Friday, December 16, 2011

Some of my favourite (French musical) things

Of course, as soon as I say the weather's been good and we won't have any flight problems this year, there's only a bloody storm (called "Joachim") across half of France! According to Météo France, the wind got up to 103 km/hr here last night. It claims the storm is officially over in these parts (until it maybe starts up again in the afternoon), but it's still raining on and off and windy. Anyway, on to the topic at hand.

Other than having to study the entire oeuvre of Jacques Brel at school, most of my knowledge of French music dates from 2007, when I lived in the Nord Pas de Calais with a bunch of Brits, some of whom couldn't speak any French at all. Consequently, the music channels (and we had about 5 to choose from on Canal+) were on in the lounge 24/7. Since then, I've mostly come across new (to me) ones in clubs or at the gym. I never listen to the radio anymore, so if I'm missing some good 'uns, let me know! It's a bit of a mixed bag genre-wise, but here are a few of my favourite things!

I first heard this back in summer, but I only just came across the video. It's Mika, singing in French! And it's super catchy of course!

Elle Me Dit - Mika

This might be cheating slightly, since Martin Solveig sings (or has other people sing while he DJs) in English, but he is French! And he performs the miraculous feat of producing music that makes me want to get on a treadmill and turn it up to 10 kph (truly a wonder for the ages). Here's his latest:

Hello - Martin Solveig

Big in Japan - Martin Solveig

This isn't really a favourite as such, but dancing the Madison is a weird fitting-in-with-the-French rite of passage. (Although I think it's maybe an American thing originally?) Everyone knows it (at least vaguely), and people will actually do it in clubs. I put this clip up out of the many available on YouTube because they dance the Madison about as well as I do.

The Madison by ???

Talking of not being able to dance...

Les blancs ne savent pas danser - James Deano

This gets stuck in my head big time every time I hear it, but I still like it!

Champs Elysees - Joe Dassin

Okay, I didn't grow up as the only black kid in a small French town, but I still feel like I can relate to this a little bit after living in the Nord Pas de Calais countryside

Marly Gomont - Kamini

There is a rocky version of this that everyone always ends up linking arms and singing along to at 3 am in your favourite French club, but I can't find it online. Does anyone know who it's by?

Emmenez-moi - Charles Aznavour

Mostly linking to this so French-speakers can have a laugh at the amazing spelling of whoever wrote the subtitles. And then he gives up on it altogether halfway through!

Garçon - Koxie

You can skip the first 45 seconds of this video if you're not interested in seeing old French men (including Eric Cantona I think?) argue in a tabac. This video always makes me want to go re-enact it in Marseille

A la Bien - Soprano

Kind of the "Sid and Nancy" of France, in that the lead singer of this band killed his girlfriend

I got really sick of this after thrashing it back in 2007. But I am proud that I can rap along with it! Plus MC Solaar is a legend - we even had him in our textbooks when I was first learning French

Da Vinci Claude - MC Solaar

And finally, another 2007 classic:

Double Je - Christophe Willem


  1. Haha, The Madison is known as the Electric Slide in the US by Grandmaster Slice =) Played at almost every wedding, to get people on the dance floor, but being replaced more and more by the Cha-Cha Slide

  2. Aha! Is it the same dance?

  3. PS my friends and I once impressed people in a French club by dancing the Cha-Cha Slide so much that they gave us free t-shirts. I think they thought we made up the moves!

  4. I have a random song on my iPod by a French singer called Charlie - I have no idea what she's saying but I rather enjoy it.

  5. Hey Yans! Very pretty! I don't know what it's about either though, I was reading an article while listening (short attention span...)


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