Musique, S'il Vous Plait
June 15, 2009 1:51 PM   Subscribe

I have a gig coming up, and I need FRENCH SONG suggestions. Simple, classic, famous, even cliche (cheesy) French songs are what I'm looking for. "Je T'aime", etc.

I'm playing guitar and my friend is playing accordion and melodica. Keep it SIMPLE. TIA.
posted by chuckdarwin to Media & Arts (42 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Frere Jacques
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:53 PM on June 15, 2009

"Frére Jacques" hits the trifecta of cheesy, cliché and French. Piaf's "Je Ne Regrette Rien" is close.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:53 PM on June 15, 2009

Meant to link
Frere Jacques
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:54 PM on June 15, 2009

Ca Plane Pour Moi
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:59 PM on June 15, 2009

I love "La Mer " recorded by Charles Trenet and recently featured in Mr. Bean's Holiday.
posted by rw at 2:00 PM on June 15, 2009

"Bonnie and Clyde" would be cool with those instruments.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:02 PM on June 15, 2009

This may not apply because I absolutely love the song, but Petite Fleur seems to fit the bill.
posted by litterateur at 2:03 PM on June 15, 2009

La Vie en Rose?
posted by kitkatcathy at 2:04 PM on June 15, 2009

Turns out it's Canadian, but Alouette is in simple, famous and in French.
posted by ignignokt at 2:05 PM on June 15, 2009

Alouette? La Marseillaise?

You don't specify if you're singing or not. I argue no lyrics needed for either.
posted by knile at 2:05 PM on June 15, 2009

Telephone - Le jour s'est levé
posted by eatdonuts at 2:09 PM on June 15, 2009

Chanson d'amour?
posted by leapfrog at 2:10 PM on June 15, 2009

La Vie en Rose or Non, je ne regrette rien

a la Edith Piaf
posted by readery at 2:13 PM on June 15, 2009

Pink Martini - Sympathique
posted by cmgonzalez at 2:20 PM on June 15, 2009

posted by elle.jeezy at 2:21 PM on June 15, 2009

Dominique by the Singing Nun.
posted by Sculthorpe at 2:24 PM on June 15, 2009

Aux Champs-Élysées
posted by emeiji at 2:46 PM on June 15, 2009

Elinor Blake, aka April March is cheesy but also pretty cool.
posted by rokusan at 2:46 PM on June 15, 2009

Classic France Gall. You gotta love it.
posted by SurrenderMonkey at 2:59 PM on June 15, 2009

Two options:
Lara Fabian's 'Je t'aime' or Johnny Hallyday's 'Que je t'aime'.

Another classic, if you want traditional French music with love songs: Francis Cabrel's 'Je l'aime a mourir' or his other song 'Je t'aimais, je t'aime, je t'aimerais'.

All very cheesy but quite popular!
posted by tweemy at 3:05 PM on June 15, 2009

Laisse tomber les filles is fun, and might be entertaining sung by a dude. I imagine you could adapt the accompaniment to the guitar and accordion.
posted by MadamM at 3:08 PM on June 15, 2009

Ahh, SurrenderMonkey, you beat me with the France Gall! Curses!
posted by MadamM at 3:10 PM on June 15, 2009

Parlez-Moi D'Amour is one of my favourites.

Also,..Ne Me Quitte Pas
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:17 PM on June 15, 2009

Nthing Non, je ne regrette rien.

Or Boum! Fun song. It's got animal noises. What more could you want?
posted by elsietheeel at 3:17 PM on June 15, 2009

I've actually written a few myself-- they probably wouldn't be appropriate if your audience speaks French and it's anything but a kids' event-- they're children's songs about toothpaste, shampoo, and coffee, respectively.

I have recorded them for actual album releases and can link you to downloads; they're all fairly simple to play as well.

message me if that sounds remotely appropriate for your scenario.. I can send you links for mp3's.
posted by candyhammer at 3:18 PM on June 15, 2009

ca ira?
posted by paultopia at 3:46 PM on June 15, 2009

2nd 'Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien'
posted by pompomtom at 4:13 PM on June 15, 2009

Maybe not as classic as you're looking for, but definitely French, simple (vocals-driven) and a lot of fun: 69 Annee Erotique by Serge Gainsbourg
posted by twoporedomain at 6:25 PM on June 15, 2009

From South Pacific, Dites-Moi:

La vie est belle,
La vie est gai,
Chere Mad'moiselle,
Est-ce que
Parce que
Vous m'aimez?

Tell me why
Life is beautiful
Tell me why
Life is happy
Tell me why,
Dear Lady...
Is it
You love me?

posted by misha at 6:53 PM on June 15, 2009

Les cactus.
posted by felix grundy at 7:01 PM on June 15, 2009

If you can get ahold of it, there's a song Yves Montand used to do called "Rengaine ta rengaine". Sharp, funny, classy, makes fun of swinging youngsters using their Franglais slang like "week-end" and "snack-bar".

If you'd like something more recent, Noir Desir does a song called Le Vent Nous Portera that's nice.
posted by gimonca at 7:07 PM on June 15, 2009

Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi by Jacques Dutronc. A classic garage stomper I first heard covered by Dump (ie James McNew of Yo La Tengo). That'll wake 'em up.
posted by Kinbote at 7:11 PM on June 15, 2009

We learned Sur le pont d'Avingnon in my high school French class. I get it stuck in my head a lot.
posted by purpletangerine at 8:09 PM on June 15, 2009

Jacques Dutronc - J'aime Les Filles and Claude Francois - Comme d'Habitude (you might know this one better as 'My Way')
posted by Mael Oui at 8:11 PM on June 15, 2009

Another Cabrel song (sung by him, written by Richard Desjardins): Quand j'aime une fois, j'aime pour toujours. It seems to play at least once a day on easy listening stations here.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 8:12 PM on June 15, 2009

Hildegarde - Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup
posted by candyland at 4:52 AM on June 16, 2009

Since no one's mentioned it, and since it features in a recent film assez répondu: A la claire fontaine (traditional).
posted by nonmerci at 11:00 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Since you say you'll have an accordion player, why not Piaf's L'accordeoniste?

Side note to nonmerci - thanks for mentioning that song. Grégoire sings it on his new album and I really like it but didn't realize it was an old traditional song.
posted by dnash at 11:54 AM on June 16, 2009

This is fabulously cheesy but I love it!

Michel Sardou - Etre Une Femme (smoother 2001 live version)
Grotty 1981 version.

Lyrics. If you understand french it's quite simple to learn a couple of verses. I first saw it as part of the best every BSG fanvid which has since dissapeared.

FYI, AKA "Femmes des années 80".
posted by Iteki at 12:11 PM on June 16, 2009

Crap, and just for that I found my fave version of the song itself on youtube.
This is the best version imho, better than the two above. No idea what the video is.
posted by Iteki at 12:15 PM on June 16, 2009

Aïcha is simple and singable, and it was popular in Europe.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 2:50 PM on June 16, 2009

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