon Anniversaire! Oui? Oui.

  15. BucketHatBobby says:

    Can’t wait for the Ukrainian version of “Shop Vac”

  16. Jack F says:

    Brains just don’t taste the same in heavy sauce.

  17. Gle3nn says:

    Happy Birthday!

    Happy JoCo Day!

  18. Demetrius says:

    “Jack F Says:
    December 1st, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Brains just don’t taste the same in heavy sauce.”

    Yes. The discriminating zombie prefers a nice Noisette Butter.

  19. [...] Random Stuff on Sunday Night December 3, 2007 Filed under: family, life — lunzie @ 4:11 am I’m listening to Jonathan Coulton’s “Re: Vos Cerveaux.” [...]

  20. Carrie says:

    I’ve got a version in American Sign Language… kinda interesting if you ask me, but requires YouTube and I don’t have time for that. Lol. Loved the French!

  21. Leigh says:

    Does this post win the prize for most comments ever?

  22. Janet says:

    Oh no, nowhere close. Consider October 15, 2007 (Still Alive); April 14, 2006 (Code Monkey) or October 14, 2005 (Baby Got Back). Robots, Monkeys, and Anatomy 101 trump French brains, ca veut dire. :-)

  23. Justin says:

    That’s awesome! I love it!

    And just in case no one’s brought this to your attention: “All we want to do is study your brains.” -Sluggy Freelance

  24. This is surreally awesome. I wish I had this to use back in my ol’ language lab days in college! Thanks, Jon.

  25. jack says:

    The only thing worse (better?) than having *yet another* JoCo song stuck in my head for days and days is having a JoCo song stuck in my head for days IN A LANGUAGE I CAN’T SPEAK!!! Wow, this is going to be a rough week.

    Happy Birthday, Jonathan.

  26. jeremsoft says:

    “song stuck in my head for days IN A LANGUAGE I CAN’T SPEAK!!!”
    ahahah…its exactly what think the rest of the world with the hegemony of english music…sweet revenge…:P

  27. JP says:

    Happy birthday dude. :)

  28. Guinness says:

    Well done, jerem :)

    and what a great result ! Excellent pronunciation, probably the best i ever heared for a non french speaking person !

  29. electric desire says:

    As someone who teaches elementary French, and wonders why oh why don’t my students get that this language is neat, this really made my day. Thank you for making a very long week end on a high note (so to speak).

  30. Angelastic says:

    Maybe it’s just that new song glow or the cute accent (well, I wouldn’t know, I don’t speak French natively either, but it sounds like a cute accent to me), but I think this is even more awesome than the original… I hope it will convince more people here in Geneva to request a concert. Bravo Jeremsoft (Have you ever read ‘Le tombeau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language’?) and JoCo.

    Now for the Japanese version… I bet the http://www.japlishpodcast.com/ guys will help.

  31. Awesome work !!

    Chapeau bas monsieur ;)

  32. Erica says:

    Merci Uncle Jon, Merci…

  33. The_Dark says:

    That was great! I barely know any French, but it was still awesome.

    Someone should write a Spanish version… I’d kill to hear that…

  34. [...] The first is “Jack Bauer” by The Great Luke Ski and the second is a very special version of Jonathan Coulton’s “re: Your Brains” [...]

  35. mac givré says:

    Génial, tout simplement

  36. meliluc says:

    thanks, now I can share this great song with my “not fluent” friends

    et l’accent est génial !

  37. Sarah says:

    Ok so people have been asking for re-translations for this french song. I’ve taken a little “creative liberty” since a direct translation doesn’t make sense for anglophones.

    Hi Tom, it’s Bob. I’m working real hard in the bottom office
    Cool just checking on you, how are you?
    For me it goes, except that I’ve become a zombie
    I’d be really happy if you’d let us enter
    I think I speak for the world
    I can say I understand
    We legitimately expected your reluctance
    But this is urgent, you’re all going to burst, yelling

    (Chorus)
    We just want to devour your brain
    No this isn’t a stupid joke
    We won’t cut the eyes out of your head
    We just want to devour your brain
    We’re jammed here
    Perhaps we can do a kind of compromise:
    Open your door
    Then we can nab you to devour your brain

    I don’t want to quibble, Tom, but what are you really doing?
    Spend the rest of your life in your office?
    You can maybe go on for now, but one day you will run out of food
    …and extra ammunition
    It’s clear you come to realize the end
    This ambition, is truly what you’ve always lacked
    But I have some for you
    I’ll devour you slowly

    (Chorus)

    I would very much like to help you, Tom, one way or another
    I actually appreciate our collaboration
    I’m not a monster, Tom,
    Finally, technically I am
    Technically

    I have another meeting, Tom
    We’ll put this away
    It’ll be easier to agree and finish this
    I will pass this to my new colleagues
    Who are in the process of gnawing your door
    We’ll deal with this later
    I’m happy to see you accept constructive criticism
    Despite this, you are overbooked
    I know it’s hell at the office
    We’ll fix that later
    When I open up your head

    (And the head! And the head! Alouette! Alouette! Argh!)

    (Chorus)

  38. JoCo-Fan says:

    my top 5 JoCo songs
    nr.5:Blue Sunny day
    nr.4:Cruel Cruel Moon
    nr.3:The Big Boom
    nr.2:Creepy doll
    nr.1:Re:Your Brains/Re:Vos Cerveaux

  39. Matth says:

    La traduction laisse à désirer pour moi… Sinon la chanson est vraiment bien, mais on réalise que tu ne sais pas ce que tu chantes ! :)

    The traduction isn’t really perfect in my opinion…Whatever, the song is really cool, but I think you don’t understand what you say when you sing ? I’m french and we can feel it :p

    Last but not least, Very good job !!!!