Some things were meant to be

Two songs I like — one from 1784, and the other much more recent — share a melody and I didn’t realize until I read about it. This is the French original, Plaisir d’amour

It’s a cautionary tale about love* not lasting.

Tant que cette eau coulera doucement
vers ce ruisseau qui borde la prairie,
Je t’aimerai me répétait Sylvie.

Even though the girl gave pretty speeches, like the one recounted above, it didn’t last and she left the narrator for another man.

Contrast this with the American re-write, Can’t Help Falling in Love

This is almost the opposite of the original. Reckless. She can’t help it. So she entreats her lover to taker her hand and her whole life too.

I like that both use a metaphor about flowing water — in the first case, to illustrate how long their love will last (though it doesn’t) and in the second, to show the inevitability of her falling in love.

I can actually imagine the girl from Can’t Help Falling in Love as the “l’ingrate Sylvie” mentioned in Plaisir d’amour. They have the same way with words.

* Or perhaps passion?

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