Building Bridges Across the Atlantic Through French Song

No one could have said it better than Yves Duteil in his song “La langue de chez nous”… “It's a beautiful language, who’s words are superb and who’s history is shared through its accents…”  His words, hummed for the first time more than 25 years ago still resound today in the heads and in the hearts of many Francophones from one side of the Atlantic Ocean to the other.

If you’re not familiar with this song, here is a wonderful inetrpretation by Geneviève Jodoin who appeared on Télé-Québec’s show Belle et Bum.

The Rendez-vous de la Francophonie challenges you not to get goose bumps! What’s your favorite French song?

Sea of French Songs

The repertoire of French music is huge and almost infinite. However, some songs just seem to pass the test of time. On one side of the ocean, we can think of certain pieces of French music from some of the greatest singers of all time, such as Jacques Brel, Charles Trenet or Edith Piaf. On the other side, it’s hard to forget the success of Beau Dommage, Félix Leclerc or Gilles Vigneault.

Overseas Success

Today, many French-speaking Canadian artists become popular overseas. One just has to remember back to 1955 and the resounding success of Quebec singer Mario Pelchat in Lebanon. His song “N’importe où” made him the most popular French singer of this Middle Eastern country. A fitting title all things considered.

For his part, the singer Daniel Lavoie from Manitoba continues to innovate more than 30 years after the start of his career. He launched a new CD this week "J’écoute la radio" on which he sings a duet with the French living legend Renaud. The singer will soon produce his show in France and Russia.

French music travels well, both through time and around the world and THAT is the strength of Francophonie.

Sea of ??Information

The International Organisation of La Francophonie’s website the Franc-parler presents a very interesting file about French songs. Looking for French musical ideas? The file provides a multitude of information and resources available on the Web. You will find links to portals dedicated to French music, magazines, blogs, festivals, radio websites and much more.

Because of its beauty, the French language will continue to thrill us with its words. Because it builds bridges that cross the Atlantic, it is the strength we need to live in harmony.

Philippe Daoust