Je te rends ton amour, for English audiences

Author's note : This video contains blood and gore. Those under 18, please stay away from this post.

Another clip by Mylène Farmer. Lyrics to be put up once I'm able to translate them. (Or maybe not, since I'm quite lazy to put them up.)

Why I put it up this time is because this clip can be interpreted in two different ways.

Take it like you hold a knife. You can hold a knife, and use it to cut vegetables, or other matter that can be used to prepare meals for the family, or for the people around you. You can use the same knife and plunge it in the chest of someone. Or you can use the same knife and wound yourself. It's just like the descriptions used for genres of music. Pop is not all that sweet ; black metal doesn't always spell "occult". This is also the reason why there was a certain Christian black metal group who never wanted to call their genre "white metal", but decided to let it be what it actually was : black metal.

This is far from being black metal, but it can be interpreted in a number of ways. Yet, many people tend to fall for the negative interpretation simply because the world, particularly France, is moving towards secularism, and it's difficult to find a strong believer in the faith.

Je te rends ton amour, literally meaning "I give you back your love", can be interpreted the way a knife can be interpreted.

At first glance, the heavy use of religious symbolism and the taking out of the ring might seem like Farmer is taking it over the top. Naysayers would fall for this description : that the taking out of the ring is a denial of a relationship, and that posing as one were crucified would be total blasphemy.

I decline comment on the crucifixion, but I have one point of view which staunch believers would accept as favourable :

Firstly, the figure of stone which flashes on and off is Ankou, the personification of death in Breton mythology. The one that severs the soul from the body. At death, what happens ? The body and the soul are no longer one, and the body degenerates. In life, what happens ? You go through years of toil and pain. It may not necessarily be physical toil as shown in the vid (note the bleeding and the blindness), but it's toil.

Then, the blindness. You find it early in the vid where Farmer plays a blind woman, reading from her Braille bible. Now, as I might have mentioned in a few of my previous writings (perhaps even posts which I wrote last year), Wordsworth in his poem Ode: Intimations of Immortality states that the child is imbued with a vision that we adults cannot comprehend. When the child grows, and follows the customs and habitudes of the adults, he loses that vision, little by little, until it is gone. And thus, the physical blindness in the video is an allusion to the sins we have committed. We do not perceive Heaven and God the way we used to when we were kids. We are spiritually blind. The only reason why our hearts are strong is because God is there. The kind of intentional faults we do show how much we are stumbling through this journey of woe.

Next up, the destruction of the symbols, the statues and almost everything in the church building. The usual reason why they're placed in church is to remind us of their presence, to remind us that there are people in that land fairer than day, interceding over us. But what happens when we lose that thought ? What happens when we lose hope ? The hope lost can be likened to the destruction of the statues, in that all remembrance of divine intercession is slowly lost.

After that, we come to the topic of nudity. It's a transgression to be dressed in practically nothing when in a place of worship (think how the priest sometimes chides us over spaghetti tops). This is our first glance. Now think ! How were we born into the world ? Clothed, or naked ? How were Adam and Eve made ? Clothed, or naked ? How will we ultimately die ? We obviously die clothed, but the clothing put on us is not taken with us to heaven. The dying being goes, as he was born, and the story ends. The living being, however, so often worried about the clothes he wears, stumbles along the path of his life. Also, when God sees us, he sees us in the night of naked faith, even when at the outset, we are clothed. Everything is revealed to him, and we can't hide anything.

And ultimately, the ring. The very thing that has sparked the dispute over Je te rends ton amour. At first glance, Farmer takes off the ring. Towards the end of the video, Farmer puts it in her own blood. Now think hard about this : when you put a ring on your finger, it can be taken out. When you put it in your blood, now that's something you can't take off. Even if you do wash the blood away, the thought of dipping your ring in your own blood can never be washed away (think Shakespeare's Macbeth, where Lady Macbeth keeps seeing her hands soiled with blood after the killings). The ring is a symbol of commitment, a relationship, that is vital in marriages. It's a symbol that two become one. If the ring is fused with your lifeblood, what do you get ? Think ! A commitment. And lifeblood. There's only one in the entire world who has kept his covenant with his blood !

Take all these together and you have a thought-provoking video. An extremely thought-provoking one, which could cause a great divide among people. Why ? Because, in the words of Saint Paul, some people look, but they can't see.

I don't know how it is that I came up with this thought. I read the comments below this video and someone was mentioning that "we talk about people selling their souls, what about someone giving the soul back to God, for all eternity ? The soul is imbued upon us out of God's great love. It's at the end of our lives that we can savour this song perfectly." I read it, re-read it, and I was moved to tears.


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