In "Un Grand Amour," former French First Lady and supermodel Carla Bruni shows the beauty of an artist, the well-earned wisdom of a Guru, and the persuasiveness of an excellent communicator.
The music itself is like a steady waltz. With it, Bruni seems to ask us to embrace her message: to love regardless of who we are, and open ourselves up to the beautiful possibility of "Un Grand Amour" (a great love.)
She starts with three images and immediately makes a case for love in all its forms: "On peut chercher l'amour dans les yeux que l'on croise/Dans les peaux que l'on touche/Au creux des nuits soyeuses, à pleine bouche."
She then artfully drives home her argument: "On doit chercher l'amour/C'est la moindre des choses, tu sais/Il n'y a rien d'autre au monde, c'est vrai."
"Un Grand Amour" persuades gently, suavely, and with enormous dignity: all qualities that we have always associated with singer Carla Bruni herself.
The song is sung from a place of "knowing," which is why Bruni's beautiful lyrics are so easy to trust.
Bruni's chanson is timely because it is a portal to peace and tranquility even during a pandemic; having first released later last year.
'Un Grand Amour' heals. It reassures when it says: "On peut chercher l'amour de mille et une manières/Tranquillement en passant/Ou alors comme s'il n'y avait rien d'autre à faire."
This powerful line effectively erases internal debate about the right or wrong way to pursue love. It instead validates a whole range of experiences.
When she asks "tu sais" or adds "c'est vrai," she appears to sing to us personally.
In a beautiful arc akin to some of the finest stories ever told, Bruni then paints a beautiful dream with her chorus: "quelquefois/Il nous arrive un grand amour/Qui nous emporte sans retour/Sans pardon, sans pourquoi/Et alors, voilà le grand amour/Celui dont on rêvait toujours/Dont on rêvait toujours."
Then with another poetic stanza, she acknowledges more difficult forms of love: "C'est là qu'est notre inespéré, c'est là qu'on se déchire/Il nous arrive d'aimer contre toute espérance/Sans l'ombre d'un atout, sans l'ombre d'une chance, comme à genoux/Il nous arrive d'aimer comme des naufragés, tu sais/Comme des possédés, c'est vrai." This stanza is possibly the most powerful, because even while she makes a case for love throughout the song, she also acknowledges the difficult phases that may come in pursuit of it.
With "Un Grand Amour," Bruni stands tall as a genuine, inclusive, and responsible global presence; a woman who can lead through her reasoned communication, including with her gift for music.