Papaoutai - Stromae


The Experience:  Everyone knows how to make babies, but no one knows how to make dads... Mommy says that when you search well you always end up finding. So Where are you, Dad? 




Official Video: A boy tries to get his Dad to interact with him, but his Dad (Stomae) is just a manikin: in other words he isn't there. After seeing other boys learning to dance from their dads, he returns to the house and after a few vain attempts with his own dad, sits down beside him and turns into a mankikin just like him. 

The meaning of Stromae's Papaoutai: The song is a criticism of our fatherless society, where dads are more than often not present in their kids lives. Maybe it's because of work which is "better than being poorly accompanied, isn't it?" (double meaning in the French: either "in bad company" or "poorly accompanied"). But how can we learn to be dads if we don't have one? And a lot of dads don't know how to be dads. 

Stromae's own dad was somewhat absent in his life, and was in fact killed in the Rwandian genocide, which may be part of the motive behind this song. 

Ask yourself: What type of parent am I going to be?  




LYRICS (French original):


Dites-moi d'où il vient
Enfin je saurais où je vais
Maman dit que lorsqu'on cherche bien
On finit toujours par trouver
Elle dit qu'il n'est jamais très loin
Qu'il part très souvent travailler
Maman dit "travailler c'est bien"
Bien mieux qu'être mal accompagné
Pas vrai ?
Où est ton papa ?
Dis-moi où est ton papa ?
Sans même devoir lui parler
Il sait ce qui ne va pas
Ah sacré papa
Dis-moi où es-tu caché ?
Ça doit, faire au moins mille fois que j'ai
Compté mes doigts

[Hook] (x2)
Où t'es, papa où t'es ?
Où t'es, papa où t'es ?
Où t'es, papa où t'es ?
Où, t'es où, t'es où, papa où t'es ?

[Verse 2]
Quoi, qu'on y croit ou pas
Y aura bien un jour où on n'y croira plus
Un jour ou l'autre on sera tous papa
Et d'un jour à l'autre on aura disparu
Serons-nous détestables ?
Serons-nous admirables ?
Des géniteurs ou des génies ?
Dites-nous qui donne naissance aux irresponsables ?
Ah dites-nous qui, tient
Tout le monde sait comment on fait les bébés
Mais personne sait comment on fait des papas
Monsieur Je-sais-tout en aurait hérité, c'est ça
Faut l'sucer d'son pouce ou quoi ?
Dites-nous où c'est caché, ça doit
Faire au moins mille fois qu'on a, bouffé nos doigts

[Hook]

[Outro] (X2)
Où est ton papa ?
Dis-moi où est ton papa ?
Sans même devoir lui parler
Il sait ce qui ne va pas
Ah sacré papa
Dis-moi où es-tu caché ?
Ça doit, faire au moins mille fois que j'ai
Compté mes doigts


[Hook]


LYRICS (English):

Tell me where he came from
So that I can finally know where to go
Mommy says that when you search well
You always end up finding


She says he’s never very far
And he's often gone for work
Mama says “working is good"
Better than being in bad company
Right?


Where’s your dad'?
Tell me where’s your dad'?
Without even having to tell him anything
He knows it's not right.


Ah damn dad'
Tell me where you’re hiding
It must be at least a thousand times that I
Counted on my fingers [waiting for you]

Where are you, dad' where are you?
Where are you, dad' where are you?
Where are you, dad' where are you?
Where, where are you, where are you,
Dad' where are you?

Even, if we believe it or not
There’ll be a day when we won’t believe it any more
Sooner or later we'll all be dads
And suddenly we’ll have disappeared

Will we be hateable?
Will we be admirable?
parents or [absent] "geniuses"?

Tell us who gives birth to these irresponsible people
So who are they, 'ya see
Everyone knows how to make babies
But no one knows how to make dads
Mister know-it-all must have inherited it, that’s it!
Must have sucked it from his thumb or something?
Tell us where he’s hiding, it’s been
At least a thousand times that we’ve bitten our fingers [waiting for dad]

Where is your dad?
Tell me, where is your dad?
Without even having to tell him anything
He knows it's not right.
Oh damned dad
Tell me, where have you hidden?
It must be a thousand times that I've

Counted on my fingers



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