Here is a guitar adaptation of a song by Jacques Higelin in 1979 : Je ne peux plus dire je t’aime.
First of all, Jacques Higelin has always been part of the family. Besides, the memories I have associated with his music or his name are too numerous to evoke them all here.
Having said that, I could tell you how we used to listen to him as children, in the car on our way to vacation. Or the concerts : at the “fête de l’humanité” inviting Youssou N’Dour, at the “cirque d’hiver” or in the “parc de la villette”. Having had the chance to meet him a few times, I can say that he is a singular guy and open to the other in such a unique way that words fail me.
Why this song.
On October 15th, the Jacques Higelin conservatory in Pantin was inaugurated. Organized by his wife Aziza, it was a really nice party with a lot of guests. Accompanied by Alice Botté, Izïa sang Je ne peux plus dire je t’aime on this occasion. Izïa’s version was really hot! Spontaneous, touching and true.
It made me want to play this beautiful song again.
A simple harmony which turns essentially on the degrees I, IV and V with a passage on the relative minor right at the moment when the text evokes loneliness. This is a song that is all about the melody and the text. It seems obvious to say that, but a melody and a text are probably what we expect from a good song?
The guitar part on the original version, namely on the album Caviar pour les autres, is very inspired by the 70’s American folk songs. It’s a perfect timing because I love this kind of guitar part!
Nolwenn Leroy also did a very nice version on her Folk cover album.
For my adaptation I took the plans which appear on these versions, transposed the chords to adapt it to my vocal tessitura then to play and play again the piece to make little by little my own version. I tried to transcribe my adaptation as closely as possible on the pdf at the bottom of the page.
Score and tablature.
If you wish, my transcript and adaptation are available in pdf format just below this text.
This is a non-commercial sharing.