French Language Blog

Simply French Rock Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Music, Vocabulary


Everyone agrees, Noir Désir is a household name on the French Rock scene.

Their song “Un Jour en France” (“A Day in France”) has perhaps not reached the standing of a “classic” yet, but it does offer a pretty good idea about the message this band conveys through its music.  

Noir Désir’s Un Jour en France” (“A Day in France”)
Au bistro comme toujours
In the bistros as always
Il y a les beaux discours
There are the beautiful speeches
Au poteau les pourris
Get the rotten to the whipping post
Les corrompus aussi
The corrupt too
Dents blanches et carnassiers
White teeth and carnivors
Mais à la première occasion
But on the first occasion
Chacun deviendrait le larron
Everyone would become the scoundrel
De la foire au pognon qui se trame ici
Of the dough bedlam that’s going on here
Allez danse avec Johnny
Come on, dance with Johnny [allusion to Johnny Halliday!]
Se rappellent de la France
They remember France
Ont des reminiscences
Got recollections
De l’ordre, des jeux, l’essence
Of order, games, gas
Quand on vivait mieux
When we lived better
Il y avait Paul et Mickey 
There was Paul and Mickey (Mickey is of course “Mickey Mouse”, and by extension, the “American culture”)
On pouvait discuter
We could talk
Mais c’est Mickey qui a gagné
But it’s Mickey who won
Allez d’accord, n’en parlons plus
So, all right, let’s not talk about it anymore
Un autre jour en France
Another day in France
Des prières pour l’audience
Prayers for the audience
Et quelques fachisants autour de 15%
Some fascists bordering the 15% (a reference to the 1995 Presidential Elections, in which the FN got 15% of the votes.)
Charlie, défends-moi !
Charlie, protect me! [Allusion to the left-wing “Charlie Hebdo“…]
C’est le temps des menaces
Its the era of threats
On a pas le choix, pile ou face
We’ve got no choice, heads or tails
Et aujourd’hui je jure que rien ne se passe
And today I swear, nothing’s going on
Toujours un peu plus
Always a bit more
FN, souffrance
FN, suffering [Front National: Jean-Marie Le Pen’s right-wing party]
Qu’on est bien en France !
We’re so good in France!
C’est l’heure de changer la monnaie
It’s time to switch currency [From le Franc to l’Euro]
On devra encore imprimer le rêve de l’Égalite
We still got to print the dream of Equality
On devra jamais supprimer celui de la fraternité
Fraternity should never be removed
Restent des pointillés
“Ellipsis” remains (Or “dot-dot-dot”, “… Égalité, Fraternité“: What else is left from the celebrated motto, if it’s not “la… LIBERTÉ” !
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  1. Chris Slee:

    I love Noir Desir! I reckon their “Comme Elle Vient” and “l’homme presse” are better, though.

  2. andreas:

    Bonjour, Hichem!
    La chanson est vraiment belle. Melodie et sens. Et j’espère toujours les matériels sur les Celtes.