French Language Blog

Getting in the mood . . . Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Culture, Music

… For France! At the end of le mois d’août (the month of August), my family and I are heading to France to celebrate a wedding. It has been over three years since my last trip to France, and I can hardly wait. Three years is a long time to be away from a place I love so.

When I’m missing France, I have a couple of tricks I use to keep it alive in my heart and mind. We’ve already talked about some of my favorite movies about France, and you know I love to read (BDs and books). You also know I love la musique (music).

Just about any good French music can put me in the mood. But there are two artists in particular (neither French, but both with their finger on something uniquely French) whose songs I find to be so perfectly French that I know I can always count on them when I really want that certain je ne sais quoi français!*

Dimitri from Paris

A French DJ and music producer, Dimitri is not actually French (he was born in the UK to Turkish parents) but grew up in France and began his career on French radio. His music draws on influences as diverse as disco, house, 50’s and 60’s film soundtracks, and electronica. His album Sacrebleu (which features the song below) is witty, groovy, and oh-so-swinging-Paris. And it’s the perfect accompaniment for l’apero.

Two phrases might be useful as you enjoy the following clip (video):
Vous dansez, mademoiselle? / Do you dance, miss? (Or: Would you like to dance, miss?)
Je ne suis pas celle que vous cherchez.
(I am not the one you’re looking for.)

Malcom McLaren –

Perhaps most famous for his role in launching punk in the 70’s, McLaren was a true Renaissance Man working in fashion, art, music, and business. His two CD set Paris features some of France’s most famous females singing songs that are not French per se, but drip France! In addition to Catherine Deneuve (below) the album also includes songs with musician Françoise Hardy and fashion designer Sonia Rykiel.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

* One of those great untranslatables! ‘je ne sais quoi’ translates to ‘I don’t know what’, but it really means more ‘something I can’t quite put my finger on’.


If you haven’t seen it yet, here is a fun new preview for the upcoming Valerian movie.

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.


  1. Marian:

    Somebody needs to proofread your articles. “Who’s” does not mean “whose”. The English language is important also.

    • Tim Hildreth:

      @Marian Marian, Thanks for your comment. I always appreciate sharp-eyed readers helping me make sure my English and my French are spot on. That being said, you must be seeing an old version of this post as I fixed that typo almost two weeks ago!