For the romantics out there - Bonne Saint Valentin les chéris!
Whilst I find it very commercial, I thought I would share with you some of the most beautiful French love songs – I have picked some songs that are easy-ish to follow and classics, that all the French would know. Not all of the artists are French and some are from Canada or Belgium, but you can’t hear their accent when they sing. .
In no particular order, here are some links to YouTube and also a link to “les paroles” (the lyrics) so that you can follow what they say or maybe even sing along. I picked quite a few “live” recordings so pretend to be in that concert hall and turn up the volume! I cranked up the sound whilst I am picking the tracks for you! Did you noticed that there is no-one recording anything on smartphones, just good old-fashioned lighters! For the lyrics, look them up on here Paroles.net My top 5: 1. J'te l'dis quand même - Patrick Bruel I have been « une grande fan » de Patriiiiiiiiick (if you know you know - if not, listen to the song again!) since my teenage years and it’s a beautiful song played at the piano, mainly sang by the audience. This live is from his heydays, known as « Bruel-mania » 2. J’envoie valser – Zazie A song that favours affection and love rather than presents and materialism in relationships. « Toi quand tu me serres très fort C’est comme un trésor Et ça, et ça vaut de l’or » It resumes it well. 3. Je t’aime – Lara Fabian The power of her voice – I love listening to her live versions - The Canadian / Belgian “Adele” to me. Listen to the audience singing to her « on t’aime ». And if you want to sound more French, swap “nous” and use “on”. Much easier to conjugate verbs too. 4. Je suis venu te dire que je m’en vais (original) - Serge Gainsbourg When Gainsbourg recorded that song, he had a heart attack and in the original you can hear Jane Birkin sobbing at the end of recording. He had previously had an anxiety attack when she left for a little while and couldn’t stop crying. Jane Birkin’s emotional version Listen to the story of the song being explained. She leaves the microphone on the floor as this is where Serge Gainsbourg sang there 4 years earlier. This is my favourite version. 5. Que je t'aime – Johnny Hallyday In 5th place, but could easily be in 1st too! Look at the audience, all ages are represented. I have always been a fan, especially in the 90s. His best songs to my opinion were written then. The blond lady you can see in the public is his wife Laeticia.
And some other amazing songs: Je te promets - Johnny Hallyday Duo with Jenifer, who became a big star in France after winning Star Academy in 2002, a French singing competition. A promise of eternal love, but if you listen carefully towards the end, it might not be. L’hymne à l’amour- Edith Piaf Céline Dion’s version. A tribute to all the victims of terrorists attacks across the world, sang shortly after the Paris attacks of 2015. Je suis malade - Alice Dona & Serge Lama Lara Fabian’s version A song written by Serge Lama about "un coup de foudre" (love at first sight) when both him and the women are married. Ces mots simples - Vanessa Paradis A simple song written by her husband Samuel Benchetri. Je t’aime moi non plus (explicit !) - Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin Banned by the BCC for being overtly sexual, it was originally written for Brigitte Bardot, Serge Gainsbourg’s then girlfriend, but he ended up singing it with Jane Birkin. I hope these songs will move you the way they moved me– My so-called waterproof mascara isn’t that waterproof after all.
What are you favourite French love songs? Send me an email with yours or comment on our social media post on Valentine’s day!
A bientôt! Sophie
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