Mercy (Madame Monsieur)
The entry that wins prizes for Smartest Double Meaning of Song Title, Cutest Band Name, and Most French Thing Ever is not the only track this year that tackles the topic of refugees. Italy are in the same boat. Émilie Satt and Jean-Karl Lucas are the “madame” and “monsieur” respectively and they’re also the songwriters.
A little safe. A little white. Actually, a lot white.
Je suis née ce matin, je m’appelle Mercy
On m’a tendu la main et je suis en vie
Je suis tous ces enfants que la mer a pris
Je vivrai cent mille ans, je m’appelle Mercy
I did five years of French at school, let’s see how much sunk in: “I am something (determined?) this morning, I am called Mercy. I take care of the all, and that gives me life. I am every child that the sea has taken. I will live a thousand years, I’m called Mercy.” Okay, how did I do?
I was born this morning, my name is Mercy
I was handed a hand and I’m alive
I am all these children that the sea has taken
I will live a hundred thousand years my name is Mercy
I give myself a B.
I admire their message but everything feels just a little too controlled, too tame. Just like my stab at a translation, it’s fine, but it needs improvement.