Stromae’s “Carmen” Lyrics Meaning

Stromae’s “Carmen” is a pretty deep song. It was not only inspired by but is also acknowledged as covering a particular section of a late 19th century opera. And the opera in question is also entitled “Carmen”. Said section of the opera (Habanera) centers on a character who is preaching out against the concept of falling in love. She is against love as she feels romance can be deceptively fleeting.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Stromae's Carmen at

Moreover it should be noted that the proper name of Habanera is actually “L’amour Est un Oiseau Rebelle“. In English, that phrase translates to “Love Is a Rebellious Bird“. And the reason this is important is because the bird also plays an important metaphorical role in Stromae’s song. As in the original Carmen, ultimately it points to the idea of romance being something which a person cannot tie down. But more symbolically Stromae also relates it to a very 21st century phenomenon, that being the omnipresence of the ubiquitous Twitter bird.

The Negative Effects of Social Media

And to make a long story short, he is lashing out against the idea of individuals becoming slaves to social media. Moreover it can be said that he views socializing over the internet as a way whereby individuals can become rather more alienated from their fellow man. And to drive this point home, he focuses largely on the concept of falling in love over social media. 

And as implied in Habanera itself, the end result is that the individual involved realizes shortly thereafter that the feelings are not genuine. So ultimately, Stromae is using the illustration of the temporalness and shall we say vanity of internet associations to point to the more general idea of social media negatively affecting our relationships.

Music Video

The video to “Carmen”, which is an animated clip, was handled by an artist named Sylvain Chomet. Said clip features the likenesses of several international celebrities. They include the following:

  • President Obama
  • Queen Elizabeth II
  • Justin Bieber
  • Kanye West

Release Date of “Carmen”

“Carmen” can be found on Stromae’s second studio album, which is entitled “Racine Carrée”. And the song was commercially released in September 2013. Actually, it was released as one of the official singles from “Racine Carrée”.

Other notable singles from the project, include

Did “Carmen” chart?

Yes. “Carmen” charted in Belgium and France.

Writing Credits for “Carmen”

“Carmen” was produced and co-written by Stromae, with the other co-writer being OrelSan. And just to note, the original opera which the song is based on is by an 18th century French composer named Georges Bizet (1838-1875).

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting. Thank you.

  2. Georges Bizet says:

    Im proud of this song: it says what no one wants to hear in a way that they can’t resist!

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