display | more...

This is a song from the 2001 Baz Luhrman musical tragic comedy "Moulin Rouge". I won't give away any of the plot of Moulin Rouge in this writeup intentionally, but it is possible that reading the lyrics to this song will be a minute spoiler, and in a way, as soon as Jacek Koman opens his mouth to sing, the surprise of what tune he is singing is part of what makes this song amazing.

Okay, don't say I didn't warn you. This one starts off with a classical guitar picked by Jose Feliciano himself, builds in trembling violins, a faintly massaged piano, and a section of strings being picked. The rhythm of the tango is clear from the first, but when Jacek Koman, playing the narcoleptic Argentinian, stops his muttering and sings--practically growls--that first line like a grizzly baritone possessed by Lucifer, it is clear: this is not The Police you're listening to, and Sting is not making an appearance. Ewan McGregor also gets a chance to show off his pipes, hitting beautifully high notes that accent the top of his range. Just when you thought you'd heard it all, everyone comes in together, a chorus overlaying Ewan McGregor's passionate wide-open high notes, and Jacek Koman's rumbling voice driving underneath it. A bass drum reminiscent of When the Levee Breaks pounds furiously, bringing the song to a anxious conclusion--though all the characters have poured out their souls, nothing is resolved, and that is as it should be.

Narcoleptic Argentinian (NA hereafter):
...will drive you, will drive you, will drive you... MAD!
   Ro-o-o-o-o-oxanne!  You don't have to put on that red light.
   Walk the streets for money, you don't care if it's wrong or if it is right.
   Ro-o-o-o-o-oxanne!  You don't have to wear that dress tonight.
   Roxanne, you don't have to sell your body to the night!

                          His eyes, upon your face,
                          His hand, upon your hand,
                          His lips caress your skin:
                          It's more than I can stand!
NA & chorus: Roxanne!
                          Why does my heart cry
NA & chorus: Roxanne!   
                          Feelings I can't fight?
                          Love me to leave me, 
                           but just don't deceive me,
                            and please, believe me
                             when I say, "I love you!"

{{A brief interlude spoken in Spanish, possibly by Jose Feliciano - clarification by /msg appreciated}}

NA: Roxanne, you don't have to put on the red light,
                     Christian:Why does my heart cry
                               feelings I can't fight?
    you don't have to wear that dress tonight.
    Roxanne, you don't have to put on the red light,
     CHORUS: Why does my heart cry
             feelings I can't fight?
    Roxanne, you don't have to wear that dress tonight!
                                   Please! Please!

"She had gone to the tower to save us all, and for our part, we could do nothing but wait."

This song impressed me a lot when I first saw Moulin Rouge, because they had taken a light pop song and turned it into a climactic event.

Duke has demanded that Satine have dinner with him or he will walk out on the play, so she goes. The rest of the cast, along with Christian, wait in the Moulin Rouge, some worried about whether they will get to have their Bohemian ending where love wins over all adversity, but Christian can only think about the fact that his love is with another man. The prostitute who prompted Duke's argument over the ending tells them, "Don't worry, you'll get your ending, as soon as Duke gets his end in." Naturally Christian gets angry.

The "unconscious Argentinian" tells him it was stupid to fall in love with someone who sells herself, because he can never truly trust her. He begins to tell a story about just such an occurence in Argentina, acting and dancing it out with the betrayer as he sings. At first she is only with him, but she begins to share her attention with other men, her clients, and he becomes insanely jealous.

Christian decides to go out for some air, and seeing this, Chocolat slips out the back. Meanwhile, Satine is in the tower with the Duke, and she has told him that Christian is infatuated with her, and she only indulges him because of his talent, so he will write her play. She insinuates that she will of course leave him for Duke as soon as the play is performed. He gives her an expensive-looking necklace.

They go to the window, and she sees Christian outside. Suddenly she can no longer bring herself to pretend with the Duke. He takes back the necklace, tears off her dress, and throws her onto the bed. At the same time as the Argentinian pretends to kill the prostitute, Chocolat bursts into the tower and hits Duke, knocking him cold. He then takes Satine to Christian's place, and this is when they decide to run away together.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.