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French Music – Christophe Willem Posted by on Jun 18, 2019 in Culture, Music, Vocabulary

Christophe Willem exploded onto the French pop scene in 2006 when he won the French singing competition Nouvelle Star (the French version of American Idol / Pop Idol). Since then he’s become one of my favorite singers, though his songs (and particularly his videos) aren’t always well suited for a blog. I recently came across this one though which is catchy, relates to our recent discussions of shopping, and has lots of great vocabulary.

One of the other reasons I like this particular song and video, is how clever it is. I love the inventive products featured throughout, and I love how Christophe plays with the idea that, as the winner of a reality TV competition (téléréalité or télévision réalité or even télévision vérité), he is the “produit de l’année” … until the next winner is crowned.

Présentateur : Et maintenant, mesdames et messieurs, Announcer : And now ladies and gentlemen,
Pour vous ce soir For you this evening
Le grand, le majestueux The great, the majestic
Christophe Willem Christophe Willem
   
[Produit 2002 : La lampe humaine] [Product of 2002 : The human lamp]
[Produit 2003 : La cage à silence] [Product of 2003 : The cage of silence]
   
De tous les salons In all the expos
Les foires et les grandes expositions The trade shows and the big shows
Souvent imité Often imitated
Souvent copié Often copied
Jamais égalé Never equaled
Harrods et Wal-Mart Harrods and Walmart
Ont fait de moi Have made me
Un produit vraiment très smart A very chic product
Vraiment très smart Really very smart
Je suis le locataire I’m the renter
D’une gloire éphémère Of an ephemeral glory
Élu produit de l’année Selected as the product of the year
Grâce à mon inventivité Thanks to my inventiveness
   
Radio Monoprix Radio Monoprix
   
Susurre mon prénom Whispers my name
Les samedi midi Saturday noon’s
   
[Produit 2004 : L’imperméable chauffant] [Product of 2004 : The self-warming raincoat]
   
Mes sourires offset My crooked smiles
Font déborder Flood (overflow)
Votre boîte aux lettres Your mailbox
Cora et Shopi* Cora and Shopi
Feront de ma vie Will make my life
Un produit fini A finished product
Fini, tout est fini Over, everything is over
Je suis le locataire I am the renter
   
[Produit 2005 : Le parapluie à neige] [Product of 2005 : The snow umbrella]
   
D’une gloire éphémère Of an ephemeral glory
Élu produit de l’année Chosen as the product of the year
Grâce à mon inventivité Thanks to my inventiveness
   
[Produit 2006 : Le chewing gum au gout éternel] [Product of 2006 : Eternity-flavored chewing gum]
   
Et quand viendra l’inventaire And when it comes time to take stock
Je serai le produit I will be the product
De l’année dernière Of the past year
Élu produit de l’année Selected product of the year

Cora and Shopi are European retailers.

For a little more Christophe Willem, check out this performance of L’été en hiver (Summe in winter) from C à vous in 2014 which fits nicely with our recent exploration of the seasons.

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Photo of Christophe Willem by Patrick Subotkiewiez – https://www.flickr.com/photos/28781447@N04/19611643294/in/dateposted/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43412253

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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