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Take A Voyage To The 80s – French Retro Music Posted by on Feb 27, 2019 in Culture, Music

Having a wide variety of music en français to chose from is important for any French learner. Not only does it get you prepared for any impromptu karaoke nights with les Français (French people), but it also makes it easier to find une chanson (a song) that you genuinely enjoy and want to listen to and not just use for practice!

Image from Pixabay. Licensed under CC0.

I’ve covered many styles of chansons that I personally use to help make learning le français fun an interesting. We’ve gone over big hits like Formidable by Stromae and Place de la république by Cœur de Pirate, but there’s one genre that I realized is missing:

La musique des années 80
80s music

There is one big hit from la décennie (the decade) that immediately jumped out to me once I realized the hole in the blog’s musical backlog and it comes from une artiste française who perfectly captures the wacky and sometimes tacky style and feel:

Desireless

Desireless is the stage name of Claudie FritschMentrop, one of the the biggest 80s stars in France. Desireless started using the name in 1986 at the time she created son personnage androgyne et froid (her cold and androgynous persona), right before her career skyrocketed with les tubes (the hits) that everyone en France knows today. The matching sound and style gave everything a unified and dramatic image that the essence of cool at the time.

Going with that over the top look was an essential 80s classic with le tube that gave her star status:

Voyage, voyage
Travel, travel

La chanson is a fun, perfectly 80s, piece of music, complete with melodramatic music video. It came out in 1986 right when Desireless started using her new personnage, but wasn’t featured on a full album until the release of François in 1989. Voyage, voyage is also one of the rare singles en français to obtain international success, climbing charts across Europe!

Take a moment and enjoy the retro sounds of Desireless and her timeless journey. It may just come in handy the next time you go out for le karaoké!

Voici la chanson avec les paroles et une traduction anglaise (here’s the song with the lyrics and an English translation):

Voyage, voyage
Travel, travel

Au-dessus des vieux volcans
Glisse tes ailes sous le tapis du vent
Voyage, voyage, éternellement
De nuages en marécages
De vents d’Espagne en pluies d’Équateur
Voyage, voyage, vole dans les hauteurs
Au-dessus des capitales, des idées fatales
Regarde l’océan

Above the ancient volcanoes
Slide your wings under the carpet of the wind
Travel, travel, eternally
From clouds to swamps
From winds of Spain to rains in Ecuador
Travel, travel, fly high
Above the capitals, lethal ideas
Look at the ocean

Voyage, voyage, plus loin que la nuit et le jour
Voyage, dans l’espace inouï de l’amour
Voyage, voyage, sur l’eau sacrée d’un fleuve indien
Voyage, et jamais ne reviens

Travel, travel, further than night and day
Travel, in the incredible space of love
Travel, travel, on the sacred water of an Indian river
Travel, and never come back

Sur le Gange ou l’Amazone
Chez les blacks, chez les Sikhs, chez les jaunes
Voyage, voyage, dans tout le royaume
Sur les dunes du Sahara
Des îles Fidji au Fujiyama
Voyage, voyage, ne t’arrête pas
Au-dessus des barbelés, des cœurs bombardés
Regarde l’océan

On the Ganges or the Amazon
Where people of different races live
Travel, travel, throughout the kingdom
On the dunes of the Sahara
From Fiji islands to Fujiyama
Travel, travel, don’t you stop
Above barbed wires, some bombed hearts
Look at the ocean

Voyage, voyage, plus loin que la nuit et le jour
Voyage, dans l’espace inouï de l’amour
Voyage, voyage, sur l’eau sacrée d’un fleuve indien
Voyage, et jamais ne reviens

Travel, travel, further than night and day
Travel, in the incredible space of love
Travel, travel, on the sacred water of an Indian river
Travel, and never come back

Au-dessus des capitales, des idées fatales
Regarde l’océan

Above the capitals, the fatal ideas
Look at the ocean

Voyage, voyage, plus loin que la nuit et le jour
Voyage, dans l’espace inouï de l’amour
Voyage, voyage, sur l’eau sacrée d’un fleuve indien
Voyage, voyage

Travel, travel, further than night and day
Travel, in the incredible space of love
Travel, travel, on the sacred water of an Indian river
Travel, travel

Translation from LyricsTranslate.

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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.


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