I’ve mentioned before that I wanted to take French when I went into high school, but Mom thought Latin would help me with English (as if I hadn’t been speaking English for fourteen years up to that point).
In short, I don’t know what’s being sung here, but music is a universal language and I can appreciate that, and I normally don’t listen to the lyrics, anyway. Sometimes I’ll find a French-language station on TuneIn Radio and put it on as background music, just because I can (that Internet thing is going to catch on one day, mark my words). For four of the five selections here, I relied on a video assembled by YouTube user Moozy Mathers entitled “Top 10 French Songs of All Time.”
Non Je Ne Regrette Rien – Edith Piaf: This was Moozy’s choice for #1, and naturally it’s by Edith Piaf, who also sang the definitive version of “La vie en rose.” It comes with a translation of the lyrics, and they are lovely.
La Mer – Charles Trenet: You’ll recognize the melody as that of “Beyond The Sea,” a great song by Bobby Darin, which is a translation of this one.
Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles – Françoise Hardy: I enjoyed both the song and the video. There’s something delighfully 1960’s about it.
Elisa – Serge Gainsbourg: Another delightful song from the late 1960’s.
Paris Je T’aime D’amour – Maurice Chevalier: Mary’s always worried that I’ll start an international incident by doing my impression of Maurice Chevalier, which she says sounds like Pepe LePew. Not surprising, since Mel Blanc, who voiced everyone’s favorite skunk, did Pepe as an imitation of Chevalier. Seriously, I’ve liked Maurice ever since I saw him on “The Best of Carson” back in the Seventies. This recording is from 1930, if you can believe it.
What are some of your favorite songs in French?
from The Sound of One Hand Typing