Je Te Promets (Johnny Hallyday) Meaning, Translation, Lyrics

Je Te Promets (Meaning: I promise you; Pronunciation ʒə tə prome) is a hit song by French singer Johnny Hollyday. The song was released in 1986 on the album Gang and written and produced by French singer-song writer Jean-Jacques Goldman.

Je Te Promets
(I promise you)
Song by Johnny Hallyday

Song overview

The lyrics of Je te promets are essentially a list of things that the male voice is promising to his lover while laying in bed during the night.

He uses poetic descriptions to make lavish promises of things such as his life, body parts, day and nights to his partner. He continually reaffirms his promises by stating the firmness of his belief (j’y crois).

In the end, he suggests that even if the couple’s time together ends in the morning, he still promises “a moment of fever and softness”.

Image of Johnny Hallyday
Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lyrics analysis

In the following section we’ve highlighted lines which we feel offer interesting insights into learning French vocabulary, verbs and grammar.

The entire English translation of the French lyrics and YouTube video are under below this analysis section.

Je te promets le sel au baiser de ma bouche

The lyrics of this song repeatedly state the song’s title: Je te promets. The word promets is the first-person singular (je) form of the verb promettre, which means to promise. Te in French can translate to you, to you or at you. This page on our site covers various ways to say you in French.

Sel means salt in French. The verb baiser has multiple meanings including to kiss. Bouche means mouth in French. This page on our site covers body parts vocabulary. Ma means my and is a possessive adjective.

Je te promets le miel à ma main qui te touche

Miel means honey in French. This page covers food vocabulary. Touche comes from the verb toucher (to touch). This post explains the meaning of touché.

Je te promets le ciel au dessus de ta couche

Au-dessus de is a preposition meaning above, not to be confused with en dessous de, which means below. The word couche has several translations and is a literary word for bed.

Des fleurs et des dentelles pour que tes nuits soient douces

This line translate to “Flowers and lace so that your nights are sweet”. Dentelle translate to lace. Pour que tes nuis soient douces uses the French subjunctive mood, which is used for indicating wish, emotion and doubt. Soient is the third-person plural subjuntive form of être (to be).

Je te promets le feu à la place des armes

This line translates to “I promise you fire instead of tears”. In French, à la place de translates to “instead of” or “in place of”.

Plus jamais des adieux rien que des au revoir

This line translates to “Never again goodbyes forever, just see you agains”. In the French negation rules, plus means “anymore” and jamais means “never”. When combined, plus jamais means “never again”.

Rien means “nothing” and que means “only”. When combined, rien que means “just” or “nothing but”.

In French, adieu means goodbye but carries the underlying meaning of “goodbye forever”. Au revoir, also means “goodbye” but translates to “see you again”. This page on our site covers various ways of saying goodbye in French.

J’y crois comme à la terre, j’y crois comme au soleil

This line translates to “I believe in it like in the earth, I believe in it like in the sun”. The indirect object pronoun y translate to “it” and is used for inanimate objects (things and ideas) for verbs followed by the preposition à. This page on our site covers the object pronoun y.

J’ai tant besoin d’y croire encore

This line translates to “I need to much to still believe in it” .J’ai besoin means “I need” and is an expression formed with the verb avoir (to have). Encore has multiple meanings including still, again and yet.

Je te promets des jours tout bleus comme tes veines

This line translates to “I promise you days totally blue like your veins”. The word comme has multiple meanings including like, as and just like.

Des secondes insouciantes au rythme de tes hanches

This line translate to “Carefree seconds at the rhythm of your hips”. The adjective insouciant means carefree or happy-go-lucky and is related to the nous souci, which means worry.

Je te promets mes bras pour porter tes angoisses

This line translate to “I promise you my arms to carry your worries”. The noun angoisse has multiple translations including worry, dread, fear and anguish. The related verb, angoisser, means to worry.

J’te promets d’être heureux si tu n’as plus d’espoir

This line translates to “I promise you to be happy if you don’t have anymore hope”. Heureux means happy in French and can be difficult to pronounce for French learners. This page on our site covers the word heureux (happy) in detail.

Et même si c’est pas vrai, si on te l’a trop fait

This line translates to “And even if it’s not true, if people did it too much to you”. The personal pronoun on translates literally to “one”. However, it has many meanings and usages which an pose challenges for French learners. This page on our site covers the personal pronoun on in detail.

Si les mots sont usés, comme écrits à la craie

This line translates to “If words are worn out, as if written in chalk”. The adjective usé is a faux ami. While it appears to mean “used”, it means “worn out”.

Et même si c’est pas vrai, même si je mens

This line translates to “And even if it’s not true, even if I am lying”. The song’s lyrics use the word même several times. Même has several usages and meaning in French including “even” and “self”, as in moi-même (myself).

Je te promets lyrics

Je Te Promets French lyrics and English translation

Je te promets le sel au baiser de ma bouche
Je te promets le miel à ma main qui te touche
Je te promets le ciel au dessus de ta couche
Des fleurs et des dentelles pour que tes nuits soient douces

I promise you the salt on the kiss of my mouth
I promise you the honey on my hand that touches you
I promise you the ski above your bed
Flowers and lace so that your nights are sweet

Je te promets la clé des secrets de mon âme
Je te promets la vie de mes rires à mes larmes
Je te promets le feu à la place des larmes
Plus jamais des adieux rien que des au revoir

I promise you the key to the secrets of my soul
I promise you the life of my laughter and my tears
I promise you fire instead of tears
Never again goodbyes forever, just see you agains

J’y crois comme à la terre, j’y crois comme au soleil
J’y crois comme un enfant, comme on peut croire au ciel
J’y crois comme à ta peau, à tes bras qui me serrent
J’te promets une histoire différente des autres
J’ai tant besoin d’y croire encore

I believe in it like in the earth, I believe in it like in the sun
I believe in it like a child, like you can believe in the heavens
I believe in it like in your skin, in your arms that squeeze me
I promise you a history different from the others
I need to much to still believe in it

Je te promets des jours tout bleus comme tes veines
Je te promets des nuits rouges comme tes rêves
Des heures incandescentes et des minutes blanches
Des secondes insouciantes au rythme de tes hanches

I promise you days totally blue like your veins
I promise you red nights like your dreams
Glowing hours and white minutes
Carefree seconds at the rhythm of your hips

Je te promets mes bras pour porter tes angoisses
Je te promets mes mains pour que tu les embrasses
Je te promets mes yeux si tu ne peux plus voir
J’te promets d’être heureux si tu n’as plus d’espoir

I promise you my arms to carry your worries
I promise you my hands so that you embrace me
I promise you my eyes if you cannot see them
I promise you to be happy if you don’t have anymore hope

J’y crois comme à la terre, j’y crois comme au soleil
J’y crois comme un enfant, comme on peut croire au ciel
J’y crois comme à ta peau, à tes bras qui me serrent
J’te promets une histoire différente des autres
Si tu m’aides à y croire encore

I believe in it like in the earth, I believe in it like in the sun
I believe in it like a child, like you can believe in the heavens
I believe in it like in your skin, in your arms that squeeze me
I promise you a history different from the others
If you help me to believe in it again

Et même si c’est pas vrai, si on te l’a trop fait
Si les mots sont usés, comme écrits à la craie
On fait bien des grands feu en frottant des cailloux
Peut-être avec le temps à la force d’y croire
On peut juste essayer pour voir

And even if it’s not true, if people did it too much to you
If words are worn out, as if written in chalk
You can make big fires by rubbing stones
Maybe with with time by believing in it strongly
You can just try to see

Et même si c’est pas vrai, même si je mens
Si les mots sont usés, légers comme du vent
Et même si notre histoire se termine au matin
J’te promets un moment de fièvre et de douceur
Pas toute la nuit mais quelques heures, hm

And even if it’s not true, even if I am lying
If words are used, light come the wind
And even if our story ends in the morning
I promise you a moment of fever and softness
Not the entire night but a few hours

Je te promets le sel au baiser de ma bouche
Je te promets le miel à ma main qui te touche
Je te promets le ciel au dessus de ta couche
Des fleurs et des dentelles pour que tes nuits soient douces

I promise you the salt on the kiss of my mouth
I promise you the honey on my hand that touches you
I promise you the ski above your bed
Flowers and lace so that your nights are sweet

Listen to Je te promets

The official YouTube video for Je te promets has over 59 million views.

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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.