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French Music – France Gall Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in Culture, History, Music, Vocabulary

A few weeks ago I posted about the passing of the French singer France Gall. In researching her life and work, I came across this cute song that I wanted to share with you this week. Not only is it a catchy tune, but it has lots of great vocabulary, cultural tidbits, and even a little (fake) history.

 

[Je l’aime bien moi France Gall] [I really like that France Gall]
   
Qui a eu cette idée folle Whose crazy idea was it anyway
Un jour d’inventer l’école (x2) One day to go and invent school
C’est ce sacré* Charlemagne It’s that darned Charlemagne
Sacré Charlemagne Darned Charlemagne
De nous laisser dans la vie To leave for us in our lives
Que les dimanches les jeudis (x2) Nothing by Sunday and Thrusday**
C’est ce sacré Charlemagne It’s that darned Charlemagne
Sacré Charlemagne Darned Charlemagne
Ce fils de Pépin le Bref This son of Pepin the Short
Nous donne beaucoup d’ennuis Gives us plenty of problems
Et nous avons cent griefs And we have a hundred complaints
Contre contre contre lui Against against against him
Qui a eu cette idée folle Just whose crazy idea was it
Un jour d’inventer l’école (x2) To go and invent school
C’est ce sacré Charlemagne It’s that darned Charlemagne
Sacré Charlemagne Darned Charlemagne
Participe passé Past participle
4 et 4 font 8 4 plus 4 equals 8
Leçons de Français French lessons
De mathématiques Math
Que de (Que de) Nothing by (nothing but)
Travail (Travail) Work (work)
Sacré sacré sacré Darn darn darn
Sacré sacré Charlemagne Darn darned Charlemagne
   
Il aurait dû caresser He should have (spent more time)
Longtemps sa barbe fleurie (x2) (Stroking) his curly beard
Oh ! oh ! sacré Charlemagne Oh that darned Charlemagne
Sacré Charlemagne Darned Charlemagne
Au lieu de nous ennuyer Instead fo bothering us
Avec la géographie (x2) With Geography
Oh ! oh ! sacré Charlemagne  
Sacré Charlemagne  
Il n’avait qu’à s’occuper He would have been better focusing on/He should have stuck with
De batailles et de chasses Battles and hunting
Nous ne serions pas obligés We wouldn’t have to
D’aller chaque jour en classe Go to school every day / Spend every day in class
Il faut apprendre à compte (Where) we have to learn to count
Et faire des tas de dictées (x2) And do a whole pile of dictations
Oh ! oh ! sacré Charlemagne  
Sacré Charlemagne  
Participe passé (Participe passé) Past participles (Past participles)
4 et 4 font 8 (4 et 4 font 8) 4 plus 4 equals 8 (4 plus 4 equals 8)
Leçons de Français (Leçons de Français) French lessons (French lessons)
De mathématiques (De mathématiques) Math (Math)
Que de (Que de) Nothing but (nothing but)
Travail (Travail) Work (work)
Sacré sacré sacré  
Sacré sacré Charlemagne  
Car sans lui dans notre vie For without him in our lives
Il n’y’aurait que des jeudis (x2) Life would be nothing by Thursdays
Oh ! oh ! sacré Charlemagne  

* The word sacré, which literally means sacred or consecrated, shows up in many French expressions as a sort of exclamation or modifier/emphasizer. You see it in Sacrébleu (Holy smokes) or you might say of a friend “Sacré Paul, il est toujours en retard.” (Oh that Paul, he’s always late.)
**
As we’ve discussed before, many French kids have school on Saturday, with a day (or at least a half day) off during the week (and of course Sundays, too). For many years now that day off has been Wednesday, but once upon a time jeudi (Thursday) was the week day French élèves (students) had free.

Le vrai histore/The real story:

Charlemagne, who lived from 742 – 814 was king of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor ruling over what is now France as well as much of western Europe. While he wielded tremendous power and left his mark on the world, despite what the song says, one thing he didn’t do was to invent school!


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Image of Charlemagne: This work has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights. 

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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