Je connais la musique.
zhuh kuh-nay lah mew-ZEEK. Click below to hear this.
I know the score.
As a non-sports fan, I often elicit eye-rolling looks of disdain from husband, brother, and other (mostly male) friends. What’s the score? Who’s wearing red? What inning are we in? Oh, sorry…quarter? These are things men seem to be born knowing.
“I know the score” is a statement of self-possession, worldliness, confidence. It never occurred to me, until I heard the French version, that the score might not refer to sports at all. In French, Je connais la musique (I know the music)!
Now we’re speaking my language! Knowing the musical score–connaître la musique–means knowing the music, not just la partition, the score that is written on paper, but also its heart and soul. It’s like knowing a person: you have to understand when you can push the music, how far, and when you need to stand back and let the music speak for itself. When to caress it and when to be bold.
So when you say Je connais la musique, you are saying, “I know what’s what. This is familiar to me–like a family member. I know what’s coming, and I can handle it.”
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