Marie Laforêt – L’amour qu’il fera demain

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The same song as a scratchy recording in case the video above is blocked in your country:

A song that is at the same time sweet and sad, L’amour qu’il fera demain feels like an antidote to cynicism. This is a rare type of song, admitting the impermanence of love without a hint of numbness or anger. It starts by stating that love changes quickly like good weather, and ends by an exhortation to not waste any moment because we cannot know what will happen tomorrow, or even tonight.

The refrain varies confessions of love from the romantic notion of eternity to a more pragmatic attitude. It uses anaphora, the rhetorical device of repeating a phrase at the beginning of each sentence, to drive home the idea that we convince ourselves and each other that love still exists even while it’s crumbling:

“You will love me, you will always love me
You will love me until the next love
You will love me as many days as you can love me”

Yet it doesn’t feel cynical. Instead Laforêt’s voice sounds thin and fragile. It is sadness without despair, for there is strength and determination to keep on believing as long as the two people can somehow make it through until the next day, the next spring, as long as possible. The melody and the waltz time also bring out the beauty in impermanence, softening the blow.

I mention the absence of anger or numbness because nowadays such songs much more commonly express one of those attitudes whose function is to disguise sorrow. Sadness is difficult to control, and two common ways to hide our vulnerability is to deny it altogether or to claim agency and strength through anger. Another way is to give in to the sorrow too much and to give up altogether. And there are many songs that express only hopelessness in the face of adversity. This song is special because it admits the sorrow without falling into it completely, and also avoids emotional diversions.

Love is here and now, so let’s enjoy it while we can. It is an age-old notion, and yet each generation must find it anew. Even when it sounds like wisdom, staying with that feeling of vague melancholy is not wise in itself. The sadness of impermanence is itself impermanent. We love, we grieve, we lament. And then we move on to love again, even if more laments would follow.