Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus: Lyrics, Meaning & Translation

“Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus” (Meaning: I Love You…Me Neither) is the single most famous song of French singer Serge Gainsbourg (1928-1991). Gainsbourg wrote the song in 1967 and sang it with his then lover, Brigitte Bardot. Two years later in 1969 Gainsbourg recorded the song with his then lover English singer Jane Birkin. Gainsbourg and Birkin’s version of the song went straight to the top of the international charts. This controversial song is best known for its racy and suggestive lyrics.

Je T'aime...Moi Non Plus: Lyrics, Meaning & Translation - Serge Gainsbourg
Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimed, via Wikimedia Commons

Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus Song Background

Many English speakers around the world simply refer to Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus as the “Je T’aime song” or the “I love you song”.

The song contains off color lyrics and indecent innuendos coupled with heavy breathing and panting. Due to this perceived risqué eroticism, the song was banned in a number of European countries and most notably by the BBC in the United Kingdom.

In 1976 the movie “Je t’aime moi non plus (I Love You, I Don’t)” was released. The film was written and directed by Gainsbourg with Jane Birkin staring in the film.

Je T'aime...Moi Non Plus Lyrics

Lyrics Analysis

Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin sing the song together, alternating lines and verses. Basically, they sing about making love, with references to “going and coming”, holding back and Birkin singing, “Non, maintenant viens” (No, come now) at the end of the song.

In the section below, we’ve handpicked lines which we believe offer interesting insights into French vocabulary and grammar.

Je t’aime, je t’aime

The lines, “Je t’aime, je t’aime” translate to “I love you, I love you”. This page covers in great detail the many ways to say I love you in French.

Oh oui, je t’aime

The line translates to “Oh yes, I love you”. In addition to “oui”, this page covers 33 ways to say yes in French.

Moi non plus

The line “moi non plus” translates to “me neither”. In conversational French, when somebody makes a comment in the negation, for example, “Je n’aime pas le fromage” (I don’t like cheese), the other person can respond with this phrase, “moi non plus” (me neither or neither do I).

Moi non plus is the opposite of “moi aussi“, which translates to “so am I”, “so do I” and “me too”. If somebody says something in the affirmative, for example “J’aime la glace” (I like ice cream), the other person can say “moi aussi” (so do I).

Oh, mon amour

This line translates to “Oh, my love”. The French language is very rich in terms of endearment. Our page covering “I love you” also has a list of French terms of endearment towards the bottom.

Comme la vague irrésolue

This line translates to “Like the undecided wave”. The adjective “irrésolue” has multiple translations including dithering (which means undecided), irresolute and unresolved.

We believe the “vague irrésolue” is a metaphor for Gainsbourg where his ability to continue is undecided and questionable.

Je vais, je vais et je viens

This line translates to “I’m going, I’m going and I’m coming”. “Je vais” is the first-person singular form of aller (to go). “Je viens” is the first-person singular form of venir (to come).

Entre tes reins

Many translations of the song’s lyrics translate this line as “Inside you”. The preposition “entre” means between. The word “rein” translates to both kidney and lower back.

Et je me retiens

This line translates to “and I hold (myself) back”. The verb “retenir” means to hold back. The “me” (to myself) makes the verb reflexive. This page offers a complete overview of French reflexive verbs.

Tu es la vague, moi l’île nue

This line translates to “You’re the wave, me the naked island”. Birkin sings this line, referring to Gainsbourg as a “wave” crashing on her, a metaphoric bare island.

Tu vas, tu vas et tu viens

This line translates to “You’re going, you’re going and you’re coming”. Here, Birkin is repeating the same lines Gainsbourg sang in the first verse but in the second-person singular (tu) form.

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Et je te rejoins

This line translates to “and I join you”. The verb “rejoindre” can translate to “to join” or “to meet”. In essence, Birkin is singing that that is an activity that she’s doing together with Gainsbourg.

L’amour physique est sans issue

This line translates to “physical love is a dead end”. This line alludes to the topic of sex as purely physical act. The song was widely criticized for promoting the taboo of physical sex without love.

Non, maintenant viens

The song ends with Birkin singing “no, come now”. This line leaves very little to the imagination of the listener in that she’s telling Gainsbourg to now have his climax.

Je T'aime...Moi Non Plus

Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus – French Lyrics & English Translation

Je t’aime, je t’aime
Oh oui, je t’aime
Moi non plus
Oh, mon amour
Comme la vague irrésolue
Je vais, je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Et je me retiens

I love you, I love
Oh yes, I love you
Me neither
Oh, my love
Like the undecided wave
I’m going, I’m going and I’m coming
Inside you
I’m going and I’m coming
Inside you
And I hold back

Je t’aime, je t’aime
Oh oui, je t’aime
Moi non plus
Oh, mon amour
Tu es la vague, moi l’île nue
Tu vas, tu vas et tu viens
Entre mes reins
Tu vas et tu viens
Entre mes reins
Et je te rejoins

I ove you, I love you
Oh yes, I love you
Me neither
Oh, my love
You’re the wave, me the naked island
You’re going, you’re going and you’re coming
Inside me
You’re going and you’re coming
inside me
And I join you

Je t’aime, je t’aime
Oh oui, je t’aime
Moi non plus
Oh, mon amour
Comme la vague irrésolue
Je vais, je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Et je me retiens

I love you, I love you
Oh yes, I love you
Me neither
Oh, my love
Like the undecided wave
I’m going, I’m going and I’m coming
Inside you
I’m going and I’m coming
Inside you
And I hold back

Tu vas, tu vas et tu viens
Entre mes reins
Tu vas et tu viens
Entre mes reins
Et je te rejoins
Je t’aime, je t’aime
Oh oui, je t’aime
Moi non plus

You’re going, you’re going and you’re coming
Inside me
You’re going and you’re coming
Inside me
And I join you
I love you, I love you
Oh yes, I love you
Me neither

Oh, mon amour
L’amour physique est sans issue
Je vais, je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Je vais et je viens
Je me retiens
Non, maintenant viens

Oh, my love
Physical love is a dead end
I’m going, I’m going and I’m coming
Inside you
I’m going and I’m coming
I’m holding back
No, come now

Listen to Je T’aime Moi Non Plus – YouTube & Spotify

The YouTube video is of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin singing Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus.

Listen to Je T’aime Moi Non Plus on Spotify:

Listen to the original release of Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus with Serge Gaisbourg and Brigitte Bardot.

Become an expert in French song lyrics!
In addition to Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus, we’ve provided French lyrics with analysis to many other French songs including La Vie En Rose, Non Je Ne Regrette Rien and Sous Le Ciel De Paris (by Edith Piaf), Ne Me Quitte Pas and Le Port d’Amsterdam (by Jacques Brel), La Bohème (Charles Aznavour), C’est Si Bon and Les Feuilles Mortes (by Yves Montand) and La Mer (by Charles Trenet). More recent songs including Papaoutai, Alors On Danse and Formidable (by Stromae) and Dernière Danse (by Indilia).

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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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