Emmaline

Apres Moi

4 posts in this topic

I think that this song is about communism in the Soviet Union. The narrator seems to be a member of the Russian aristocracy, someone who might be exiled or killed as a result of the Bolshevik Revolution (specifically Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia).

I must go on standing

You can't break that which isn't yours

I must go on standing

I'm not my own, it's not my choice

This first verse is told from the point of view of Nicholas II, during the Romanov family's imprisonment in the Ipatiev House. He seems to be telling himself "I must go on standing" in hopes of staying alive and perhaps one day returning to power, despite the hard conditions and obvious threat of death he and his family are facing. The lines "You can't break that which isn't yours" and "I'm not my own, it's not my choice" imply that he is considering suicide, but decides that he can't because he no longer belongs to himself. This is an interesting observation; because according to the basic ideology of communism, everything belongs to everyone. So in a way, you own nothing, not even yourself.

Be afraid of the lame, they'll inherit your legs

Be afraid of the old, they'll inherit your souls

Be afraid of the cold, they'll inherit your blood

This verse expands the "You can't break that which isn't yours" idea in the previous one; in a communist society, the underprivileged (the old, the lame, and the cold) inherit things from the aristocracy. Therefore, Nicholas II is telling himself to "be afraid of the lame" because it is for their sake he is being killed.

Apres moi, le deluge

After me comes the flood

This is a quote from the King of France, Louis XV, who said it just before his death in 1774. 15 years later, the French Revolution broke out.

It's easy to compare the French Revolution to Bolshevik Revolution. Although one resulted in a republic and the another in socialism, both involved the assassination of a monarchy by the proletariat. So it makes sense that Regina would put the words of Louis XV into Nicholas II's mouth. Also, Karl Marx (one of the main influences of Lenin) refers to the phrase in his book Das Kapital: "Apres moi le deluge! is the watchword of every capitalist and of every capitalist nation."

Февраль. Достать чернил и плакать!

Писать о феврале навзрыд,

Пока грохочущая слякоть

Весною черною горит.

(Translation: February. Get ink. Weep.

Write the heart out about it, sing

Another song of February

While raucous slush burns black with spring.)

This verse is taken from Russian poet Boris Pasternak's poem "February", which was written in 1912. The fact that Regina chooses to recite it in its original Russian version furthers the connection between Apres Moi and the Soviet Union.

I used to think that Regina decided to reference "February" in her song just because it was one of her favorite poems, since I didn't really see the connection between it and the Soviet Union (after all, it was written before the Soviet Union was even formed). But I just realized something; the first Russian revolution-- the one that ended the Russian Empire and caused the abdication of Nicholas II-- took place in February! In fact, it was called the "February Revolution" and was a major turning point in the formation of the Soviet Union.

Anyways, that's my interpretation of Apres Moi. What do you guys think about this song?

medunizza likes this

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I think that this song is about communism in the Soviet Union. The narrator seems to be a member of the Russian aristocracy, someone who might be exiled or killed as a result of the Bolshevik Revolution (specifically Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia).

I must go on standing

You can't break that which isn't yours

I must go on standing

I'm not my own, it's not my choice

This first verse is told from the point of view of Nicholas II, during the Romanov family's imprisonment in the Ipatiev House. He seems to be telling himself "I must go on standing" in hopes of staying alive and perhaps one day returning to power, despite the hard conditions and obvious threat of death he and his family are facing. The lines "You can't break that which isn't yours" and "I'm not my own, it's not my choice" imply that he is considering suicide, but decides that he can't because he no longer belongs to himself. This is an interesting observation; because according to the basic ideology of communism, everything belongs to everyone. So in a way, you own nothing, not even yourself.

Be afraid of the lame, they'll inherit your legs

Be afraid of the old, they'll inherit your souls

Be afraid of the cold, they'll inherit your blood

This verse expands the "You can't break that which isn't yours" idea in the previous one; in a communist society, the underprivileged (the old, the lame, and the cold) inherit things from the aristocracy. Therefore, Nicholas II is telling himself to "be afraid of the lame" because it is for their sake he is being killed.

Apres moi, le deluge

After me comes the flood

This is a quote from the King of France, Louis XV, who said it just before his death in 1774. 15 years later, the French Revolution broke out.

It's easy to compare the French Revolution to Bolshevik Revolution. Although one resulted in a republic and the another in socialism, both involved the assassination of a monarchy by the proletariat. So it makes sense that Regina would put the words of Louis XV into Nicholas II's mouth. Also, Karl Marx (one of the main influences of Lenin) refers to the phrase in his book Das Kapital: "Apres moi le deluge! is the watchword of every capitalist and of every capitalist nation."

Февраль. Достать чернил и плакать!

Писать о феврале навзрыд,

Пока грохочущая слякоть

Весною черною горит.

(Translation: February. Get ink. Weep.

Write the heart out about it, sing

Another song of February

While raucous slush burns black with spring.)

This verse is taken from Russian poet Boris Pasternak's poem "February", which was written in 1912. The fact that Regina chooses to recite it in its original Russian version furthers the connection between Apres Moi and the Soviet Union.

I used to think that Regina decided to reference "February" in her song just because it was one of her favorite poems, since I didn't really see the connection between it and the Soviet Union (after all, it was written before the Soviet Union was even formed). But I just realized something; the first Russian revolution-- the one that ended the Russian Empire and caused the abdication of Nicholas II-- took place in February! In fact, it was called the "February Revolution" and was a major turning point in the formation of the Soviet Union.

Anyways, that's my interpretation of Apres Moi. What do you guys think about this song?

porcupine-ologist likes this

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WoW I would never say that this song is about Russia and Soviet Union. Your review is so unique and original. How did you come to this conclusion? Did  she mention this info somewhere? The way you connected dots (history, Blok's poetry and separate phrases) is so crazy :blink: but at the same time unbelievably interesting. I adore Regina's lyrics and now this song seems to be even more special)
Lucretia, music expert researcher from Do My Research Paper writing service.

porcupine-ologist likes this

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Hi!

Your version is sooo interesting and well-grounded! Mine was absolutely different!

My whole theory was based on the phrase "Apres moi...". It is widely used in Russian (my native language) in a negative sense and it actually means "I don't give a shit for what happens after I'm gone. I only care about myself and of how I live today. I don't think about the future or other people." There's also a similar ancient Greek saying meaning the same.

So, I thought the song was a sort of sarcasm about being indifferent to the people in need or in trouble (the lame, the old, the cold as in "homeless"). That we try to avoid helping them, dealing with them, as if they might cause harm to us.

And the first four lines (I must go on standing etc.) mean "I can't do anything about the problem, it's beyond my will and power, it's the system to blame,  not me. I am only a part of the big machine,  I don't belong to myself and it's not me who can change anything alone."

Does it sound crazy to you? Now that I've read your interpretation, I think mine is far from reality.

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