Indila — S.O.S. (French Lyrics & English Translation)

S.O.S.” is a hit song released by French singer Indila in 2014 on the album Multitude. The song’s lyrics deal with the theme of hitting a rock bottom in life then reaching out for assistance and experiencing recovery.

"S.O.S" by Indila

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One of the most effective ways to improve your French is by studying song lyrics. For Indila, a leading French female singer, we’ve analyzed the lyrics of the following sings: Ainsi Bas La Vida, Love Story, Tourner Dans Le Vide, Dernière Danse. Stromae is a leading Belgian French-speaking singer. For Stromae, we’ve analyzed the lyrics to the following songs: L’enfer, Santé and Mon Amour (all released in 2021-22), as well previous hits Alors On Danse,Formidable, Papaoutai and Tous Les Mêmes. We’ve also covered many other classic French sings includingLa Vie En Rose andNon, Je Ne Regrette Rien (by Edith Piaf), C’est Si Bon (by Yves Montand), La Bohème (by Charles Aznavour), Les Champs-Elyséesby Joe Dassin and La Mer (by Charles Trenet).

S.O.S. song synopsis

In a nutshell, Indila’s song, S.O.S. recounts the story of somebody who’s fallen to a spiritual bottom and is crying out for help. She sings, “Je suis tombée tellement bas; I fell so low”. Several lines within the song’s chorus are: “C’est un S.O.S., Entends-tu ma détresse, Je sens qu’j’me perds; It’s an S.O.S., Do you hear my distress? I feel like I’m losing myself”.

Later in the song, Indila expresses that she’d like to “come back” but can’t do it (“J’aimerais revenir, j’n’y arrive pas”). By the end of the song, Indila is reaching out for help and experiencing hope, singing “Voir la lumière, Entends-tu ma voix?; Seeing the light, Do you hear my voice?”.

In the YouTube video (see end of post), Indila along with a cast of several characters, experience this spiritual downfall and eventual recovery.

Indila SOS lyrics
Chorus of “S.O.S” by Indila

Lyrics analysis

In the following section we have taken a detailed look at the lyrics of S.O.S. and highlighted both vocabulary and grammar which offer interesting insights into learning French.

C’est un S.O.S., je suis touchée, je suis à terre

The first line of the course translates to “It’s an S.O.S. I’m touched, I’m on the ground”. “C’est” means “it is” in French. “Il/elle est” also means “it is”. This page on our site explains the difference between c’est vs il est.

Je suis means “I am” in French. this is the first-person singular (je) form of être” (to be). The adjective “touché(e)” means “touched and the expression “à terre” means “on the ground” or “on shore”.

Entends-tu ma détresse, y a t-il quelqu’un

This line translates to “Do you hear my distress, is there somebody”. “Entends” is the second-person singular (tu) form of “entendre” (to hear). “Ma” is a possessive adjective means “my” when preceding a feminine noun.

“Y a t-il” is the Inversion of “Est-ce qu’il y a”, meaning “Is/are there?”. Est-ce que means is/are/do/does for yes-know questions and il y ameans both “there is/are” and “ago”. Quelqu’un translates to “somebody” or “anybody”.

Je sens qu’j’me perds

This line translates to “I feel like I’m losing myself”. The verb “sentir” means both “to smell” and “to feel”. “Perdre” means to lose. In form of a reflexive verb, “je me perds” means I’m losing myself.

J’ai tout quitté, mais ne m’en veux pas

This line translates to “I left everything but I’m not mad at myself”. The word tout translates to “all” or “everything”. “J’ai quitté” is the passé composé (a French past tense use to describe past events which occurred at specific times) of the verb quitter (to leave).

Mais means “but” in French. “Je ne m’en veux pas” means “I’m not mad (angry) at myself. The reflexive verb s’en vouloirmeans “to be angry (or annoyed) at”. The form “ne + verb + pas” is the most basic French negation rule.

Fallait qu’j’m’en aille, j’n’étais plus moi

This line translates to “I had to go, I wasn’t myself anymore”. “Il fallait que” is the imperfect tense (French past tense for past events occurring at unspecified times) of il faut (it’s necessary to). “Aille” is the subjunctive tense (tense used for expressing wishes, emotions and doubts) of the the verballer” (to go).

“Je n’étais plus” means “I was no longer”. The negation structure “ne + verb + plus” means “anymore”. “Moi” is a stressed pronoun, meaning “me” in French.

Je suis tombée tellement bas

This line translates to “I fell so low”. “Tomber” means “to fall” and uses “être” (to be) as an auxiliary in the passé composé, as opposed to most verbs which useavoir(to have).

“Tellement” means “so” in French. A synonym for tellement in this context is “si”, which also means “if” and “yes“.

Que plus personne ne me voit

This line translates to “That nobody else sees me”. The word “que” means both “that” and “what” in French. “Plus personne” translates literally to “nobody anymore”. These words are explained on our negations page. “Voit” is the third-person singular (il/elle) form of the verb “voir” (to see).

J’ai sombré dans l’anonymat

This line translates to “I fell into anonymity”. The verb sombrermeans “to sink”, “to decline” or “go downhill” (in the figurative sense). “Dans” means “in” but more specifically “inside of”. There are two ways to say “in” in French “en” and “dans”.

Combattu le vide et le froid, le froid

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This line translates to “Fought the emptiness and the cold, the cold”. “Combattu” is the past participle of the verb “combattre” (to fight). Vide means empty and is both a noun and adjective. “Froid” means “cold” and also both a noun and adjective. This word appears on our page of French weather terms.

J’aimerais revenir, j’n’y arrive pas

This line translates to “I’d like to come back, but I can’t”. “Aimerais” is the first-person singular (je) form of the verb “aimer” (to like, to love) in the conditional tense (French verb tense used to express hypothetical or ‘would’ situations).

The verb construction “arriver à faire quelque chose” means “to manage” or “to be able” to do something. The “y” in this line is an indirect object pronoun meaning “it”. “Y” is used for verbs followed by the preposition à. The verb “revenir” means “to come back” or “to return”.

Je suis rien, je suis personne

This line translates to “I’m nothing, I’m nobody”. The constructions “ne + verb + rien and “ne + verb + personne means “nothing” and “nobody”, respectively. The “ne” in the negation is omitted in informal spoken French.

J’ai toute ma peine comme royaume

This line translates to “I have all my pain like a kingdom”. Peine has several translations including “pain”, “punishment”, “sorrow”, “grief” and “anguish”.Comme translates to “like” or “as”.

Une seule arme m’emprisonne

This line translates to “One single arm is keeping me imprisoned”. “Arme” in French translates to “weapon” or “arm” as in “firearm”. We believe Indila may have meant “only herself” was keeping her imprisoned in this line.

Voir la lumière entre les barreaux

This line translates to “Seeing the light between the bars”. “Voir” means “to see”. When starting a sentence with the -ing form of a verb, the French use an infinitive (‘to’ form of the verb). The preposition “entre” means “between”.

Et regarder comme le ciel est beau

This line translates to “And looking at the beautiful blue ski”. The verb “regarder” means “to watch” and “to look at”. The literal translation of this line is: “And to watch as the ski is blue”.

Entends-tu ma voix qui résonne (ma voix qui résonne)

This line translates to “Do you hear my voice that’s resonating (my voice that’s resonating)”. In this line, “qui” is a relative pronoun, meaning “that”.Qui also means “who” in French.

Le silence tue la souffrance en moi

This line translates to “The silence is killing the suffering within myself”. “Tuer” means “to kill”. The noun “souffrance” is related to the verb “souffrir” (to suffer).

L’entends-tu, est-ce que tu le vois

This line translates to “Do you hear it, do you see it?”. “L’entends-tu?” (Do you hear it?) uses the inversion format of asking questions. “Est-ce que tu le vois?” uses the “est-ce que” (is/are/do/does) format. Frenchtoday.com offers a comprehensive post on how to ask questions in French.

Il te promet, fait de toi, Un objet sans éclat

This line translates to “He promises you, makes of you, An object without brightness”. “Fait de toi” could translate to both “makes of you” and “makes with you”. “Fait” is the third-person singular (il/elle) form of faire (to make, to do). Éclat translates to “brightness” and “brilliance” as well as ” burst”.

Alors j’ai crié, j’ai pensé à toi

This line translates to “So I screamed, I thought of you”. The word alors several usages with the most common being “so” at the beginning of a sentence. The verb “crier” means to scream while the verb “pleurer” means “to cry”.

The verb “penser” can be followed both the prepositions “à” and “de”. “Penser à” means “to think of” and “penser de” means “to think about”.

“Toi” is a stressed pronoun for “you”. This page covers the various ways to say “you” in French.

J’ai noyé le ciel dans les vagues, les vagues

This line translates to “I drowned the sky in waves, waves”. The very noyer means “to drown” in the literal and figurative sense.

Tous mes regrets, toute mon histoire, Je la reflète

These two lines translate to “All my regrets, my entire story, I reflect on it”. In French, the wordtout means “all” or “everything”. It’s form changes depending on the gender and number of the nous it precedes. Both verbsrefléter and “réfléchir” mean “to reflect”.

Images of hope

Indila S.O.S. French Lyrics (paroles) & English Translation

C’est un S.O.S., je suis touchée, je suis à terre
Entends-tu ma détresse, y a t-il quelqu’un
Je sens qu’j’me perds

It’s an S.O.S. I’m touched, I’m on the ground
Do you hear my distress, is there somebody
I feel like I’m losing myself

J’ai tout quitté, mais ne m’en veux pas
Fallait qu’j’m’en aille, j’n’étais plus moi
Je suis tombée tellement bas
Que plus personne ne me voit
J’ai sombré dans l’anonymat
Combattu le vide et le froid, le froid
J’aimerais revenir, j’n’y arrive pas
J’aimerais revenir

I left everything but I’m not mad at myself
I had to go, I wasn’t myself anymore
I fell so low
That nobody else sees me
I fell into anonymity
Fought the emptiness and the cold, the cold
I’d like to come back, but I can’t
I’d like to come back

Je suis rien, je suis personne
J’ai toute ma peine comme royaume
Une seule arme m’emprisonne
Voir la lumière entre les barreaux
Et regarder comme le ciel est beau
Entends-tu ma voix qui résonne (ma voix qui résonne)

I’m nothing, I’m nobody
I have all my pain like a kingdom
One single arm is keeping me imprisoned
Seeing the light between the bars
And looking at the beautiful blue ski
Do you hear my voice that’s resonating (my voice that’s resonating)

C’est un S.O.S., je suis touchée, je suis à terre
Entends-tu ma détresse, y a t-il quelqu’un
Je sens qu’j’me perds

It’s an S.O.S. I’m touched, I’m on the ground
Do you hear my distress, is there somebody
I feel like I’m losing myself

Le silence tue la souffrance en moi
L’entends-tu, est-ce que tu le vois?
Il te promet, fait de toi
Un objet sans éclat
Alors j’ai crié, j’ai pensé à toi
J’ai noyé le ciel dans les vagues, les vagues
Tous mes regrets, toute mon histoire
Je la reflète

The silence is killing the suffering within myself
Do you hear it, do you see it
He promises you, makes of you
An object without brightness
So I screamed, I thought of you
I drowned the sky in waves, waves
All my regrets, my entire story
I reflect on it

Je suis rien, je suis personne
J’ai toute ma peine comme royaume
Une seule arme m’emprisonne
Voir la lumière entre les barreaux
Et regarder comme le ciel est beau
Entends-tu ma voix qui résonne?

I’m nothing, I’m nobody
I have all my pain like a kingdom
One are only is keeping me imprisoned
Seeing the light between the bars
And looking at the beautiful blue ski
Do you hear my voice that’s resonating (my voice that’s resonating)?

(Chorus repeated two more times)
C’est un S.O.S., je suis touchée, je suis à terre
Entends-tu ma détresse, y a t-il quelqu’un
Je sens qu’j’me perds

It’s an S.O.S. I’m touched, I’m on the ground
Do you hear my distress, is there somebody
I feel like I’m losing myself

Listen to Indila S.0.S.

Music video summary

The YouTube video for S.O.S. now has over 247 million views.

The video features Indila alone on a beach picking up a bottle with a letter inside of it. It also show’s her alone holding a heart-shaped sign inscribed with the letters “S.O.S.” The video also features several people who appear to be living in distress including a homeless man, a young girl in a wheelchair, a woman in a metro station, a pregnant woman and a little girl crying.

The video then shows a man in prayer with candles, Indila opening the bottle with sparkles coming out of it, and other characters in the video looking up to the sky smiling in the rapture of finally experiencing hope and feeling better.

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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