Bonjour Vietnam
Phạm Quỳnh Anh

Click here for "Hello Vietnam"

Listen to the audio file Here

Raconte moi ce nom étrange et difficile à prononcer
Que je porte depuis que je suis née.
Tell me this name, strange and difficult to pronounce
That I have carried since my birth

Raconte moi le vieil empire et le trait de mes yeux bridés,
Qui disent mieux que moi ce que tu n'oses dire.

Tell me the old empire and the feature of my slanted eyes
Describing me better than what you dare not say


Je ne sais de toi que des images de la guerre,
Un film de Coppola, [et] des hélicoptères en colère ...

I only know you from the war images
A Coppola movie, (and) the angry helicopters


Un jour, j'irai là bas, un jour dire bonjour à ton âme.
Un jour, j'irai là bas [pour] te dire bonjour, Vietnam.

Someday, I will go there, someday to say hello to your soul
Someday, I will go there, to say hello to you, Vietnam


Raconte moi ma couleur, mes cheveux et mes petits pieds,
Qui me portent depuis que je suis née.
Tell me my color, my hair and my small feet
That I have carried since my birth

Raconte moi ta maison, ta rue, raconte moi cet inconnu,
Les marchés flottants et les sampans de bois.
Je ne connais de mon pays que des photos de la guerre,
Un film de Coppola, [et] des hélicoptères en colère ...

Tell me your house, your street, tell me this unknown entity
The floating markets and the wooden sampans
I could only recognize my country from the war photos
A Coppola movie, (and) the helicopters in anger


Un jour, j'irai là bas, un jour dire bonjour à mon âme.
Un jour, j'firai là bas [pour] te dire bonjour, Vietnam.

Someday, I will go there, someday to say hello to your soul
Someday, I will go there, to say hello to you, Vietnam


Les temples et les Boudhas de pierre pour mes pères,
Les femmes courbées dans les rizières pour mes mères,
Dans la prière, dans la lumière, revoir mes frères,
Toucher mon âme, mes racines, ma terre...

The temples and the stone-carved Buddha statues for my fathers
The stooping women in the rice fields for my mothers
Praying in the light to see my brothers again
To touch my soul, my roots, my land..


Un jour, j'irai là bas, un jour dire bonjour à mon âme.
Un jour, j'irai là bas [pour] te dire bonjour, Vietnam (2 fois)

Someday, I will go there, someday to say hello to your soul
Someday, I will go there, to say hello to you, Vietnam (twice)
 


(2004)

Words and Music by
Marc Lavoine and Yvan Coriat

Source of the video clip.
Source of lyrics and translation.

 

 

 

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Aria's Pick! 
Up Close and Personal:

Phạm Quỳnh Anh   (X Month 1987)
aka Quỳnh Anh, Quynh Anh,

Belgian-Vietnamese songbird, a beautiful voice, a beautiful soul, a rising star!

"I was born in 1987. Already 21 years growing up in Belgium, studying, having fun and, most important to me, learning music! My parents both come from Vietnam but they didn’t know each other until they arrived in Belgium. I sometimes think about what my life would have been like if they had met in Vietnam. But it isn’t so and I wouldn’t wish my life to be different. All the same I do know a bit about Vietnam. Cooking at home is still Vietnamese most of the time. I can understand a few words in Vietnamese and my family used to perform traditional songs and folk dances at Chinese New Year. At the same time, I live and think more like a Belgian. For example, I like to eat chocolate (a bit more than I should...) or to have a beer with my friends. Anyway these two cultures are integral parts of my personality. The more time goes by, the more certain I am it was destiny. And I’m also sure that singing is my way. True, so far I’ve always been lucky in my career."

"It all began when I won a song contest on TV. I met my manager there. He guided me to my producer, who then made my duet with Marc Lavoine possible. Then with "J’espere", I followed Marc Lavoine on tour around France, Belgium and even Switzerland. It is really incredible for a young artist to have such an experience. But he didn’t stop there and wrote me my first songs, including "Bonjour Vietnam". Actually this song already has its own story. By mistake, the unfinished version of the song got put on the internet. A few days later, Vietnamese people around the world heard "Bonjour Vietnam" and were quite touched by its message, I suppose. Well, I hope all this will go on and lead me to other places, other people. Perhaps it will guide me to meet you... I hope so."

See a great article about the making of the song,  song, "Bonjour Vietnam" here

Fun Fact:  Bonjour Vietnam rose to fame when a friend of Quynh Anh's accidentally shared the song online.  It became a quick favourite amongst the Vietnamese people and stirred the hearts of all others.  The official English version has been released since.

Genre: Pop, Easy Listening, French, Vietnamese

Sources:  (1)  (2)

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