Take the 2-minute tour ×
French Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the French language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm trying to learn French by listening to classical music and searching for translations, and I came across a song by Jacques Brel, titled J'arrive, when he says:

De chrysanthème en chrysanthème nos amitiés sont en partance

I assume that the word "chrysanthème" is a flower, but does it mean anything else in French Culture so?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Chrysanthème is indeed a flower (see here)

In France, On November 1st, there is the 'Toussaint'. I think it started off as a religious celebration but now it's more or less for everyone. Google it if you want to know more. To sum up, this celebration is for the Dead, and the Chrysanthème is the flower associated with it. So while "De Chrysanthème en Chrysanthème" isn't a phrase, it still has meaning.

share|improve this answer
Thanks @Yellrag it makes sense now :) –  user3437443 May 7 '14 at 10:12
Just to complete this already good answer, the author refers to these flowers associated to funerals, alluding to the recurring and tragic event of seeing loved ones (here, more precisely friends) die and be burried. –  Romain VALERI May 7 '14 at 11:15
Agree with you @RomainVALERI, I just realized that the main subject of the song is Death, when he says "J'arrive", he means : " Death I'm Coming ", so the funerals interpretation is good in this case ... –  user3437443 May 7 '14 at 11:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.