Lyrics for Serge Franklin / Karen Tungay - Sous les Bougainvilliers

  • (Not to be confused with Hector Zazou's song with the same title.)

    French it's not my first language and trying to write the lyrics down by listening may not be a realistic option for me. Has anyone got them?


    The song was made for the 1989 TV series Bonne Espérance. My memory about its plot is very patchy. Jacques Beauvilliers has a farming estate called Bonne Espérance in south of Africa. He has 3 daughters and an illegitimate son Jean-Jacques with a slave. He catches them bullying him, he goes all protective about the boy (and the slave mother), while girls swear with blood to take revenge on the boy. Don't remember much after that. The boy grows up. Out of 3 girls, only one (I think Clara) still wants that revenge, reminding other 2 they swore it with blood.


    Clara arranges so Jean-Jacques gets killed. Jacques tells her the killer would be punished by death. She grows old and unhappy.

    For what it's worth, the song appears to have been composed by Franklin for the TV series "Bonne Espérance", 1989. Karen Tungay is listed as the singer.

    That's right. It plays through the closing credits of each episode. I've also found out that lyrics were written by Jean Pierre Lang (I'd ask him if I could, haha). All this I've only found on very few websites, but almost nothing on major sites like Wikipedia, YouTube and IMDB.

    If you could point to an online recording, I'd offer to try and note down the lyrics from that. Jean Pierre Lang is still alive (aged 79) , so I guess contacting him is an option, although I don't know how you would. Article in FR wikipedia says he wrote the words for Céline Dion's first national/international hit, which I didn't know.

    thanks. Very haunting, I can see why you like it.

    I take it you like it, too? I've been trying to find this song (and the actual series or any useful information about it) for over 15 years. Only just got hold of it 2 weeks ago. I remember 25 years ago or so watching Bonne Espérance on TV and being mesmerised listening to this song while the closing credits of each episode rolled. And... I haven't a clue what the song is about.

    yes, I like the song. From what I can make of the lyrics so far, they are sad, but they are a bit obscure, probably because I haven't got the right words yet.

  • J'ai vu le jour du côté des manguiers

    Sur la terre de mon père

    J'ai vu toujours mes parents travailler

    Près des bougainvilliers

    Ici chacun vit ou meurt

    Et bâtit des barrières

    Suivant l'ombre et la couleur

    Suivant la lumière

    Pourquoi faut-il du côté des manguiers

    qu'il y ait cet air de fête ?

    Moi, certains jours, j'ai envie de pleurer

    Sous les bougainvilliers

    Mon amour est un garçon

    Que va prendre la guerre

    Quand on sait, me faut-il donc

    S'enfuir ou se taire ?

    Alors j'écris du côté des manguiers

    Mon journal solitaire

    J'écris ma vie et mon coeur déchiré

    Près des bougainvilliers

    J'écris que le monde est fou

    Que les hommes sont bêtes

    J'écris notre pire amour

    Et mes joies secrètes

    Un jour, qui sait, du côté des manguiers

    Tomberont les barrières

    Et notre vie sera moins compliquée

    Près des bougainvilliers

    Près de mon cahier, ce soir

    Où ma tête se penche

    C'est la fin, je te reçois

    Ma dernière, je planche


    I saw the day (was born) down by the mango trees

    On a land of my father

    I always saw my parents work

    Near bougainvillea

    Here everyone lives or dies

    And builds fences

    following shadow and color

    following light

    Why is there down by the mango trees

    this air of celebration?

    Some days I feel like crying

    Under the bougainvillea

    My love is a boy

    that will be taken by the war

    When you know, what should you do?

    Run away or be silent?

    So I write down by the mango trees

    My lonely diary

    I write my life and my torn heart

    Near the bougainvillea

    I write that the world is crazy

    That men are beasts

    I write love our worst

    And my secret joys

    One day, who knows, down by the mango trees

    Fences will fall

    And our life will be less complicated

    Near bougainvillea

    Near my notebook tonight

    Where my head leans

    This is the end, I get you

    My last, I hesitate

    ah, I wondered if mangoes came into it. this looks like a good answer. Chapeaux bas !

    Thank you for both answers (here and on FB). I don't quite get the last two lines (in either language).

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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