PSB lyrics that include non-English words and phrases

Since English is absolutely rife with words borrowed from other languages, I do not include single words that, despite their non-English origin, are so engrained into English that they can always be found in English dictionaries. For example, the words "cliché" and "résumé" are of French origin, but they've become part of the English language; therefore I don't include them here.

Note also that I list only words and phrases that can genuinely be considered part of the lyrics of the song in question; I don't include samples lifted from other sources that are included within the audio track of the recording. So, for instance, I don't cite "Birthday Boy," "My October Symphony," "DJ Culture," "This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave," and "Get It Online" (among others), all of which include spoken or sung samples from other languages. A good rule of thumb is that if it's sung or spoken by one of the Boys, it qualifies; if not, it doesn't. But if it's a special live-only rendition that hasn't seen official release—such as their singing "Wir sind die Pet Shop Boys" ("We're the Pet Shop Boys") in Germany or "Nous sommes les Pet Shop Boys" (ditto) in France—I don't count that, either. Non-English place names are also excluded; besides, I have a separate list that includes those.

A Certain 'Je Ne Sais Quoi'


Domino Dancing (Base Mix)



The Former Enfant Terrible

Friendly Fire

Girls & Boys


How I Learned to Hate Rock 'n' Roll
It Must Be Obvious

Living in the Past

Ich bin Musik

In Slow Motion

In the Night

It's a Sin

J'ai Pas Peur



Love Is a Bourgeois Construct

A New Bohemia

No More Ballads


Paninaro (and Paninaro '95)

Paris City Boy

Note: The following non-English lyrics are included in the version of "Paris City Boy" on PopArt. In 2017, an alternate "Full French" version was released as a bonus track with the reissue of Nightlife. It contains a great deal more French, which I won't bother delineating here.


A Powerful Friend

Se A Vida É (That's the Way Life Is)

Sense of Time


Too Many People


I should note, as an addendum, the Boys' cover (with Sam Taylor-Wood) of Serge Gainsbourg's "Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus, which doesn't contain any non-English words or phrases in its lyrics as they perform it, translated as they are into English. The title itself, however, remains in French and is both thoroughly ambiguous and legendarily difficult to translate, at least to universal satisfaction. But the "PSB translation" appears to be "I love you… but not more than me."

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention Miyuki Motegi's "All or Nothing." Although it's not really a "PSB lyric" since the Pet Shop Boys haven't performed this song (at least in a released version) and its Japanese lyrics were written by Motegi herself, Neil and Chris wrote the music. So, by virtue of that fact, it deserves recognition here.