Comment te dire adieu (song)

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"Comment te dire adieu"
Single by Françoise Hardy
from the album Françoise Hardy
Format7" single
RecordedStudio Pye, London, England
GenreFrench pop
LabelDisques Vogue
Songwriter(s)Serge Gainsbourg
Arnold Goland
Jack Gold
Producer(s)Production Asparagus
Alternative edition 1969
English edition's label of side A.[2]
English edition's label of side A.[2]
Music video
"Comment te dire adieu" (French TV, 1969) on YouTube
Françoise Hardy
F. Hardy EP Comment te dire adieu 1968.jpg
French edition
EP by
RecordedStudio Pye, London, England
GenrePop music
LabelDisques Vogue
ProducerProduction Asparagus

"Comment te dire adieu" (English: "How to Say Goodbye to You") is a French adaptation of the song "It Hurts to Say Goodbye". It was originally recorded by Françoise Hardy in 1968.

"It Hurts to Say Goodbye" was written by Arnold Goland, probably best known for his co-operation with Phil Spector, and the American producer and songwriter Jacob "Jack" Gold (1921-1992). In 1966 it was recorded by Margaret Whiting on her album The Wheel of Hurt.[3] In 1967 a release by Vera Lynn reached #7 in Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.[4][5]

These versions were interpreted in the style of a ballad, as was the first French version of the song with a text by Michèle Vendôme titled "Avant de dire adieu" which was released by Ginette Reno on her 1967 album Quelqu'un à aimer. More beat driven were the instrumental interpretations by Brazil's Walter Wanderley, dominated by the Hammond organ he is known for, and the Frenchman Caravelli, who focused more on strings, both published in the same year. Jack Gold Orchestra & Chorus peaked with their version, in style similar to the release of Caravelli, in mid-1969 on #28 of the Billboard Easy Listening charts.

Françoise Hardy heard an "American instrumental version" of the song and her manager asked Serge Gainsbourg to provide suitable lyrics for it.[6] The resultant "Comment te dire adieu" was combined with an arrangement relatively closer to the Caravelli version and included on Hardy's 1968 album. Hardy also recorded the song in Italian ("Il pretesto", 1968) and German ("Was mach' ich ohne dich", 1970; collected in the album Träume, 1970.) The French lyrics are notable for their uncommon rhymes in "ex", within the subject of the song having a sense of "ex" as in "ex-boyfriend".

Amongst the more recent versions of the song is a German version with a new text, titled "Ich sage dir adieu", released by veteran Greek-German singer Vicky Leandros on her 2010 album Zeitlos.

Formats and track listings[edit]

French SP[edit]

  • Production Asparagus/Disques Vogue/Vogue international industries (V.45-1552), 1968.
    • A-side: "Comment te dire adieu" ("It Hurts to Say Goodbye"), (ad. lyrics from Jack Gold: Serge Gainsbourg / music: Arnold Goland, arr. S. Gainsbourg) – 2:25
    • B-side: "L'Anamour" (lyrics and music: Serge Gainsbourg) – 2:14

English SP[edit]

  • Asparagus Production/United Artists (UP 35011 ), 1969.
    • A-side: "Comment te dire adieu" ("It Hurts to Say Goodbye"), (ad. lyrics from Jack Gold: Serge Gainsbourg / music: Arnold Goland, arr. S. Gainsbourg) – 2:25
    • B-side: "La Mer, les étoiles et le vent" (lyrics and music: Françoise Hardy) – 1:50

French EP[edit]

  • Production Asparagus/disques Vogue/Vogue international industries (EPL 8652), 1968.
    • A1: "Comment te dire adieu" ("It Hurts to Say Goodbye"), (ad. lyrics from Jack Gold: Serge Gainsbourg / music: Arnold Goland, arr. S. Gainsbourg) – 2:25
    • A2: "Il vaut mieux une petite maison dans la main, qu'un grand château dans les nuages" (lyrics: Jean-Max Rivière / music: Gérard Bourgeois) – 2:23
    • B1: "Suzanne", (ad. lyrics from Leonard Cohen: Graeme Allwright / music: L. Cohen) – 3:08
    • B2: "La Mer, les étoiles et le vent" (lyrics and music: Françoise Hardy) – 1:50

Jimmy Somerville version[edit]

"Comment te dire adieu"
Comment te dire adieu.jpg
Single by Jimmy Somerville featuring June Miles-Kingston
from the album 'Read My Lips'
B-side"Tell the World"
ReleasedOctober 1989
Format7" single
Songwriter(s)Serge Gainsbourg
Arnold Goland
Jack Gold
Producer(s)Pascal Gabriel
Jimmy Somerville featuring June Miles-Kingston singles chronology
"Comment te dire adieu"
"You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)"

The song was covered in 1989 by former Bronski Beat and Communards singer Jimmy Somerville, as a duet with June Miles-Kingston. It was a hit in the UK, reaching number 14 on the UK singles chart, helping Somerville's solo career take off.

Track listing[edit]

7" single
  1. "Comment te dire adieu" (7" version) — 3:35
  2. "Tell the World" — 4:12


Country Certification Date Sales certified
France[7] Silver 1990 200,000


Chart (1989/90) Peak
Dutch Mega Top 100[8] 26
French SNEP Singles Chart[8] 3
German Singles Chart[8] 25
Irish Singles Chart[9] 3
UK Singles Chart[10] 14

Kate Ryan version[edit]

"Comment te dire adieu"
Single by Kate Ryan
Released24 June 2016
FormatDigital download
GenreDance-pop, house
LabelCNR Music Belgium
Songwriter(s)Serge Gainsbourg, Arnold Goland, Jack Gold
Producer(s)Yves Gaillard, Amro
Kate Ryan singles chronology
"Wonderful Life"
"Comment te dire adieu"

In 2016, Belgian dance singer Kate Ryan covered the song and released it as a stand-alone single via iTunes on 24 June 2016, under CNR Music Belgium. It was produced by Yves Jongen a.k.a. Yves Gaillard and Soufiane Amrani "Amro".[11]

A music video accompanied the song, premiered via YouTube on 29 June 2016.[12]

Other cover versions[edit]

  • 1967: Walter Wanderley, a Brazilian organist, recorded an instrumental cover of the song on his album Batucada
  • 1967: Caravelli and his orchestra released an instrumental version on the album Eloïse
  • 1969: Anni-Frid Lyngstad, later a member of ABBA, recorded the song in Swedish as Så synd du måste gå ("So sad you have to go"); it was also included on her 1972 album Anni-Frid Lyngstad
  • 1973: Czech recording by Hana Hegerová titled Rýmováni o životě ("Rhyming about life")
  • 1974: Russian version Моя мечта ("My dream") by Aida Vedishcheva
  • 1985: Jun Togawa recorded a Japanese version, さよならをおしえて (Sayonara wo oshiete, literally "Tell me goodbye")
  • 1987: Taxi Girl's frontman Daniel Darc, collected on Sous influence divine
  • 1996: Jane Birkin published an "arabesque version" on her album Versions Jane
  • 1999: A new Czech version by Ilona Csáková titled Jedno Tajemství ("A Secret") featured on the album Blízká i vzdálená
  • 2001: A cover arranged by Tomosuke Funaki, and sung by Shizue Tokui (as Orange Lounge), appeared in beatmania IIDX 6th style
  • 2003: French cover by Annie and Valérie, two contestants of Star Academy 3 and included on the album Star Academy fait sa bamba[13]
  • 2008: Instrumental guitar band from Finland, Agents arranged the song for their instrumental album Agents... Is Beat!
  • 2009: Amanda Lear recorded her version for her album Brief Encounters.
  • 2010: Cover by Satanicpornocultshop in their album Arkhaiomelisidonophunikheratos
  • 2011: A cover of the French version with the lyrics sung by Berry was released by Germany's Blank & Jones on their album Relax Edition Six
  • 2012: Meg, a Japanese singer, covered the song in French for her album La Japonaise
  • 2012: English cover by Julian Ovenden

Usage in film and television[edit]

  • 2018: A Simple Favor (film)
  • 2014: Falling Star ("Stella cadente" / Spain) / "Comment te dire adieu"
  • 2013: Coming out (Hungary) / "It hurts to say goodbye" (Saxophone version)
  • 2009: The Island Inside ("La isla interior" / Spain) / "Comment te dir adieu"
  • 2004: Ferpect Crime ("Crimen ferpecto" / Spain/Italy) / "Comment te dire adieu"
  • 1972: A Revolta dos Anjos ("Revolt of the Angels / TV Series/Brazil) / "Comment te dire adieu"


  1. ^ Serge Gainsbourg Archived 2009-05-28 at the Wayback Machine, biography, RFI Musique. Accessed on line May 7, 2009.
  2. ^ On this label there is a mistake in the firstname of one of the authors of the song; we should read A. Goland instead of G. Goland.
  3. ^ "Cover versions of It Hurts to Say Goodbye by Margaret Whiting". Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  4. ^ Vera Lynn - Billboard Singles, Allmusic. Accessed on line May 5, 2009.
  5. ^ "Original versions of It Hurts to Say Goodbye by Vera Lynn". 1967-01-06. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  6. ^ p. 50, Serge Gainsbourg: a fistful of gitanes: requiem for a twister, Sylvie Simmons, Da Capo Press, 2002, ISBN 0-306-81183-9.
  7. ^ French certifications (Retrieved October 3, 2008)
  8. ^ a b c "Comment te dire adieu", in various singles charts (Retrieved October 3, 2008)
  9. ^ Irish Single Chart Archived 2009-06-03 at WebCite (Retrieved October 3, 2008)
  10. ^ "Comment te dire adieu", UK Singles Chart (Retrieved October 3, 2008)
  11. ^ - Kate Ryan - Comment te dire adieu
  12. ^ Kate Ryan - Comment Te Dire Adieu - YouTube
  13. ^ Star Academy fait sa Bamba, track listing and charts (Retrieved October 3, 2008)

External links[edit]