French Language Blog

My Ancestors and Their Degeneration Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Culture, Music

I’m a big fan of les chansons françaises (French songs) or rather les chansons en français (songs in French). Whether they’re from la France, le Québec, or somewhere else in la francophonie, there’s a lot of musique en français that mixes modern styles with a folkier past. One groupe I like is, Mes Aïeux (My Ancestors), a folkier group from le Québec.

Ma chanson préférée (my favorite song) of theirs is Dégéneration. A song about the changes from one generation to the next. La chanson comes across as melancholic, but in the end is about something each and every generation has in common.

La chanson isn’t sung with a thick accent canadien and is donc (thus) easy for all French speakers to understand.

Enjoy la chanson and la vidéo!

Les paroles (the lyrics) and une traduction (a translation) are below the video!

Voici la vidéo :

Les paroles en français :


Ton arrière-arrière-grand-père, il a défriché la terre
Ton arrière-grand-père, il a labouré la terre
Et pis ton grand-père a rentabilisé la terre
Pis ton père, il l’a vendue pour devenir fonctionnaire

Et pis toi, mon p’tit gars, tu l’sais pus c’que tu vas faire
Dans ton p’tit trois et demi bien trop cher, frette en hiver
Il te vient des envies de devenir propriétaire
Et tu rêves la nuit d’avoir ton petit lopin de terre

Ton arrière-arrière-grand-mère, elle a eu quatorze enfants
Ton arrière-grand-mère en a eu quasiment autant
Et pis ta grand-mère en a eu trois c’tait suffisant
Pis ta mère en voulait pas ; toi t’étais un accident

Et pis toi, ma p’tite fille, tu changes de partenaire tout l’temps
Quand tu fais des conneries, tu t’en sauves en avortant
Mais y’a des matins, tu te réveilles en pleurant
Quand tu rêves la nuit d’une grande table entourée d’enfants

Ton arrière-arrière-grand-père a vécu la grosse misère
Ton arrière-grand-père, il ramassait les cennes noires
Et pis ton grand-père – miracle ! – est devenu millionnaire
Ton père en a hérité, il l’a tout mis dans ses RÉERs

Et pis toi, p’tite jeunesse, tu dois ton cul au ministère
Pas moyen d’avoir un prêt dans une institution bancaire
Pour calmer tes envies de hold-uper la caissière
Tu lis des livres qui parlent de simplicité volontaire

Tes arrière-arrière-grands-parents, ils savaient comment fêter
Tes arrière-grands-parents, ça swignait fort dans les veillées
Pis tes grands-parents ont connu l’époque yé-yé
Tes parents, c’tait les discos ; c’est là qu’ils se sont rencontrés

Et pis toi, mon ami, qu’est-ce que tu fais de ta soirée ?
Éteins donc ta tivi ; faut pas rester encabané
Heureusement que dans’ vie certaines choses refusent de changer
Enfile tes plus beaux habits car nous allons ce soir danser…



Your great-great-grandfather, he cleared the land
Your great-grandfather, he plowed the land
And your grandfather made the land profitable
And your father sold it to become a state employee

As for you, my boy, you don’t know what you’re gonna do
In your small one bedroom way too expensive, cold in the winter
Some wants to become an owner come over you
And you dream at night to own a small plot of land

Your great-great-grandmother, she had fourteen children
Your great-grandmother had almost as many
And your grandmother had three it was enough
And your mother didn’t want any ; you were an accident

As for you, my girl, you change partner all the time
When you do something stupid, you get out of it with an abortion
But there are mornings, you wake up crying
When you dream at night of a big table surrounded by kids

Your great-great-grandfather, lived in misery
Your great-grandfather, collected pennies
And your grandfather – miracle! – became a millionaire
And your father inherited it and put it all in his RRSPs

As for you, young one, you owe your ass to the government
No way to get a loan in a banking institution
To calm your urges to hold-up the cashier
You read books about voluntary simplicity

Your great-great-grandparents, the knew how to celebrate
Your great-grandparents were swingning hard at parties
And your grandparents saw the ye-ye period
Your parents were discos, that’s where they met

As for you my friend, what do you do with your evening ?
Just turn off your TV ; you shoudn’t stay inside
Luckily in life some things refuse to change
Put on your nicest clothes because tonight we’re going dancing…

English translation from Lyrics Translate.

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.