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French Music – Katty Line Posted by on Dec 11, 2018 in Culture, Music, Vocabulary

December is here and the holidays are right around the corner! After the last few weeks looking back to World War I and the recent protests that have rocked France, I thought we could all use something a little lighter … something like this great groovy 1960’s hit from Katty Line.

Qui est Katty Line? / Who is Katty Line?

Even though she was one of the stars of the French 1960’s musical genre known as yé-yéI had never heard of Katty Line before I stumbled upon this YouTube clip of her hit Ne fais pas la tête (Don’t make that face). That is likely due to both the fact that she had greater success across the border in Italy and that her career was sadly cut short by a serious car accident at the beginning of the 1970’s.

Les yé-yé

While the genre (which takes its name from the English expression ‘yeah, yeah‘) spread throughout Europe, France was the epicenter of the groove-inspired  sound that featured singers like France Gall, Françoise Hardy, Sylvie Vartan, Serge Gainsbourg, Jacqueline Taïeb, Jacques Dutronc, and Sheila.

Elle est là There she is
Dans la foule In the crowd
Je la voie I see her
C’est Katty Line It’s Katty Line
Tu n’as pas dit un seul mot You haven’t said a (single) word
Depuis plus d’un quart d’heure For more than 15 minutes (lit. a quarter hour)
Ce n’est pas très rigolo It’s not very fun
Je suis là I am here
Toi tu es ailleurs You, you’re somewhere else
Ne fais pas la tête Don’t make that face / don’t pout
Ça ne te va pas It doesn’t suit you
Ne fais pas la tête Don’t be grumpy
Allons viens danser avec moi Come dance with me
Arrête-toi de fumer Stop your smoking
Et de boire verre après verre And drinking one drink after another (lit. glass after glass)
C’est idiot de s’énerver It’s stupid to get worked up
Quand on peut rire et s’amuser When you can smile and have fun / have a good time
Refrain Chorus
Tu sais bien que dans une heure You know very well that an hour from now
Tu auras tout oublié You will have forgotten anyway
Alors sois de bonne humeur So cheer up / be happy
Tout de suite et allons danser Right now … and let’s dance
Refrain Chorus

Click here to see / listen to another fun example of a yé-yé song that showed up a few years ago in the oh-so-retro American t.v. show Mad Men.

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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

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