Re: Vos Cerveaux

By JoCo November 29, 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.


winegeek says

Oh. Mon. Dieu.

C'est magnifique. Bon accent aussi. Les "r" sont tres bon.

James says

This is so funny! I actually had to buy it to listen to it (stupid computer!) but I'm so glad I did, its great!

Sobachatina says

Is the link broken? I get a 404.

randal says

Ce winegeek dit.

ouija repair says

Ha ! It's amazing how well it scans. What a great translation assignment for teachers of the French language to give their students.

jeremsoft says

hi ppl

well,15 days ago I discovered accidentally this incredible song,RE:Brains...and fell immediately in love with...
these creative 2 weeks were really a great experience(I pray for Jonathan has buried my first ever song recording...)
Seeing the result,I can only bow before the pronouncing and all the efforts Jonathan made,and of course its great musical style,humour and creativity.
thumbs up!

J...french packager

PS:I forgot to tell you that you have to BOIL the snails before eating...oops!

Idealistic Pragmatist says

This Canuck loves it! :-)

manstraw says

I was going to say c'est magnifique, but someone else did it in the very first comment. note to self, don't be writing songs, nothing original will come out.

Dave says

That was great!
I see what you mean about the reshuffling rather than just directly translating the lines, it fits very well.
Also, apologies if this has been noted elsewhere on this site (couldn't find any links to it myself) but have you seen this comic?

Mystral721 says

That sounded great! It's about time the needs of the oft-ignored French Geek crowd were addressed. :P

Out of curiosity I did a quick cut/paste of the chorus into Google's language translator:

It just wants you to puff the brain
No, it's not so bete
Ca va pas t'couter the eyes of the head
It just wants you to puff the brain
We are stuck here
It could be a sort of compromise:
We Opens Door
K'on can you choper for you eat the brain

Mmm - puffed brains....

Shruti says

Would it be possible to get an english translation of the french lyrics? Babelfish does not do it justice.

T.J. says are a musical and comedic genius.

Jen says

Je l'aime! C'est merveilleuse. (Bravo, traducteur!)

The bird-plucking zombies really make it. That, and your French "u".

Hey, doesn't Kashi make a variety of breakfast cereals from nutritious puffed brains?

jacob says

This recording now meets Canadian language requirements, and I am now by law allowed to enjoy that song.

Canada thanks you.

Roman V says

It's funny, actually, because for the past few days I've been singing "Todo que queremos es comer tu cerebros, no somos irrazonable, nadia va a comer tu ojos" but I never thought to finish it.

Roman V says


frank says

mr. coulton, will you marry me? oh, wait, that's right: i can't marry a man in our country, and you're straight and married, anyway. dammit. well then, i'll just worship you from afar. thanks muchly for the new version au français. c'est tres magnifique!

jesss says

My son, who is obsessed with Spanish lately, wants a version in Spanish!

Pretty great. I too would love to see the translation as I know practically no French

Sujin says

I nearly pulled an all-nigher last night writing a French paper. This would have made it so much better. :) At least I have it now to listen to and make my JoCo experience bilingual!

Denis Moskowitz says

Congratulations - you've got your own "Komm, gib mir deine Hand".

Oromin says

Ça c'est hyper-chouette! J'adore le français et j'adore ta musique, alors tous les deux ensemble sont merveilluex. :)

M_pony says

Now when you finally come to Toronto (anytime now plz, kthx) I have yet another excuse to buy you une biere.

Bishma says

I like it. It recieves the Bishma seal of approval. But I watched you record parts of My Beige Bear and it's been stuck in my head ever since, so please finish that up. Pretty please with cake on top?

Zach says

Will Len provide a French album cover?

jacob says

Talk about an outrageous accent. Now all you need is an owl to wrangle.

Giggleloop says

Well done, I love it! :)

Bob says

Does it make me a massive geek that as I was listening to the song, I started to wonder if the mp3 standard supported locales? :-)

Joel Watson says

Hey Guys! Support JoCo and Digg this story:

Rob L. says

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww oui. Vive le chason du zombies.

Rob L. says

Uh, "chanson," methinks. The le and the du are probably wrong too. Hell, it's the thought that counts.

MmeS says

This made my 19-hour French-teaching-followed-by-French-movie-event-technology-coordinating day so much more worthwhile. It brought a much-needed sourire to my visage, especially the homage to "Alouette". Any possibility for a special edition "Re: Vos cerveaux" shirt...?

Luke M says

Way to pre-empt people like me whining about the lack of completed Bearage. I will not misunderestimate you again, sir.

Miru Gai says

I wish to put you in a glass container and stick you in my basement, Mr. JoCo.

rhiannon says

hey there!
thanks a lot for putting a link to my myspace! (however it doesn't seem to work?) glad I was of help for the french version. jeremie and I had a lot of fun ! He's a great guy, very creative, and lots of talent!
I hope you had some time to check out my songs!
thanks once again!

Janet says


Interweb netizens cranky, having trouble getting to sleep. Meanwhile, household of interweb getting REALLY tired of hearing "songus interruptus" one more damn time. "My Beige Bear" interweb's very very favorite song. IPod of interweb feeling very very left out, about to get cranky despite superior Apple technology.


Will Hindmarch says

You and Edith Piaf. That makes two. Oh, and Nouvelle Vague, I guess, but is she for real?

What is that very nice MP3 player you're using in this post?

Can we get you to do a song in Icelandic or Croatian, now?

rhiannon says

How about a song in welsh? I'm from wales... its a beautiful language!

patrick says

This will go down in history as the best song translation since 99 Luftballons! God, I'm old...

andrine says

Tish! I love it when you speak French! Mwah! -Gomez

Chris Radcliff says

Great! Now people can sing along at the Paris concert. Zombies Sans Frontieres!

LoonieBin says

Oh man...I took French Immersion from kindergarten to grade nine (bastards canceled high school French, except the mickey-mouse second language classes) and your pronunciation and accent are better. Though it didn't quite rhyme, that's unbelievably well translated, except a couple parts could've been done better...For the benefit of those who don't speak French, I'll write down these lyrics in English. Maybe under user content somewhere...

Paul says

It's like Inspector Clouseau came back from the grave, as a zombie! Mon Dieu.

Yngve says

I don't speak a word of French, and it is still so, so awesome.

Q-gyver says

Now we've successfully won over Canada!
I say "ON TO MEXICO!!!"

Also, even if you don't speak French at all, it's still really cool.

Stephane D. says

Hahahahah... "Et la tete! Et la tete!"... Hahahaha.

I needed a few listens to recalibrate my brain to understand the accent. (It's closer to the European-french pronunciation to the Canadian-French pronunciation. Some expressions are also not used in Canadian-French which is another reason for my brain-recalibration to occur. It's akin to North-American English vs U.K. English. :P)

Roman V says

Oh and happy early birthday, Jonathan.

Florian says

Awesome song, the idea reminds of what the Beatles did with "Komm, gib mir deine Hand" and "Sie liebt dich". I don't speak German that well, but if the translation is good, it can have a very catchy quality (sometimes even more so). Very cool.

Florian says

Ehm, I meant German about the Beatles songs I referred to, I know this is French ;-)

Jim says

Translate this back to English and we get...

"It just wants you to puff the brain"

... wait.. what?

brady says

Excellent as always!

Len says

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

Kaethe says

That makes me so happy : )

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.

WTL says

This is pricelessly awesome!

Ben says

Bonne anniversaire, JoCo!

Liza LS says

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


Mike says

Re: Vos Cerveaux is amazing! It really is!

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.)

randal says

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

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.

Len says

Hey Happy Birthday! :)

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

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!

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...)

Thomas says

Um ... Bon Anniversaire! Oui? Oui.

BucketHatBobby says

Can't wait for the Ukrainian version of "Shop Vac"

Jack F says

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

Gle3nn says

Happy Birthday!

Happy JoCo Day!

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.

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!

Leigh says

Does this post win the prize for most comments ever?

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. :-)

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

Jonnie Geetahr says

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

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.

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

JP says

Happy birthday dude. :)

Guinness says

Well done, jerem :)

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

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).

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 guys will help.

Chevalier Bayard says

Awesome work !!

Chapeau bas monsieur ;)

Erica says

Merci Uncle Jon, Merci...

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...

mac givré says

Génial, tout simplement

meliluc says

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

et l'accent est génial !

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

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


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

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!)


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

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 !!!!