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French Culture – Comfort Food Posted by on Jun 30, 2020 in Culture, Language, Music, Vocabulary

While France1Including the Eiffel Tower ! (and parts of the US, where I live) are starting to open back up, we can all sometimes still use a little escapism to take us away from the challenges that life can present. Especially with all the complex issues facing the world today, I thought this week we’d spend some time on comfort food … for the soul.

A few years ago, and honestly I’m no longer quite sure where or how, I discovered a wonderful little French musical production called Le Soldat Rose (The Pink Soldier). Now a trilogy, Le Soldat Rose raconte l’histoire d’un soldatrose (tells the story of a soldier … a pink one).

La première partie, appelé tout simplement Le Soldat Rose (the first part, called simply The Pink Soldier) introduces us to our hero as he helps rescue un petit garcon nommé Joseph (a little boy named Joseph) who finds himself overnight dans un grand magasin (in a department store).

Dans la deuxième partie (In the second part) we find the little soldier and his friends visiting un orphelinat (orphanage) where les autres jouets (the other toys) try and help résoudre (to solve) an embarrassing problem for the soldier.

La troisième partie, Le Soldat Rose à la fabrique de jouets, nous ramène en arrière (The third part, the Pink Soldier at the toy factory, takes us backwards) to discover the origins of the soldier’s unique color scheme … and to learn how he got to the grand magasin where the story started in the first place.

If you have ITunes or Spotify, you can enjoy all three of these fun song-stories on your own. Or you can check out some of the many clips on YouTube including this newly available full version of Le Soldat Rose à la fabrique des jouets filmed in novembre 2017 at Paris’s famous Olympia salle de spectacle (concert venue)2What ever you do, make sure you watch to the end … or just click here for this very joyeuse fin … parce que tout est bien qui finit bien … or this on that introduces us to the soldier in question.

Nous vous informons que le magasin va bientôt fermer ses portes Please note [lit. we inform you] that the store will soon be closing its doors
Le petit Joseph est attendu par ses parents à l’accueil du magasin Little Joseph’s parents are waiting for him at the welcome desk
J’en connais un rayon I know of an aisle
Sur ce grand magasin In this department store
J’attends sur ce rayon I’ve been waiting on this shelf3The word rayon can mean aisle, shelf, or department depending on the context
Depuis la Saint Glinglin4La Saint Glinglin is a made up religious day that doesn’t exist. It shows up in expressions to indicate something that happened a long time ago … or that will never happen. Since who knows when
Mais personne ne veut de moi et pour cause But nobody wants me and with reason
Qui voudrait d’un soldat rose? Who would want a pink soldier?
Qui voudrait d’un soldat, d’un soldat rose? Who would want a pink soldier, a pink soldier.
Les garçons n’aiment pas Boys don’t like
Ma couleur de danseuse My dancer’s/ballerina color
Et les filles disent pouah! And the girls all say ew!
Devant ma mitrailleuse When they see my machine gun
Bienvenue mon petit gars Welcome little guy
Faut que je te dise quelque chose I have to tell you something
On m’appelle le soldat rose, They call me the pink soldier,
On m’appelle le soldat, le soldat rose They call me the pink soldier, the pink soldier
J’ me névrose, m’ankylose5Medical Term It gives me a complex, makes me numb,
Me sclérose6Medical Term, quelle psychose Blocks me up, what a psychosis
Tout n’est pas vraiment rose Everything really isn’t rosy
Dans la vie d’un soldat, soldat rose In the life of a pink soldier, pink soldier
Overdose d’ecchymoses An overdose of bruises
Rend ma prose bien morose Makes my prose so gloomy
Tout est gris tout est noir Everything is grey, everything is black
Dans ma vie de soldat, de soldat rose In my soldier’s life, my pink soldier’s life
J’en connais un rayon I know of a department
Sur ce grand magasin In this department store
Les poupées de chiffon The rag dolls
Les puzzles et les trains The puzzles and the trains
Tout là-bas les peluches Over there the stuffed animals
Et comble du grandiose And miracle of miracles
Un flamant comme moi, rose A flamingo like me, pink
Un flamant comme moi, un flamant rose A flamingo like me, a pink flamingo
Refrain jusqu’a la fin Chorus to the end

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Lise: Maybe not always. Paris has ways of making people forget. / Jerry: Paris? No, not this city. It's too real and too beautiful. It never lets you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way. / An American in Paris


  1. Vasileios Nikolopoulos:

    Very interesting and educational passage. I like it a lot