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Behind the Lyrics: “Tôt ou tard” by Eli Rose

Posted on February 07, 2019

Montreal singer-songwriter Eli Rose has released her catchy new single “Tôt ou tard” (which translates to “Sooner or Later.”) The song features the Francophone pop-artist’s radiant voice on a cool sounding, electronica instrumental. You can check the music video out here:

The song is in French, but if you don’t speak it, don’t fret – we’ve transcribed and translated the lyrics below. The lyrics will be stuck in your head all day – now you’ll know what they mean! 

Verse #1

 French / Original   English Translation 

 Par où commencer? ­­­­­­­
 Tu m’as fait perdre le fil de ma pensée
 Mes rêves ne cessent de ma hanter
 Tu es le secret que j’ai gardé

 Where to start?
 You made me lose the thread of my thought
 My dreams never stop haunting me
 You are the secret that I kept

Eli is unsure of how to begin expressing her feelings. The person she’s talking about has made her lose her train of thought and haunts her dreams. That person is (or has) a secret that she kept. Mysterious!  

Verse #2

 French / Original   English Translation

 Il suffsait d’y croire
 Nous aurions pu courir le monde
 Comme deux âmes vagabondes
 Tu es ma lumière dans le noir 

 It was enough to believe
 We could have run the world
 Like two wandering souls
 You are my light in the dark

Here Eli is dwelling on what she believed her and the person she is talking about could have been. She sings that this person was her “light” in the dark – a bright spot in bleak moments. 


 French / Original   English Translation 

 Comme la lune sur l’océan
 Qui disparaît et suit le vent
 Tu es la beauté, le mal en même temps
 Mais tu m’as sauvé du mal en même temps

 Like the moon on the ocean
 Who disappears and follows the wind
 You are beauty, evil at the same time
 But you saved me from harm at the same time

Using vivid imagery, she illustrates that the person she is talking about is paradoxical; beautiful and evil at the same time, all while saving her from harm. 


 French / Original   English Translation 

 Tôt ou tard, je pose plus les questions
 Finalement, je te donne raison
 On fera comme si de rien n’était
 On fera comme si de rien n’était

 Sooner or later, I’ll ask more questions
 Finally, I give you reason
 We will act as if nothing had happened
 We will act as if nothing had happened

Eventually, Eli will ask pressing questions to the person she is singing about. After the questions are asked,  Eli and this person will act as if it never happened. 

Verse #3

 French / Original   English Translation

 Un pari que je perds
 Encore un autre coup de tête
 Oh, c’est un reve éphémère
 Dont seul toi tiens les rênes

 A bet that I lose
 Another headbutt
 Oh, it’s an ephemeral dream
 Of which you hold the reins 

Eli is betting that she’ll lose this internal battle, because the person that she is singing about is in control. It (perhaps the idea of a relationship with this person) is a short-lived dream, and this person holds the reins.

Verse #4 

 French / Original  English Translation

 Il suffisait d’y croire
 J’etends le château qui s’effondre 
 Abandonné sous les décombres
 Pour toi ce n’est qu’un au revoir

 It was enough to believe
 I lay down in the collapsing castle
 Abandoned under the rubble
 For you this is only a goodbye

Eli is laying down in a “collapsing castle”, perhaps a metaphor for her relationship with the person she is singing about. While she is trapped and abandoned under the weight of the pain caused by her and this person not being together (“the rubble”), the other person doesn’t suffer; for them, it is “only a goodbye.” 


 French / Original   English Translation

 Rien n’est prévu
 Je vois la fin
 Je vois la fin
 Avant le début

 Nothing is planned
 I see the end
 I see the end
 Before the beginning

Singing about her relationship with this person, Eli is saying that she can “see the end” before the beginning – meaning that she needs to end her affliction with this mysterious person before she can finally move on. 

If you enjoyed this song, you won’t have to wait too much longer for more. Eli is planning on releasing her next LP sometime in 2019. Until then, make sure you’re follow Eli Rose on Instagram and Facebook.

What are your thoughts on “Tôt ou tard?” Let us know on twitter @umusic!