Je l’aime a mourir – Francis Cabrel

Here is a version for Guitar and Keyboard of a key song by Francis Cabrel in 1979: Je l’aime a mourir.

It took me a while to be sensitive to Cabrel’s repertoire. As a teenager, I was under the impression that his songs were meant for an ultra-conventional, tidy audience. I couldn’t figure it out at all. Therefore, it is only quite late and with a little distance, that I became aware of its quality of writing as well for its music as for its texts. Today, after more than 40 years of career, what Cabrel has brought to the Francophone musical landscape is absolutely indisputable.

In addition to a repertoire of great wealth, we owe him a commitment with Voix du Sud and the Astaffort meetings. These meetings, which have taken place for almost 30 years, have greatly enriched and enhanced French song.

Why this song.

In addition to being a great timeless song, the guitar part has become completely cult. If I were to play only one piece of Francis Cabrel, it would be this one, for his guitar part. Simple to play, it has become iconic and flatters the guitarist who plays it. And then, I loved Shakira’s version which shows once again, if necessary, that this song crosses eras, styles, audiences and borders.


The original version of Je l’aime a mourir is in F major. With the capo on the 5th fret, we transpose and then we find ourselves in C major. For my part, I took down the capo on the 4th fret to be more in tune with my range of voices. I therefore play it in E major. The only chord a little difficult to play and make sound is the B flat suspended at the end of the chorus.
For the rest, we find a series of rather standard chords in C Major.

I added a part played in the Moog Sub Phatty which came from the bass part on the version of Cabrel. To say more about this synthesizer, it is an analog and monophonic synth that I love. It is indeed very pleasant to change the sound with the two oscillators, the LFO that acts on the envelope and of course the very efficient filter that contributed to the success of the brand. It is no longer manufactured, replaced by the Moog Subsequent 25.

Je l'aime a mourir Desktop

Score and tablature.

If you like, the score and tablature are available in pdf format under this text.

This is a non-commercial sharing.