Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Quintessinal French Song

About 50 years ago, a pop music style developed as an alternative in France: the songs of the yé-yé girls.  This style very heavily was influenced by British and American pop motifs; and was primarily about teen interests.  Some of the important singers were Françoise Hardy, Sylvie Vartan, France Gall, and Johnny Halladay.  Here is "Tout les Garçons et les Filles" performed by Françoise Hardy:

This might be the qunitessinal French song of the 1960's.

Other Yé-yé girls performed noteworthy songa, to be found on YouTube.

Sacré Charlemagne, by France Gall, was a childhood protest against the rigidity of French schools.  She later performed a Serge Gainsborough song (Les Succettes) that had a shocking subtext for the times and of which she was unaware when it was recorded.

Sylvie Vartan did French covers of a number of English and American pop tunes, such as Le Locomotion.  

The Yé-yé Girls did not translate across the Atlantic very well, though Hardy was a fashion model and had cameo appearances in a few American movies.


Mike said...

Listened to the song. Didn't recognize it. AND it was being sung in a foreign language! Can't those French people learn to speak English?

Banana Oil said...

It sounded so sad and romantic.

Bilbo said...

Very nice tune, even if I didn't understand a word of it. I'll have to track it down for my iPod. Are you familiar with Mirelle Matthieu? ... her version of "Une Femme Amoreuse" (I think I spelled that right) is wonderful ... it was also done in English as "A Woman in Love."