Paris in song, discover Paris with 20 songs
Paris in song : stricken city
There was a time when Paris was living through the war, a difficult and destructive period.
During the Second World War (1939-1945), Paris was under German occupation.
This period is more commonly referred to as « the Occupation ».
« Les loups sont entrés dans Paris », Serge Reggiani.
Albert Vidalie wrote this song which is considered an allegory
of the German army’s entry into Paris and an ode to the French Resistance.
It is performed by the French actor and singer of Italian origin Serge Reggiani (1922-2004).
« Paris en colère », Mireille Mathieu.
The determination of the Resistance is the subject of this song.
We can only remember General de Gaulle’s speech on August 25th 1944, proclaiming his famous :
« Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred! But Paris liberated! ».
That’s what « Paris en colère » remembers.
Mireille Mathieu was born on July 22nd 1946 in Avignon.
She was one of the most emblematic French voices in the commemorations of the Liberation.
She is famous internationally in Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia, Brazil…
In Mille Colombes, which contributed to her success, she promotes peace.
« Paris sera toujours Paris », Maurice Chevalier.
This song evokes the preparation of the French for combat.
At the time, war with Germany seemed inevitable
and the government was preparing to fight and defend the capital.
Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972) was a French singer, actor, writer, songwriter, dancer and comedian.
He became, in the Roaring Twenties (a socially, culturally and artistically
very rich period from 1920 to 1929), one of the most popular artists in French music-hall.
Paris in song : city of hope
Every cloud has a silver lining.
Little by little, Paris is recovering from the years of war and regaining hope.
« Il est 5 heures, Paris s’éveille », Jacques Dutronc.
The war is over, and life resumes in Paris.
This song tells the authentic story of an early Parisian morning, between work, love and partying.
Born in Paris on April 28th 1943, Jacques Dutronc is a French singer, songwriter and actor.
« Sous le ciel de Paris », Edith Piaf.
In a joyful and poetic mood, this song brings the capital to life.
Edith Piaf (1915-1963) was a French music-hall and variety singer.
In her early days, she was nicknamed « la Môme Piaf ».
Almost fifty years after her death, she remains
the most famous French-speaking singer in France and abroad.
« Paris t’es belle », Mickey 3d.
« Paris t’es belle » is a song about the Parisian spirit between football, tourism and partying…
Mickey 3d is a French rock band created in 1996.
In the 2000s, they made their mark on the French music scene
with their ecological hit Respire released in 2003.
« Amoureux de Paname », Renaud.
Renaud’s song is a praise to the French capital, its monuments and its poetry.
Renaud Séchan, born on May 11th 1952 in Paris, is a French singer and songwriter.
He is a committed artist, with provocative texts.
He defends human rights, ecology and anti-militarism.
He is one of the most popular singers in France.
« A Paris », Yves Montand.
For a long time the beauty of Paris has been sung, here it is sung through love.
Yves Montand (1921-1991) was a French singer and actor of Italian origin,
famous for his love story with Simone Signoret and his iconic movies :
Le salaire de la peur; Vincent, François, Paul… and the others; Jean de Florette…
« Ici Paris », Noir Désir.
Will the French still go to war?
Are all cities the same and dangerous?
Like Renaud, Noir Désir tackles anti-militarism and peace in this song,
with a questioning of these cities which are similar in many ways.
Created in the 1980s, Noir Désir is a committed French rock band.
Paris in song : secret city
Paris is a multi-faceted city.
The capital hides many secrets!
« Dans ma rue », Doc Gyneco.
In this song, Doc Gyneco tells the story of life in the 18th arrondissement.
He paints a portrait of his neighbourhood contrasting with Parisian life as we know it.
Born in Clichy-sous-Bois, in Seine-Saint-Denis, on May 10th 1974,
Bruno Beausir, alias Doc Gyneco, is a French singer-songwriter, rapper and producer.
« Paris », Camille.
This song paints an unflattering picture of Paris. It denounces the insalubrity of the capital,
between grey skies, metro entrances, dirty sidewalks and the colour of the Seine.
Camille Dalmais, was born in Paris on March 10th 1978. She is a French singer, songwriter and actress.
« Parisvélib », Philippe Katerine.
Paris never sleeps!
Parisvélib, it’s a bike ride at night, with music!
Philippe Katerine, whose real name is Philippe Blanchard, was born on December 8th 1968 in Thouars,
and is a French singer-songwriter. He is also an actor, director and writer.
In 1991, the album « Les mariages chinois » marked the beginning of his success.
« Ça balance pas mal à Paris », France Gall et Michel Berger.
Michel Berger here compares Paris with America.
France Gall (1947-2018), who sings with him, was a French singer.
Michel Berger (1947-1992) was a French pianist, singer, songwriter, artistic director and musical arranger.
His real name is Michel Hamburger, he was the husband of France Gall.
« Le poinçonneur des lilas », Serge Gainsbourg.
At the time, the ticket puncher was an underground ticket inspector, he punched them, and that made them into confetti.
« Les Lilas » refers to the metro station « Porte des Lilas » on line 3b.
The job of ticket puncher disappeared in 1973, following the installation of turnstiles.
Gainsbourg tells us the story of this worker who, six metres underground, leads a hard life.
Serge Gainsbourg (1928-1991) was a French singer and songwriter.
He is famous for his poetic songs with powerful messages.
He was in a relationship with Jane Birkin for more than 10 years and their romance received a lot of media coverage.
« Pigalle », Pigalle.
Pigalle is the name of a Parisian district that extends over the 9th and 18th arrondissements.
This district was unknown and had a sad reputation but today it has changed a lot.
« Bienvenue à Paris », Vitaa.
Paris is cosmopolitan and multicultural, and that is a strength and a richness.
Vitaa, whose real name is Charlotte Gonin, was born on March 14th 1983 in Mulhouse.
She is a R’n’B singer and songwriter of French-Italian origin.
Paris in song : romantic city
Of course, you couldn’t talk about Paris without mentioning love!
« Paris, c’est une blonde », Mistinguett.
In personifying the capital, Mistinguett addresses the irresistible charm of the capital.
Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois (1875-1956), called Mistinguett, was a French singer and actress.
She sang a lot at the Moulin-Rouge and stayed in couple with Maurice Chevalier for more than 10 years.
They were the two great stars of that time (1920s).
« Paris, au mois d’août », Charles Aznavour.
That’s a beautiful, nostalgic love story.
If a month had to be chosen to love, it would be August.
Here is what this song, inspired by the film « Paris au mois d’août », tells of a meeting between a man and a woman.
Charles Aznavour (1924-2018) was a French-Armenian singer-songwriter, actor and writer, well known in France.
« Les prénoms de Paris », Jacques Brel.
Jacques Brel (1929-1978), was a Belgian singer-songwriter, poet, actor and director.
These songs remain iconic for the French:
He’s a source of inspiration for many of the current singers, because of his charisma, his voice and his character.
« La Seine », M and Vanessa Paradis.
A beautiful tribute to the Seine, the river that runs through Paris.
The song is taken from the film « Un monstre à Paris » by Eric Bergeron released in 2011.
This film tells the story of a monster who creates panic in the capital.
Mathieu Chedid, born on December 21st 1971 in Boulogne-Billancourt alias « M »,
is a French singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and guitarist.
He says: « I chose the M, for love, the fantasy of the soul ».
Vanessa Paradis, born December 22nd 1972 in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, is a French singer, actress and model.
At the age of fourteen « Joe le Taxi » her first record made her famous. Today, she has a career in music and cinema.
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