Stromae — Fils de Joie (French Lyrics & English Translation)

Fils de Joie” (Meaning: Son Of Joy; Pronunciation: fis də ʒwa) is a hit song released by Belgian singer Stromae in March, 2022 on the album Multitude. The song’s lyrics deal with the theme of prostitution.

Fils de Joie by Stromae

Become an expert in French song lyrics
Using French song lyrics is one of the most effective ways to learn French. In addition to Fils de Joie, we’ve analyzed the lyrics to the following other Stromae songs: Alors On Danse, Formidable, Papaoutai, Mon Amour, Santé and L’enfer. Indila is a leading French female singer. For Indila, we’ve analyzed Carrousel, S.O.S., Love Story, Tourner Dans Le Vide and Ainsi Bas La Vida.

Song overview

In the YouTube video of Fils de Joie (see below), Stromae acts as the leader of a fictional country holding a state funeral for a deceased sex worker.

In the opening of the song, he suggests that he was a customer of the sex worker. Then, Stromae proclaims that she was hero (C’est un héros) and that he’ll always speak proudly about this person (Et ce sera toujours fièrement que j’en parlerai).

The state funeral shown in the video is highly elaborate, showing Stromae standing at a podium addressing the a fictitious nation with a fictitious flag, marching and saluting soldiers and dancers, a driving motorcade, mourning a-listers as well as citizens and a real fly-over.

Fils de Joie – lyrics analysis

In the following section we’ve hand-picked and highlighted vocabulary and verbs, as well as grammatical structures which we feel offer interesting insights into learning French.

Être seul c’est difficile

This line translates to “Being alone is hard”.Être means “to be”. When an infinitive (to form of a verb) is used as the subject of a sentence, it translations to “-ing”.

“C’est” means “It is”. “Il est” also means “it is” in French. This page explains c’est vs il est.

Et là, ça fait des années

This line translates to “Well, it’s been years”. “Et” means “and” and “là” means there. Combined, we’ve translated to “well”.

The expression “ça fait” translates to “it’s been” (in the context of years or time), with ça literally meaning “that” and “fait” coming from faire (to make, to do).

“Des années” literally means “some years”. However, as an expression, “des années” means “many years”. This page covers an vs. année, the two words for “year” in French.

Et de juger c’est facile, Surtout quand on n’y a pas goûté

These two lines translate to “And it’s easy to judge, Especially when you haven’t tried it”. “Quand” means “when”. There are two ways to say “when” in French: “Quand” and “lorsque”.

The verb “goûter” means both “to taste” and “to try” and is followed by the preposition “à”. The “y” in this line means “it”. We’ve covered how to use “y” on our French object pronouns page.

The personal pronoun “on” in French has many uses and translations, including “you” in the general sense.

“On n’y a pas goûté” is in the passé composé, a commonly used French past tense. This line also uses the standard ne…pas French negation.

Le plus dur, ben, c’était la première fois, Puis le plus dur, c’est de savoir quand s’ra la dernière fois

These two lines translate to “The hardest, well, it was the first time, Then the hardest, it’s to know when it will be the last time.”

The adjectivedur means “difficult” or “hard” in French. “Le plus” (the most) followed by an adjective means “the most” and is an example of the French superlative.

“Ben” is a shortening of the word “bien”, which means well and is part of the commonly used très bien (very well).

“C’était” means “it was” and is the imperfect (l’imparfait) tense of the verb “être” (to be). The imperfect is another commonly used French past tense.

C’est vrai, j’suis pas contre un peu d’tendresse de temps en temps

This line translates to “It’s true, I’m not against a bit of tenderness sometimes”. Vraimeans both “real” and “true”. “Contre” is preposition which means “against”.

Un peu is an adverb of quantity and must be followed by the preposition “de” plus noun. Translations include “a little” and “a bit of”.

The expression “de temps en temps” means “from time to time”. The word “temps” means both “time” and “weather” in French. the -s on the first “temps” is pronounced like a -z and is an example of the French liaison (linking two words together).

Et puis cette fois-ci, ben, j’pourrais l’faire en l’insultant

This line translates to “And finally this time, well, I could do it insulting her”. The wordpuis is a filler word for telling stories means “then”, “and finally” and “and what’s more”.

“Cette fois-ci” means “this time” and is an example of a French demonstrative adjective (words for “this” and “these).

“J’pourrais” is a shortening of “Je pourrais” and is the verb pouvoir (can, to be able) conjugated in the conditional (would) tense.

The “l'” in “l’faire” is a direct object pronoun, meaning “it”. “En l’insultant” (while insulting her) is an example of the French gerund, which is used to express “while + -ing”.

Oui tout est négociable dans la vie, moyennant paiement

This line translates to “Yes, everything is negotiable in life, for payment”. The word toutmeans both “all” and “everything”.

“Dans” means “in”. There are two ways to say “in” in French”: “Dans” and “en”. The word moyennanttranslates to “with”, “by means of”, “thank to” and “by way of”.

En plus j’suis sûrement son meilleur client

This line translates to “What’s more, I’m sure I’m her best customer”. En plus means “in addition” or “furthermore” in French.

Je suis means “I am”. “Sûrement” means “surely” or “certainly” and is an example of a French adverb.

Mais OH! Laissez donc ma maman

These two lines translate to “But oh! Leave my mom alone”. The word “mais” means “but” in French. “Laissez” is the second-person plural (vous) form of the verb laisser, which means “to allow” or “to let”.

Donc translates to “therefore” but is difficult to include in the translation of this line. Maman means “mom” or “mommy”.

Oui je sais. C’est vrai qu’elle n’est pas parfaite, C’est un héros

These two lines translate to “Yes I know. It’s true that she’s not perfect, She’s a hero”. Oui is most common way of saying “yes” in French. “Je sais” is the first-person singular (je) from of savoir (to know).

The adjective “parfait” means “perfect. “C’est un héros” means “she’s a hero”. At first glance, “c’est” means “it’s” and one would think the sentence should start with “Elle est” (she is).

However, the usage of articles triggers the usage of “c’est”. “Un” is an indefinite article meaning “a” or “an”. In French, the word for hero, “un héro” is always masculine.

Et ce sera toujours fièrement que j’en parlerai, Que j’en parlerai

These two lines translate to “And I’ll always speak of her with pride, That I’ll speak of her”. “Sera” is the future tense of the verb “être” (to be). “Fier” means “proud” and the adverb “fièrement” means proudly.

“Parlerai” is future tense of “parler” (to speak) in the first-person singular. The word “en” in this sentence is an indirect object pronoun referring back to the mom (maman) from the previous line. Frenchtoday.com provides a useful post explaining how to use “en”.

J’suis un fils de p*te, comme ils disent

This line translates to “I’m a son of a b*tch, as they say”. The words fils de p*te translates to “son of a b*tch”. The word “comme” translates to “like” or “as” an the word “disent” is the third-person plural form of the verb dire(to say, to tell).

Après tout c’qu’elle a fait pour eux

This line translates to “After everything they did for them”. “Ce que” is an indefinite relative pronoun and translates to “what” or “that”. “Eux” is a stressed pronoun and means “them”. The singular form of “eux” is “lui(him).

Pardonne leur bêtise, Ô chère mère!

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These lines translate to “Excuse their mistake, Oh dear mother”. “Pardonne” comes form the verb paronner, which means “to excuse” or “to forgive.

“Bêtise” is a noun meaning “mistake” or more specifically “silly mistake”. “Leur” is a possessive adjective meaning “their”. The adjectives “cher/chère” mean “dear”.

Ils te déshumanisent

This line translates to “They dehumanize you”. “Ils” means “they” and is a personal pronoun. The “te” in this line can translate to “you”, “to you” and “at you”. This page covers how to say “you” in French.

Les mêmes te courtisent, Et tout l’monde ferme les yeux

This line translates to “The same people court you, And everybody closes their eyes”. The word mêmemeans “same”. What’s implied in this line is “les mêmes gens” (the same people).

Tout le monde translates literally to “all the world” but means “everybody”. “Yeux” in French means “eyes“. This page covers French body parts.

Pourquoi tout le monde me déteste?

This line translate to “Why does everybody hate me?”. The “me” in this line can translate to “me”, “at me” and “to me”. This page covers the various ways of saying “me” in French.

Alors qu’c’est moi qui les nourrit

This line translates to “While I’m the one who feeds them”. Alors que” translates to “while”. The word “moi” is a stress pronoun and translates to “me”. “Les” in this line is a direct object pronoun and means “them”.

Leurs vies seraient bien plus modestes

This line translates to “Their lives would be way more modest”. “Leurs” is a possessive adjective and translates to “their”. “Seraient” is the third-person plural form of “être” (to be).

Sans moi, elles s’raient pourries

This line translates to “Without me, their lives would be horrible”. “Sans” is a preposition which translates to “without”. The adjective pourri translates literally to “rotten”.

Le lit et la sécurité, Ont un prix Madame

These lines translate to “The bed and the security, Have a price, ma’am”. “Ont” is the third-person plural form of avoir (to have). The titlemadamecan translate to “Mrs.” or “ma’am”.

Ben oui dans la vie tout se paie

This line translates to “Well yes you have to pay for everything in life”. “Se payer” is a passive reflexive verb and translates literally to “is paid”.

On n’te l’avait donc jamais appris

This line translates to “You’ve never learned this”. The literally translation of this line is: “One hasn’t ever therefore learned this to you”.

In Frenchapprendre quelque chose à quelqu’un” literally means “to learn something to somebody” but really means “to teach something to somebody”.

“Jamais” means “never”. “Avait appris” means “have learned” and is an example of the plus-que-parfait (pluperfect) tense.

On m’accuse de faire de la traite d’êtres humains

This line translates to “They accuse me of doing human trafficking”. The “on” in this line is being used to create a passive voice; “I am accused”. “Human trafficking” in French is la traite d’êtres humains.

Mais 50, 40, 30 ou 20%, c’est déjà bien

This line translates to “But 50, 40, 30 or 20%, that’s already pretty good”. The literal translation of “c’est déjà bien” is “it’s already well”.

Faudrait pas qu’elles se prennent un peu trop pour des mannequins

This line translates to “They’d better not act too much as if they were fashion models”. “Faudrait” is the conditional form of il faut, which means “it’s necessary to”.

“Quelles se prennent” is the subjunctive from of the verb prendre (to take). The French expression “se prendre pour” translates to “to believe yourself to be”. Mannequinmeans “model”, “dummy” or “fashion model”.

Mesdames, ou devrais-je dire p*tains!

This line translates to “Ladies, or should I say h*ookers?”. “Mesdames” is the plural of “madame” and translates literally to “my ladies”.

“Devrais-je” is the inversion of “je devrais” which isdevoir (must, to have to) in the conditional tense. P*tainis a pejorative French term with many translations including “wh*re”.

Je sais qu’c’est ton boulot

This line translates to “I know it’s your job”. The wordboulot” is slang for “travail” (work, job).

Mais faut bien qu’j’fasse le mien, non? Entre l’tien et le mien

These lines translate to “But I have to do mine, right, Between yours and mine”. “Que je fasse” is the verb faire (to make, to do) conjugated in the subjunctive mood.

“Le mien” and “le tien” mean “mine” and “yours”. These are examples of French possessive pronouns.

Allez, circulez, Madame

This line translates to “Move along, ma’am”. “Allez” is the second-person plural form of the verballer (to go). Circuler means to “move along” and “to travel/drive around”.

Reprends tes papiers et c’qu’il te reste de dignité

This line translates to “Take back your papers and what remains of your dignity”. The verb “prendre” makes “to take”. With the prefix -re, “reprendre” means “to take back”. “Il reste” is an impersonal expression which translates literally to “it remains”.

Pauvre femme, pffff, Trouve-toi un vrai métier!

These two lines translate to “Pour lady, pffff, Find yourself a real job!”. “Pauvre” can mean “poor” in the sense of pity, as well as economically poor. The word métier translates literally to “career”.

Fils de Joie lyrics by Stromae

Fils de joie – French lyrics and English translation

Être seul c’est difficile
Et là, ça fait des années
Et de juger c’est facile
Surtout quand on n’y a pas goûté
Le plus dur, ben, c’était la première fois
Puis le plus dur, c’est de savoir quand s’ra la dernière fois
C’est vrai, j’suis pas contre un peu d’tendresse de temps en temps
Et puis cette fois-ci, ben, j’pourrais l’faire en l’insultant
Oui tout est négociable dans la vie, moyennant paiement
En plus j’suis sûrement son meilleur client

Being alone is hard
Well, it’s been years
And it’s easy to judge
Especially when you haven’t tried it
The hardest, well, it was the first time
Then the hardest, it’s to know when it will be the last time
It’s true, I’m not against a bit of tenderness sometimes
And finally this time, well, I could do it insulting her
Yes, everything is negotiable in life, for payment
What’s more, I’m sure I’m her best customer

Mais OH!
Laissez donc ma maman
Oui je sais. C’est vrai qu’elle n’est pas parfaite
C’est un héros
Et ce sera toujours fièrement que j’en parlerai
Que j’en parlerai

But oh!
Leave my mom alone
Yes I know. It’s true that she’s not perfect
She’s a hero
And I’ll always speak of her with pride
That I’ll speak of her

J’suis un fils de p*te, comme ils disent
Après tout c’qu’elle a fait pour eux
Pardonne leur bêtise
Ô chère mère!
Ils te déshumanisent
C’est plus facile
Les mêmes te courtisent
Et tout l’monde ferme les yeux

I’m a son of a b*tch, as they say
After everything they did for them
Excuse their mistake
Oh dear mother
They dehumanize you
It’s easier
The same people court you
And everybody closes their eyes

Pourquoi tout le monde me déteste?
Alors qu’c’est moi qui les nourrit
Leurs vies seraient bien plus modestes
Sans moi, elles s’raient pourries
Le lit et la sécurité
Ont un prix Madame
Ben oui dans la vie tout se paie
On n’te l’avait donc jamais appris
On m’accuse de faire de la traite d’êtres humains
Mais 50, 40, 30 ou 20%, c’est déjà bien
Faudrait pas qu’elles se prennent un peu trop pour des mannequins
Mesdames, ou devrais-je dire putains!

Why does everybody hate me?
While I’m the one who feeds them
Their lives would be way more modest
Without me, their lives would be horrible
The bed and the security
Have a price, ma’am
Well yes you have to pay for everything in life
You’ve never learned this
They accuse me of doing human trafficking
But 50, 40, 30 or 20%, that’s already pretty good
They’d better not act too much as if they were fashion models
Ladies, or should I say h*ookers?

Mais OH!
Laissez donc ma maman
Oui, je sais. C’est vrai qu’elle n’est pas parfaite
C’est un héros
Et ce s’ra toujours fièrement que j’en parlerai
Que j’en parlerai

But oh!
Leave my mom alone
Yes I know. It’s true that she’s not perfect
She’s a hero
And I’ll always speak of her with pride
That I’ll speak of her

J’suis un fils de p*te, comme ils disent
Après tout c’qu’elle a fait pour eux
Pardonne leur bêtise
Ô chère mère!
Ils te déshumanisent
C’est plus facile
Les mêmes te courtisent
Et tout l’monde ferme les yeux

I’m a son of a b*tch, as they say
After everything they did for them
Excuse their mistake
Oh dear mother
They dehumanize you
It’s easier
The same people court you
And everybody closes their eyes

Je sais qu’c’est ton boulot
Mais faut bien qu’j’fasse le mien, non?
Entre l’tien et le mien
La différence, c’est que moi je paie des impôts
Allez, circulez, Madame
Reprends tes papiers et c’qu’il te reste de dignité
Pauvre femme, pffff
Trouve-toi un vrai métier!

I know it’s your job
But I have to do mine, right
Between yours and mine
The difference is that I pay taxes
Move along, ma’am
Take back your papers and what remains of your dignity
Pour lady, pffff
Find yourself a real job!

Mais OH!
Laissez donc ma maman
Oui je sais. C’est vrai qu’elle n’est pas parfaite
C’est un héros
Et ce sera toujours fièrement que j’en parlerai
Que j’en parlerai

But oh!
Leave my mom alone
Yes I know. It’s true that she’s not perfect
She’s a hero
And I’ll always speak of her with pride
That I’ll speak of her

J’suis un fils de p*te, comme ils disent
Après tout c’qu’elle a fait pour eux
Pardonne leur bêtise
Ô chère mère!
Ils te déshumanisent
C’est plus facile
Les mêmes te courtisent
Et tout l’monde ferme les yeux

I’m a son of a b*tch, as they say
After everything they did for them
Excuse their mistake
Oh dear mother
They dehumanize you
It’s easier
The same people court you
And everybody closes their eyes

Listen to Fils de Joie

The official video for Fils de Joie on YouTube has over 30 million views.

You can also listen on Spotify:

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About David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site, FrenchLearner.com, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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