"On ira" lyrics question


I’m trying to understand one line in the lyrics to “On ira”, a song in A2 unit 13. The line is:

on suivra l’autoroute / ensuite on perdra tous les nord

In this case, what does tous les nord mean? Is it like “true North” in English?

Other than this curious phrase, the song is very clear and is a great way to practice futur simple!



Bonjour @mgm :slightly_smiling_face: !

“On ira” de Jean-Jacques Goldman est une très belle chanson :musical_note: !

This is an interesting question !

Actually, you have to consider the whole sentence: perdre le nord :compass: is an expression we use to say that somebody has lost his way - physically, but also in figurative meaning when we experience lack of mental clarity for some reason :

  • “Il neige au mois d’avril ? C’est à en perdre le nord !” :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

This expression is also often used in the negative form to speak about a person who is guided by her interests and doesn’t get easily distracted from her goals.
Let’s say my cat Oscar :smirk_cat: is hungry and I tell him “It’s too early now, you’ll have dinner in one hour”. He goes for a nap and comes back to me exactly one hour later :clock1:. Then I would say:

  • "Tu es déjà là ? Toi, vraiment, tu ne perds pas le nord ! "

In the song, I understand “perdre tous les nords” as “we won’t care about getting lost and we’ll go wherever the wind takes us”… very poetic :slightly_smiling_face: !


Ah, merci beaucoup Léo!

That’s very helpful. And the negative form is really interesting - I don’t think we have a direct corollary in English (not a common one, anyway).

I think I see a book in the future…Appendre le français avec Oscar! :smiley_cat: