French Language Blog

Tribute to Michel Delpech Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Music

Michel Delpech, a famous French singer, songwriter, and actor, passed away on January 2, 2016 after a long battle with throat cancer. Delpech first gained attention in the 1960s and became a beloved musician to the French. In the mid sixties, Delpech grew famous from his interpretation of “Chez Laurette,” and his version of the song has become the definitive version ever since. He also gained attention for such songs as “Il y a des jours où on ferait mieux de rester au lit,” and, of course, “Wight is Wight,” a song dedicated to the famous rock festival on the Isle of Wright that sold over a million copies in Europe when it was released in 1969.

In “Wight is Wight,” Delpech croons about the festival’s fans:

“Ils sont arrivés dans l’île nue
Sans un bagages et les pieds nus
Comme un cyclone inattendu
Comme une fleur avant la saison
Comme une pluie de papillons
A laquelle on a jamais cru.

Wight is Wight
Dylan is Dylan
Wight is Wight
Viva Donovan
C’est comme un soleil
Dans le gris du ciel
Wight is Wight
Hippie, hip hip hip
hip hip hip
hip hip hip

Toi qui a voulu t’emprisonner
As tu le droit de condamner
Celui qui cherche à s’évader
Chacun mène sa vie comme il veut
Tu ne peux plus baisser les yeux
Car aussi vrai que tu es né.”

At the height of the peace-loving sixties, Delpech created a French hit about losing oneself in music and not caring about the judgment of others. Set to a catchy rhythm, this song also gained fans for capturing the spirit of the decade.

A moving obituary to the singer in Le Monde, elaborated: “Avec son sourire chaleureux, sa séduction tranquille dans la voix, bien posée, juste, assez économe d’effets, Michel Delpech aura été, du milieu des années 1960 à la fin des années 1970, l’un des interprètes les plus populaires de la chanson française…l restera l’interprète d’une bonne trentaine de grands succès, souvent de jolies romances, un rien nostalgiques, dont il signe les textes, allant parfois vers un léger commentaire social, aux mélodies bien tournées.”

Check out some of Delpech’s most famous music videos, or tubes, here throughout the 1960s and 1970s. And make sure to listen to “Wight is Wight” below.

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About the Author: Elizabeth Schmermund

Bonjour tout le monde! I'm a freelance writer, doctoral student, mom, and Francophile. I'm excited to share some of my experiences living in France, as well as the cultural nuances that I've learned being married to a Frenchman, with all of you. To find out more about me, feel free to check out my website at A la prochaine!


  1. June:

    Thank you for today’s blog, in particular, it was a real gift.

    • Elizabeth Schmermund:

      @June You are welcome, June!