Je danse, tu danses, elle danse …

August 17, 2009

I’ve hinted before how important music is in my relationship with Piaf and in our household in general. In fact, a big – I won’t call it a worry, but before I started putting The Plan into action it was definitely a negative – was that, by only speaking French to my daughter, I wouldn’t be able to share my love of soul music with her (although Johnny did do a very famous French cover of Stevie Wonder’s Uptight and Cloclo even went to the Motown studios to record C’est La Même Chanson).

I worry less about that now – one day at a time, as we say at the aforementioned after-school club – but it’s fair to say that music is my knee-jerk answer to everything. Need to get Piaf to sleep? Sing to her. Need to distract her when she’s crying without good reason? Put a CD on 

Everything we listen to is in French and it has to be unthreatening and generally pleasing to under-two ears. That’s my excuse. 

Here’s a sort of Top Twenty of songs she appears not to object to. To maximise my meagre chances of a positive reception, I have limited it to one song per artist and put them in alphabetical order so you can make up your own mind about which one is least bad. However, I have to say that to describe my taste in French pop as “catholic but poor” would be harsh but fair – it was shaped by lonely, lazy afternoons in Normandy listening to Nostalgie (“just the music and me,” as the jingle has it.)

Vous voilà prévenus.

  1. Les Ailes D’Un Ange              Robert Charlebois
  2. Boum!                                     Charles Trénet
  3. C’est La Même Chanson         Claude François
  4. C’est Ma Fête                          Richard Anthony
  5. Les Copains D’Abord              Georges Brassens
  6. Les Coups                               Johnny Hallyday
  7. La Danse De Mardi Gras       Balfa Brothers
  8. L’École Est Finie                    Sheila
  9. L’Équipe À Jojo                      Joe Dassin
  10. Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi            Jacques Dutronc
  11. Il A Le Truc                             Les Gam’s
  12. Mes Souliers Sont Rouges       MSSR
  13. Mon Manège À Moi                Edith Piaf
  14. Pour Faire Une Jam               Charles Aznavour
  15. Pourvu Que Ça Dure              Patrick Sébastien
  16. Quand Je Te Vois                    Les Chaussettes Noires
  17. Québécois De Souche             Les Cowboys Fringants
  18. Repenti                                    Renan Luce
  19. Tomber La Chemise                Zebda
  20. Tous Les Garçons                   Françoise Hardy

At this point I was going to be really swish and embed the appropriate sound files. I even bought a space upgrade. But the copyright killjoys say no-go.  Bugger.

In the end I gave in and linked it all to Youtube – I’ve changed a couple of the songs because I couldn’t find the videos I needed but this is still very representative and this way you’ll get to laugh at the haircuts at the same time.


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