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Four songs by French singer songwriters in the 1960s to listen to when learning French and the culture

The key, or one of the keys, to a culture is its music. That can definitely be said about the amazing French music that has been created over the past few decades. For some, the French music may also be a reason why picking up the language to learn. Let us have a look at a few really good songs by French singer-songwriters to listen to and understand better as we pursue learning French.

Françoise Hardy – Comment te dire adieu

This song was released in 1968 by Françoise Hardy, who was also an actress. Like so many other songs, it’s about love, and as expected, it’s about the goodbyes (“How to say goodbye to you”). The song was part of the yé-yé wave (1960s in western and southern Europe).

The combination of violin, guitar and saxophone makes for an spectacular (you guessed it, “spectaculaire”) song to listen to as you appreciate the language.

Serge Gainsbourg with L’Anamour

In 1969 this drifting song with rock undertones was released. The lyrics are strange, with mentioned photos, deckchairs, and a search in vain. He even mentions a strange story by just that. This is a good tune to close the chapter on the 1960s and especially so if you want to swing your hips more and dance quietly into the late night hours.

La Madrague by Brigitte Bardot

This summery song was released in 1963 and really refers to a property owned by Brigitte Bardot in St. Tropez. How about that, making a song about your own summer house, that’s real happiness (“c’est un vrai bonheur”). Although she might be more known for her movies, she recorded more than 60 songs and was a true Parisian.

Scooter in alley in summertime.

Jacques Brel and his song Ne me quitte pas

Okay, while we are at it, let us just continue down the path of love. This song literally goes on (and on) about not wanting to be left. If you would choose one romantic song by male French singer songwriters to listen to on summer nights, then this might very well be the one that takes the first prize. In real life, Jacques Brel was a Belgian who is known for several modern chansons.

So much more..

French music from the 1960s with the traditional chansons evolving to the more modern styles have a lot of music and joy to offer! These were just four songs and four singer songwriters. There is plenty more French music and more singers to find, whether you do it on your favorite music streaming platform or in an oldschool record shop. Have fun! Amusez-vous bien!

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