Category Archives: French Artists

Favorite French songs about Paris

The Eiffel Tower, from Passy (16th arrondissement)

Next best thing to being in Paris? Watching movies set in Paris. Reading books about Paris. Listening to other people’s stories about Paris. Or, if all else fails, listening to favorite French songs about Paris on Youtube. This list is not exhaustive. There are many contenders! The City of Light has inspired artists depuis toujours (forever.) Voilà some of this French girl’s favorite Paris-inspired tunes interpreted by French artists, with two exceptions, (but these American-born performers shot to stardom in France.) In this list, you will find some really old songs, and some newer ones too. When I miss Paris, where I lived for many years, these songs bring back happy memories as I hum along, thinking of home. I hope you enjoy them too.

Timeless classics

From les monstres sacrés with international reach, heavyweights like Edith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier, Charles Trénet, Yves Montand, and more artists like Patachou, Berthe Sylva, Bourvil, Cora Vaucaire, or Juliette Gréco, come classics every French native will recognize. Popular culture is culture all the same. These songs (and the evocative voices that once brought them to life,) tell stories about the Paris of yesteryear. They are nostalgic, and sad on occasion. The Paris they depict can’t be conjured up easily anymore. Paris has changed. The songs, and the stories they tell, remain. They continue to play a big part in fueling the Paris mystique so many hope to experience when they flock to the French capital.

Sous le Ciel de Paris (Giraud, Dréjac, 1951) 

La Romance de Paris (Trénet, Chauliac, 1941)

A Paris (Lemarque, 1946) 

Ménilmontant (Trénet, 1938) 

 

Josephine Baker, Joe Dassin: Two Americans in Paris

La Baker” remains a beloved icon in my homeland. She was American, yet most of her rich, tumultuous life was spent in France. She eventually became a French citizen. I once wrote a story about Josephine Baker after visiting her former home in the beautiful Périgord. In this great song, she declares her love to Paris where she ruled for many years as a popular entertainer.  The chorus says it all: “J’ai deux amours, mon pays et Paris ” (I have two loves, my country and Paris.)

J’ai deux amours (Koger, Varna, Scotto, 1930) 

Joe Dassin, the American born French singer, helped a famous Parisian avenue, les Champs Elysées, achieve iconic status in French popular culture with this hit song in the 1960s. It remains one of the tunes many French natives go back to when asked to sing in public. The YouTube version of the song with lyrics has already received 15 million hits!

Les Champs-Elysées (originally Waterloo Road, French lyrics by P. Delanoë, 1969) 

 

Singing about Paris: a family business (Jacques and Thomas Dutronc)

Jacques Dutronc‘s iconic Il est cinq heures, Paris s’éveille (It’s 5:00am. Paris awakens) topped the charts when it was released in 1968 and has remained a favorite in France, especially among night owls.

Il est Cinq heures, Paris s’éveille (Lanzmann, Dutronc, 1968)

Many years later, Thomas Dutronc demonstrated he had inherited his father’s good looks and musical talent when he wrote J’aime plus Paris, (I don’t like Paris anymore.) He bemoans the disappearance of the Paris of his childhood and depicts a realistic but grim picture of the French capital, from stressed locals to packed public transportation and grey skies. Yet, he can’t help declaring his love to Paris at the end of the song, “Pourtant Paris, c’est toute ma vie. C’est la plus belle, j’en fais le pari. Il n’y a qu’elle, c’est bien l’ennui” (Yet Paris is all my life. She is the most beautiful city, I would bet on it. She’s the only one, that’s the problem.)

J’aime plus Paris (Dutronc, 2007)

 

They call it the City of Light for a reason:

Another night owl, Jean-Louis Aubert, (former leader of the French rock band Telephone,) once put his own spin on nocturnal Parisian adventures with Quand Paris s’éteint (when lights go out in Paris)

Quand Paris s’éteint (Aubert, 1987) 

Singer/Songwriter Bénabar brings his trademark humor, clever lyrics and lively beat to Paris by Night, a tribute to Parisian nightlife.

Paris by Night (Benabar, 2016)

 

More French songs about Paris: Finding inspiration in Parisian icons

Actress/Singer/Top Model Vanessa Paradis became a star at age 14. She knows a thing or two about Parisian icons. In 2011, Vanessa performs La Seine, with “M” (Matthieu Chedid.) The Seine river, the French capital’s lifeline for more than 2000 years, inspired this song, featured in the soundtrack of the movie A Monster in Paris. It went on to collect awards in France and abroad.

La Seine (M. Chedid, 2011)

 

La Parisienne: Her sense of style is the envy of many women around the world. Christophe Maë weighs in with this ironic depiction of the urban adventures of a newly-minted Parisian Bobo (Bourgeois-Bohême.) Catchy tune. Fun video clip.

La Parisienne (C. Maë, P. Ecole, 2016) 

 

Traditional Paris, new Paris. Real Paris, mythical Paris. In the end, one ineluctable truth remains: The French capital continues to inspire. In that sense, Maurice Chevalier and Mademoiselle Zaz are right: Paris will always be Paris.

Paris sera toujours Paris ( A. Willemetz, C. Oberfeld, 1939) 

What about you? Any favorite song(s) about Paris? Let me know in the comment section!

The new French Girl in Seattle website will launch in just a few weeks. I can’t wait to welcome you chez moi!  In the meantime, I am off to Paris – for real this time. Join me on Instagram and on Facebook during the trip and take a different look at Paris, through the eyes of this French native. See you there?

A bientôt.

26 Responses to Favorite French songs about Paris

  1. Music is incredibly evocative, of time and place and emotional states, so here’s my left-field nomination: Michelle by Paul McCartney (& Lennon). I know, it’s not directly about Paris and has only a few lines of French in it (but the lines you remember!) but for me at least there is something powerfully evocative of Paris about it.

    First, is the period it was inspired by and released into, ie. the 60s counter-culture; here’s Macca on it (via Wiki):
    The words and style of “Michelle” have their origins in the popularity of French Left Bank culture during McCartney’s Liverpool days. McCartney had gone to a party of art students where a student with a goatee and a striped T-shirt was singing a French song.

    …we’d tag along to these parties, and it was at the time of people like Juliette Greco, the French bohemian thing… So I used to pretend to be French, and I had this song that turned out later to be ‘Michelle’. It was just an instrumental, but years later John said: ‘You remember that thing you wrote about the French?’ I said: ‘Yeah.’ He said: ‘That wasn’t a bad song, that. You should do that, y’know.’

    McCartney continues to favour it in concerts, particularly in any Francophone place; bien sur he sang it in Washington DC with Michelle Obama sitting in the front row. The song has been covered by innumerable performers including Nina Simone, an honorary Frenchwoman!
    It won the Grammy for best song in 1967, which leads to ..

    Second, it was used by Ettore Scola for his “Paris ’68” segment in his 1983 “Le Bal” which was an extraordinary film without dialogue (shot like a silent movie but with music) that tracked the fifty-year story of French society by way of a ballroom in Paris. IIRC the version didn’t use lyrics and was a solo performance on saxophone while the riots were occurring just outside the ballroom’s basement windows. There were dozens if not hundreds of songs one could have chosen to represent “the 60s” but they chose this one.

    Most people find the movie to be powerfully evocative, and for me of Paris (even though the movie is entirely set in the ballroom) because I was living in Paris when I saw it not long after its first release (and again several more times over the years). It is also one of those movies that benefit from being seen in a theatre–back then there often was one of those small cinemas showing it somewhere in Paris.

    Michelle, ma belle
    Sont les mots qui vont très bien ensemble
    Très bien ensemble

    • Trust “Aussie-on-Ile-St-Louis” to always leave thoughtful, informative comments! I, too, enjoy Mc Cartney’s “Michelle.” Incidentally, I recently connected with another Aussie while in Paris: Oliver Gee, the creator of the entertaining “The Earful Tower” podcast. I don’t know if you have had a chance to listen to the episode we recorded at his 20th arrondissement studio last week. It was quite fun! A bientôt.

  2. Many old favorites and a couple that are new to me, so thanks for those!
    Aux Champs Elysée is a karaoke favorite. I don’t think I’ve been to a wedding or community dinner where it wasn’t played, and everybody sang along.

    • I am finally replying to you, after my whirlwind Paris trip. Thank you for stopping by once again. I am certain that living in southern France as you do, you must have heard that Joe Dassin tune quite often at family celebrations! A bientôt.

  3. If you search for “French love songs” on Youtube, you come up with several different mixes of them. The best is over 100 songs starting with Dernier Danse by Indila, followed by Stromae, and going through a lot of songs from the sixties and Julio Iglesias. “French Afro Pop” also yields a couple of nice collections. ZAZ has a mix too but unfortunately, it reapeats a lot.

    • Bienvenue Rebecca. You are right: French songs are popular out there. I do like that Indila song and almost added it, but I had to make some choices; or the list would have gone on for ever. Stromae is also a favorite of mine. I once wrotet e an article about him on the FGIS blog. Have you read it? Merci de votre visite, et à bientôt.

    • Merci Jeanne. I have just returned from Paris. What a great trip that was! I hope you could follow me on Instagram or Facebook, but if not, keep an eye out for upcoming posts here on the blog, or in social media. A bientôt!

  4. Madame Veronique,

    What a beautiful photo of Balzac’s house! And what a coincidence! Right now I’m reading a delicious book called “Balzac’s Omelette”, translated from French. I also see in the photo the Turkish flag, flying from its embassy, in what used to be the magnificent home of the Princess of Lamballe.

    And I like all your songs! Thanks to YouTube I could also find my old favorites:

    Tino Rossi – “Le plus beau tango du monde”

    http://youtu.be/nnOuoI09GAM

    and our own USA born, Eddie Constantine, singing “Si si si” – He was like a son to the immortal Edith Piaf.

    http://youtu.be/TsJvIAch-zQ

    These songs take me back to the Paris of my youth. Maybe they’re not about Paris…but they’re French after all?

    Have a safe trip home. I can imagine the excitement!

    Thank you,
    Maria

  5. Thank you for these wonderful songs. I will listen as I fly from here to there this Thursday. We are in Nice the first two weeks, so if you are in the area let us meet up if time permits.

    • Bonjour DiAnn. I hope you enjoyed Nice. Another FGIS reader, Dave, has been in Nice the last two weeks and told me the weather had been pretty rough for the area. Hopefully Paris will treat you better now. It looks like spring has finally arrived in the French capital, looking at the beautiful Cherry blossoms I spotted this week. Maybe we will meet in Europe one of these days…

      • Yes, Nice is having some Spring weather while we are here but we role with it and enjoy the city nonetheless. I have already made some forever friends here and will be back for an even longer stay next time.

  6. J’habite en France – Michel Sardou
    Michelle – Gerard Lenorman
    L’important c’est la rose – Gilbert Bécaud
    Il n’y a plus d’autre – Juliette Gréco et Guy Béart
    Pour toi – Mireille Mathieu

    • Bonjour Melinda. Some great classics here, even if they are not specifically about Paris. “J’habite en France” was a very funny (i.e. sarcastic) song about my countrymen. Did you know Michel Sardou officially retired this week when he gave his last Live performance?

  7. Dear French Girl,
    I can see from recent comments you are making that you will be moving back to France soon. I wish you weren’t as I enjoy having you here in the Seattle area, and all the posts you write about that sort of touch on French life that happens here. We haven’t met, and yet it makes me happy that you are here and I will be sad when you go. Weird, huh? Even though I will still be able to read your blog and Insta if you are doing it in France…
    Thanks for what you do!
    Sheila in Port Townsend

    • Bonjour Sheila from Port Townsend (what a lovely place you live in! I used to visit on a regular basis…) I would not worry too much about my relocating to Europe. It’s been my plan for many years and yet, you see, I am still here, blogging from Seattle, or at least the Seattle area. It will be a while before I am able to move my life back to Europe, hopefully France. In the meantime, you will still have me around. As a side note, I am touched by your message. Thank you. I appreciate your support. Keep following FGIS! The next step – as soon as I can get it done in spite of my busy work schedule – is a brand-new website. I hope you enjoy it and send me some feedback when I release it later this spring. A bientôt.

      • I hope you still use the watercolor doggie in beret w/space needle somewhere. It’s the cutest thing ever!
        In fact, please have notecards printed with this pic on front. They’d sell like hotcakes!
        Sheila in Port Townsend

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19 Responses to Meet Stromae, the new Maestro of Europe’s music scene…

  1. J’utilise mon joker et je passe mon tour.Je resterai juste sur Brel.
    Bonne chance pour mardi! je penserai à toi.
    Côte toujours sous le ciel noir, mais nous on en a vraiment besoin et on apprécie! :o)
    Bisous!

    • Je ne sais pas pourquoi, mais je me doutais que Stromae n’était pas trop ton style, Marie 🙂 Bon, mais comme je t’ai proposé aussi le grand Jacques, tu as finalement trouvé chaussure à ton pied. Merci pour les encouragements. Le moral est bon. Bisous.

  2. Bonjour ma chère amie,

    J’ai beaucoup aimé ta publication qui met à l’honneur cet artiste grandissant… Des mélodies et des textes merveilleux.
    Je te fais de gros bisous et te souhaite une bonne fin de weekend.

    • Bonjour à toi Martine. Comment va Leo le Toucan? Je viendrai faire un tour sur ton site cette semaine pour admirer une de tes dernières créations. Elles sont toujours si colorées, et on a bien besoin de couleur en ce moment, à Seattle. Je suis ravie que tu apprécies toi aussi notre jeune ami.

  3. Bonjour Véro! Alors, je sais exactement ce que je vais montrer à mes étudiants demain au lycée. On est en train d’écrire de la poèsie afin de partager sur scène, à la SLAM POÈSIE. Je crois que ce jeune homme est un bon example! WOW! Merci ma belle d’être venue me lire; je suis sûre que tu vas réussir à l’examen! La ponctuation anglaise n’est pas facile, ni la ponctuation française! BON COURAGE et tiens-moi au courant!

    BISOUS! Anita

    • Slam poésie. Excellent. Tes élèves ont bien de la chance, Anita. Moi, cruelle, je leur aurais fait écouter du Charles Trénet 🙂 Merci de tes encouragements. Je ne m’inquiète pas trop pour la section anglaise, mais un peu quand même pour les math. Ma dernière leçon remonte à 35 ans au moins! Aïe!

  4. Thank you for indroducing him here…His music is “catchy”, but it is also his drama & intensity that is compelling…The androgynous aspect of him makes me think a little of Michael Jackson who also had a powerful charisma.

  5. Hi! I wanted to say thank you for commenting on my blog & introducing me to yours! I know I’m going to be a big fan. It’s so interesting to hear your thoughts on France/French culture from a distance. Personally, I hated “Alors on danse” — couldn’t change the station fast enough! When Formidable came out on Belgian radio (I live in the North so we often listen to Belgian stations) I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s severely over-played at the moment, but I like it just the same. I think the lyrics are clever, which is a nice change from other over-played stuff like the ever-popular (& I don’t understand why) Sexion d’Assaut.

    • Bienvenue Amber. I see what you mean about “Alors on Dance.” The style is totally different from Stromae’s lastest album, and there are only so many times you can hear a song on the radio before overdosing 🙂 I am definitely getting the new album for Christmas, though. By the way, I did not mention this on your blog, but my family and I lived in Lille for years when I was younger. I am pretty familiar with Northern France (and Belgium.) A lovely city, Lille. I hear it’s changed a lot. I will have to stop by one of these days… Hope your “little friend” is behaving this week. Or maybe she has already packed her bags (with a little help from you, of course?) — A bientôt. d

  6. Hello Veronique

    I was just searching the net to see if the US has already discovered this remarkable talent. That’s how I stumbled upon your blog.

    Be sure to check out the other songs on his latest album, Racine Carrée. While awaiting Santa you can already do that on his Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/StromaeVEVO).

    Apart from the popular songs you already mentioned, my personal favorites are “Moules Frites” and “Quand c’est”. Coincidentally, they are both about nasty diseases (aids and cancer). The first one is quite cryptic; I actually didn’t get it at first. The second is a lot darker and has another nice play on words (“cancer, cancer, dis-moi quand c’est”).

    I would also advice to youtube some of his live performances. His interpretation of “Formidable” on Vivement Dimanche for instance (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdWpgV2kO9w). It almost made me cry.

    I never thought there would be another Belgian artist on the level of the great Jacques Brel, until I heard Stromae… I hope you enjoy the rest of the album.

    Greetings from Belgium! (and yes it’s raining again)

    PS: “Papaoutai” already has 80 million views on Youtube 😉

    • Merci beaucoup Nils. Thank you for leaving not just one, but TWO messages. The reason you did not see your comments appear right away is because my blog is set up so I get to approve them first. A very good tool with so many spammers in Cyberspace!

      I gave in and ordered “Racine Carrée” on Amazon last week, and I love it. “Quand c’est” is a wonderful song, isn’t it? Clever lyrics. I love the way our young friend plays with words when he writes, then plays some more when he says them. He lets his “R’s” roll the way Brel did. I guess that is the biggest resemblance between them.

      Like you, I find “Formidable” very moving, and have been able to see several live performances on YouTube, including the concert in downtown Brussels this fall.

      Greetings from Seattle, where it is not raining (yet) but the sky looks so ominous I just know we will be getting snow – or rain – in the next 48 hours.

      A bientôt, I hope.

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Deconstructing the French Woman: Marion Cotillard

Deconstructing the French Woman: Marion Cotillard

This story was originally published in 2012. It has not been updated.– French Girl in Seattle Elegant. Flawless. Inimitably stylish. Flaunting a certain Je-ne-sais-quoi. Exuding a subtle confidence. Ah, the French woman. A timeless myth still in the making. How she intrigues, and captivates around the world. Visit your local bookstore, or browse online, under “French style,” “French…

84 Responses to Deconstructing the French Woman: Marion Cotillard

  1. Thank you for featuring Marion Cotillard, she is one of my favorite actresses. I recently learned that her father, Jean-Claude Cotillard, was the mime in the 1987 “French in Action” educational film that some of us were exposed to while studying French.

    • Very interesting information. I knew her parents were artists too, and likely very supportive of all Marion’s creative endeavors. I remember French in Action and have used recommended it to students in the past. I guess I will have to watch it again …

  2. Elle est belle, elle a du talent, elle a la grace de la ‘vraie’ femme, la delicatesse. Elle incarne le reve, mais elle est aussi authentique, accessible, naturelle.

  3. Such a gorgeous post, Véronique. I savored every picture and all of your delicious words. I have spent much of my professional life deconstructing the French woman and her style in an effort to explain it to my students and my clients.

    I do think it is about the way they approach perfection. I believe French women and their men find perfection rather boring (I agree); so, they come just to the edge of it and then take a step or two back. So much more interesting and original.

    Qu’en penses-tu?

    • I like your theory, M-T, and I agree with it. Marion is actually a good example. Even when she wears traditional outfits, she always throws in a “quirky” detail to stir things up: the shoes, or the way she does her hair. That’s how you can keep surprising people I guess, by not being where everyone expects you to be… As for the Jeanne Moreau comment, I believe you are right. I had not noticed until you mentioned it… Bien vu!

    • M-T, tu as l’oeil d’un pro!
      And I agree with you and with Véronique: maybe the point is to approach perfection rather than trying to be perfect (= static, constantly posing). Marion Cotillard’s beauty is fascinating because it’s not fake. Therefore each little imperfection (very little indeed) she may have becomes part of her charm…

  4. An exquisite tribute to, and analysis of, the quintessential French Woman. Nodding in agreement as I read every thought, but i suspect you nailed it at the last – that about life being too short to take oneself too seriously. Perhaps that is the secret to both elegance and happiness, n’est-ce pas? xx

  5. Beautiful post! Ms. Cotillard is a favorite of mine. Such chic, class and attitude, (but the right kind of attitude, of course!) She reminds me a little of Catherine Deneuve, who i’ve also always loved. Not in appearance so much as in a certain way about her. And really, the picture of her wearing a hat! 🙂 She looks even MORE glamorous and poised, if that’s possible? Wonderful photos. Thanks so much for this post, Veronique!

    • Marion definitely has Catherine Deneuve’s elegance, but I agree with you, they also seem to share a personality trait: a desire to make their own choices, and to do things their way – a rebel side, in short. I like that about them.

  6. Now, please repeat after me, and write 100 times : I must not make Owen’s heart race like that, I must not make Owen’s heart race like that, I must not…

    But what I really want to know, is how on earth did you get to take all these lovely photos of her ? And can I please, pretty please, tag along with you the next time you do a photo shoot with Marion ? 🙂

    • I must not make Owen’s heart race like that, I must not make Owen’s heart race like that… 🙂 Pauvre Mr Toad. I am sorry. Are you feeling better now? 🙂 To answer your question: It was an easy photo shoot. Marion la Magnifique and I are great copines, you know?! (I wish!) – A bientôt.

  7. Hello Veronique

    You presented this beautiful example of a classic French woman. Beautiful, yet unique and so attractive. She has a beautiful figure and is also a great model.

    You have such insight into the French persona. It takes one to recognize one.

    Have a glorious week

    Helenxx

    PS I am going back and looking at how she exited the car. Can I look this elegant stepping from our jeep suv?
    hkt

    • Well thank you very much, Helen! Like most women (French or otherwise) I can only look at Marion and drool… 🙂 As for “Operation SUV,” I would not recommend attempting that move in a short skirt, no matter what 🙂

  8. One of your best posts Veronique! I enjoyed this exquisite and delicious post to the last drop.
    You certainly know all the quoi in Je-ne-sais-quoi first hand as a French Girl and you’ve selected perfect images of beautiful and immensely talented Marion Cotillard. What a story you’ve compiled! Once again a tiny prove that French woman style is impossible to imitate no matter how hard one tries, packed in Dior/Chanel head to toe.
    How ridiculous looked fashionista Carrie Bradshaw dressed Paris style when in Paris.

    The essence will be always lost in translation.

    Thank you for putting it all together in such a fun way.
    http://jewelyettofind.blogspot.ca

    • Bonjour Natalie, and thank you for the kind comment. Marion was such an easy “subject!” I honestly did not see a bad photo of her online. That is quite a feat! She looks equally good when she is dolled up by a designer, or “au naturel” on a paparazzi shot. As for Carrie B. I do have a soft spot for that lively, adventurous New York girl. Her fashion choices were not always subtle, but she wore everything with such aplomb (including her Paris outfits) It was hard not to be impressed! 🙂

  9. C’est incroyable ma chère Véronique ! vendredi soir, j’ai revisionné “les petits mouchoirs” et aujourd’hui je lis ta sublime publication !… oui quel talent naturel qu’a notre petite Marion Cotillard !
    Je te remercie pour ce merveilleux panel commenté de photos.
    Gros bisous à toi

    Je t’envoie un petit rayon de notre timide soleil, mais bien français!

    • Bonjour Martine. Comment va Leo le Toucan? J’aime beaucoup “Les Petits Mouchoirs.” Un très beau film, un peu long parfois, mais les acteurs sont tellement sympatiques! Merci pour le rayon de soleil. C’est la gadoue à Seattle, et on en a bien besoin!

  10. Partie de rien, Marion Cotillard a su, par son côté simple de Française ordinaire, faire rêver toutes les femmes. Sans doute par ce qu’il est plus facile de s’identifier à elle plutôt qu’à Angelina Jolie.

  11. You have chosen a wonderful, varied selection of images, Véronique. The key to French style seems to be ‘understated’. Marion always looks so natural without heavy make up and she just excudes elegance. I agree that it’s that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that many French women have (Inès de la Fressange is another perfect example) So many try to imitate but fail mainly because it’s not just about how much you spend but something much more subtle.
    P.S.I must keep practising getting out of a car like Marion. If only I had her shoe collection too!
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Bonjour miss b. That photo of Marion getting out of the car seems to have inspired more people than just Moi! 🙂 Natural elegance is not something everyone can achieve, but understated outfits and make up, we can all work on…

  12. Marion Cotillard absolutely defines the classic French woman. Both her and Audrey Tautou (in my opinion) have this particular quality about them, of managing to look glamorous and natural at the same time. Of course, their looks help a bit, it’s not like all of us French women can claim to look that amazing wearing the basic jeans, black jumper and mascara combo.

    • Bonjour to you. Yes, Audrey Tautou is very French too, but more in a “gamine” sense… I find her less convincing than Marion as a femme fatale (something she has tried in a couple of movies.) She was a perfect choice for the Chanel movie however, as she pulled off quite successfully elegance and tomboy-ish looks. Not an easy feat. No, not all French women look as naturally elegant as Marion, but that does not mean they can’t try… 🙂

  13. Très jolie, certes, mais dès qu’elle parle, qu’est-ce qu’elle est nunuche..(je vais me faire lyncher!:o)je préfère une Inès de la Fressange, beaucoup plus pétillante.
    Oui , je suis allée à Notting Hill et Porto Bello, je suis allée partout!:o) Londres est vraiment ma ville préférée à moi aussi, un vrai tourbillon, un régal!J’ai adoré l’autre côté de Kensington, vers le Royal Albert Hall.Lorsque nous déménagerons là-bas, nous pourrons donc nous retrouver dans les jardins, au milieu des écureuils! :o)
    Pour l’instant, c’est valises , lessives et rattrapage de boulot..
    un peu déphasée!
    Bises!

    • Ah, enfin des nouvelles de ma “Niçoise” préférée! 🙂 Ravie que ton séjour à Londres se soit aussi bien passé. Tu as raison: Nous pourrons peut-être nous y retrouver un jour. Vous y êtes restés pendant les trois semaines?

      En ce qui concerne Marion, tu as raison: Tu risques de te faire lyncher. Si j’ai bien compris, ton message pour notre jolie star c’est “Sois belle et tais-toi?” 🙂 C’est bien que tu mentionnes Ines. Je prépare un petit quelque chose sur elle et une autre grande dame du cinema français (mais pas forcément celle que tout le monde attend…)

  14. What a great post about a great actress and an interesting beauty.
    Proof that such a combination can exist in the often shallow and mindless world of celebrity.
    As we warm up for summer in this part of the world (Perth, Western Australia), you prepare for the winter months ahead.
    Wishing you a clear day, Joanna

    • Bonjour Joanna. Ah, summer sounds nice as we are bracing for another round of rain here in soggy Seattle. We can’t complain. We had a nice long, dry summer – while it lasted.

      As for Marion, what I like the most about her is that she manages to stay out of the public eye when not working, at least in France. Interestingly, all of the paparazzi shots of her/her family I found online were taken in the United States while she worked there…

  15. She is one of the very few movie stars left who really has that old Hollywood glamour about her. She very easily could go back in time and be a major film star in the 1950s. It would be a flawless transition because she’s just so classy and naturally stunning.

    I really love this post. I love how she gets out of a car. I’m embarrassed when I think of American celebrities getting out of cars and how they simply don’t care how much they expose when they do. Ugh.

    And as for those books on how to be “French” haha. Well, that’s what France gets for being so chic and stylish. Everyone wants a piece! I will admit though I got that “French Women Don’t Get Fat” book from the library a few years ago because a friend of mine swore she lost 15 pounds using it. I enjoyed the recipes and the stories and I like the idea of being able to eat what I want, when I want and not gain weight. But living in the American Midwest, it seems living like the French (according to that book) is almost impossible. There are no charming bakeries in my neighborhood to go grab a croissant whenever I feel the urge. We have Krispy Kreme, haha. And the portion sizes here are out of control. That is one thing I envy about Europe. Everyone is accustomed (it seems) to small portions. You buy lunch and get a small sandwich. Here, I grew up where a lunch portion could feel a family of four. :S

    • Hello Jenny. I agree with you: Marion is timeless, and she could easily act in an old black and white movie.

      I loved your comments about trying to live like the French in the American Midwest… What? No French bakeries in your neck of the woods? Shocking! How can people LIVE like that? 🙂 Hey, don’t beat yourself up too much. Krispy Kreme ain’t that bad, and I am pretty sure a French pastry like the Millefeuille (Napoleon,) would do just as much damage as a doughnut, portion control or not!

      Thank you for stopping by, my friend.

    • Bonjour Kim. I would have to say A Good Year is a favorite of mine. In fact, I re-ordered the DVD just this week. I had lost the original one I got several years ago! Hilarious movie; chocked full of stereotypes (about the French, the Brits, and the Americans…) Russel and Marion had pretty good chemistry, I thought. I could never quite figure out why the movie had flopped when it came out?!

  16. Love her!! That was delightful, Veronique, thank you!

    The ‘Kardashian Era’ you eluded to really is so tacky.

    We used to have Jackie, Audrey, Grace….true ladies who lit-up the world!

    Marion is like that. Truly adorable and admirable. Love her films! Like Audrey, she so becomes the character.

    Lovely post!!

    • Cours Saleya in Nice? I’d have to say I have had a couple of good meals at 26 Cours Saleya, not a small feat in that very touristy and overpriced area of town. My favorite café (for breakfast or Sunday brunch) is in a small street in the Old Town, two minutes away from Cours Saleya, “Café Marché,” rue Barillerie. They offer free WiFi too.

  17. What a pleasure to see all these photos of gorgeous Marion!
    She is phenomenal, both as an actress and as a woman. She has played and can play so many different roles…
    How many great movies since the first one (Taxi) which revealed her talent! A lot!
    She is the best ambassador ever to French women. We can be proud of her… (though we all know she is not representative of the average French woman as her beauty is outstanding)
    Not sure I am allowed to post a link with my comment I will try though: it’s Lady Dior campaign (video) with Marion… A short movie but a great “chef d’oeuvre”. Hope you can enjoy it.

    xo,
    Anne

    • Marion Cotillard is definitely divine and irresistible in this clip. And the way Dior makes fun of itself in this video is flabbergasting! I used to work for Dior some twenty years ago and at that time it would have been totally inappropriate to make fun of the brand… I can’t believe how bold and modern Dior has become. To me Dior is now miles ahead of Chanel regarding communication. Les temps changent!!!

  18. I love Marion. Enjoyed all the pictures. She made A Good Year a very good movie in my opinion. We visited several of the movie locations when we were in Provence last week including the old house that Max inherits from his uncle.

  19. New to your blog Veronique! So happy a reader made me aware…not sure how I’ve missed you in the two years we’ve been in Seattle.

    I loved this tribute…very inspiring!

  20. She’s beautiful but not very bright as she said she believes we knocked down the buildings on 9-11 ourselves because they were old. Seriously these people should just act and not speak too much in public.
    Sheila

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Zaz, a rising star in French music

Zaz, a rising star in French music

  Zaz, bête de scène Zaz, born to be on stage (unknown photographer) Today, I would like to introduce you to a very special young lady. Her name is Isabelle Geffroy, but in France and in Europe, she is known as “Zaz.” Zaz became a “Star” just three years ago, but she has been involved…

57 Responses to Zaz, a rising star in French music

  1. Coucou, effectivement, pas de liste à jour sur ma sidebar depuis 3 semaines maintenant. Et pas de solution connue..
    Pour une fois, nos avis divergent. Autant je te suis à fond sur Mamma Mia, autant je te laisse Zaz. Pas ma tasse de thé.Je te souhaite une excellente semaine, et t’envoie un peu de soleil que je joints à ce commentaire!(au moins virtuellement, avant le vrai)
    Bises!

    • Ah, notre premiere “brouille,” Malyss! — Je plaisante. Pas de souci. Tous les gouts sont dans la nature, dit-on… Et, au fait, merci pour ce rayon de soleil. J’en avais bien besoin. Je crois que je vais installer un compteur sur le blog: “J – xxx avant Nice” – Chouette, non? 😉

  2. The video with kids is irresistible.
    Love Zaz for a couple of years and discovered her accidentally. Her record was playing while the passengers were boarding flight Paris-Toronto. She is so genuine and unpretentious and original. Thank you.
    Natalie

  3. Salut Véronique! I decided to drop by as I hadn’t had any new posts from you on my dashboard and I was curious – just as well as I see you have had some problems with it. Anyway – great post about Zaz. As you know I’m a huge fan and listening to her music is always so uplifting. http://missbbobochic.blogspot.com/

  4. Dearest Véronique,

    So sorry to read that you still have not solved the Blogger problem. Did you double-check your Publishing link, that it is under you ‘main’ blog name and not the latest blog? If I do right click on French Girl in Seatle, the latest blog shows. When I right click on my own than the main page opens and my newest post shows up on the side bar. Just try this again…
    Zaz does have some talent and she’s so down to earth! Hope she will hold her own for quite some time to come.
    Love to you,

    Mariette

  5. Voilà un reportage très intéressant sur une chanteuse que je ne connaissais pas.
    Bonne journée, Véronique, en espérant que ton printemps est aussi beau que celui d’Antibes.

    • Merci Richard. Désolée de reporter que le printemps est loin d’être arrivé à Seattle… Nous avons l’habitude et nous estimerons heureux si les temperatures remontent avant la mi-juillet! Je crois que tu apprecierais Mademoiselle Zaz. Elle est charmante et très douée!

  6. I was ignorant of Zaz – she has a wonderful tone and strength in her voice. I will be adding her to my collection of French CD’s……too old for the online purchasing thing!
    Bisous

    • Dearest Mariette. I can’t thank you enough for all your support and technical help over the last few weeks. I will not forget your kindness. It looks like, thanks to Le Husband, we are now in the clear, hopefully for a while. I agree with you: What a huge waste of time! Hugs to you and Georgia!

  7. Zaz has got a great voice and an incredible smile, so cute!

    I’m sorry to hear about your problems with Blogger. You have my sympathy because I had a lot of trouble with my feed at the back end of last year too.
    In the end I got so exasperated I actually deleted my blog and started again.
    Glad to hear you’ve sorted things out!

  8. I loooooove this post!! Fantastic write-up, Veronique. I had never heard of Zaz before and I’m so pleased I know about her now. Her voice is wonderful. I listened to all these videos, by the way. Haha. She has a very smoky yet whimsical tone to her voice. It’s very unique. I think my favorite song is the fairy one. I’m going to have it stuck in my head for the rest of the day now. Well, the beat at least. I don’t know the lyrics. 😛

    • Oh no. The fairy song is completely addictive. Really hard to get out of your head once you have listened to it a couple of times. I should have warned you! 😉 You can go to that website I mentioned for the lyrics. They are a little strange and I am not sure I understand them 😉

    • It was a feed problem. Le Husband fixed it last night. Thank you for trying to help. Most people were clueless, still it appears to be a common issue on Blogger. I am lucky Fred got rid of the problem, but how frustrating!

  9. It’ so late here in Perth but I couldn’t not listen to Zaz, how fabulous is she!! I love her jazzy style, I haven’t heard ‘scatting’ in French before, tres groovy! I think Edith Piaf would have thoroughly enjoyed her version of La vie en Rose, so good! We still have a few small music stores here in Perth that sell international music so will see if I can find her CD OR even better I’ll get Aimee to download it pour moi, merci beaucoup Veronique et bon nuit!

    • Ah, Zaz kept you up, then, Grace! 😉 Downloading her songs might be the easiest way to go. Let me know what you think once you have listened to all her songs. ENJOY THE BEAUTIFUL AUSTRALIAN SUMMER (I wish!)

  10. She is a girl after my own heart. Thanks for sharing. She reminds me of Pink a little…maybe her raspy voice and maybe a little of her attitude. Fun post…now let me go listen to more of her songs. =) Bon weekend!

  11. My husband said that you were in the shop today and loved it. Thank you and I would have liked to meet you..maybe next time. Nice blog!

    • Bonjour Annie. I stopped by today indeed, and had a fabulous time in your shop! I took pictures of some favorite things and will be showing them on Le Blog soon if that is all right with you! Eddie is a sweetheart! (and your husband very friendly too! 😉 A bientot!

  12. Oh I love hearing about Zaz. I especially liked “Padam, Padam”. When I was in Paris last January, the singers and dancers on rue Mouffetard sang that song. Thank you for introducing me to this delightful new voice from France.
    V

  13. I have come here to check for your answer, but I haven’t found my comment! In the last few months, this has happened the second time. I really love Zaz; I have been listening to her on YouTube for several years.

  14. Ohhhh, i love this post, because i love ZAZ too! The funny thing is that i loved her before my move in France. And this is strange because the french music isn’t so common abroad, particularly in Italy.

    Anyway, i love her voice. My favorite song is obviously the happy “Je veux”, but also “Eblouie Par La Nuit”, that instead is really sad.

    I love special and unusual voices. For example now in France have a new young star, that is “coeur de pirate”. A really special and sweet voice. Do you know her?

  15. HI ZAZ IS AMAZING AND I LOVE HER AND HER SONGS SO MUCH AND I ENJOIED SO MUCH BY KNOWING HER LIVE SO THANK YOU BIG KISS TO ZAZ

  16. Veronique, loved your blog! Love ZAZ, she’s amazing, too! You’re involved with four of my passions in life: English, French, music and traveling. What’s not to like about your blog. Congratulations!!!
    Have you ever heard of Anne Limpscomb? She’s also from Seattle and, due to a health condition, lives part-time in Paris every year. I also love her videos and blog.

  17. Bonjour Veronique, j’adore votre blog! I realize this is an older post but I found it because I was looking for Zaz…I love French music and I think she’s great ! I’ve been studying French language for two years in anticipation of a long vacation in France later this year. I hope to read more of your stories here ! Merci beaucoup !

    Jetgirl visiting via Forty, c’est Fantastique

  18. i listened to her song at the end of the Movie ” Dead Man Down” and since then cannot stop to listen to here songs, on you tube, day and night, ever since.

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19 Responses to The extraordinary life of Josephine Baker

  1. Words cannot describe how much I love Josephine Baker. And words cannot describe how much I love this post. 🙂

    What a wonderful, thorough biography! Thank you so much. I am a fan of hers (seen a few films) and always admired her. But I honestly didn’t know all there was to know. Now I do!

  2. Dearest Véronique,

    This has been one of the most enjoyable and eye-opening posts I’ve read in a LONG time! It took me a while to listen to all the interviews and watch the videos but it was worth while!
    La Baker was indeed a True STAR! So refreshing to read, see and hear something like that at this time and age. She was smart; speaking indeed fluently French and her performance was extraordinary.
    Like you write: ‘Move over, Angelina Jolie!’ And what a noble person compared witth the emotion-centered aproach of Ophrah Winfrey who was only greedy!
    It also spoke volumes about Grace Kelly and even La B.B.! By the way, B.B. impressed me with her natural speech, off the top of her head without a teleprompter as our B.O. is using!
    And what an honor for being recognized by the French military for all her accomplishments; some very heroic.
    A grande dame indeed.
    Thanks for sharing this with us. Those that don’t stop by to read this post miss out big.

    Lots of love,

    Mariette

  3. Merci beaucoup Mariette! So happy you liked reading about Josephine’s life– and what a life it was. I am sure she was not easy to live with. In fact, she was well known for being hot tempered. Still, she was trying so hard to be a decent human being. Surely, in this day and age, this counts for something. A bientôt! V.

  4. What an amazing post Veronique. The depth of detail is quite remarkable. I was aware of JB and her loving relationship with France, but to in the detail you provided. Many thanks for the fun and educational post.

  5. Wonderful post Veronique ! An excellent article, which will surely encourage some to dig even deeper to learn more about JB and her life… but already you have given us plenty of food for thought and appreciation…

  6. Wonderful story about Josephine Baker, what a fascinating woman. To her imitators – move over! When Steve and I were in New York city some years ago, we went to the restaurant “Josephine’s” which is operated by one of her sons. It was very fun, energetic and lively place, never forget it. Continue your great posts!

  7. — Craig. Merci. Your former French home was not that far from Les Milandes. You and Josephine were practically neighbors! 😉
    — Owen. Many thanks. What are you doing online? I thought you were on vacation 😉
    –Cherie. Merci, as always, for the support and encouragement. I certainly hope you have added “Les Milandes” to your list of places to see while visiting le Perigord this fall!

  8. I always felt that Josephine Baker was a star that cannot be emulated, in any detail or aspect. The most impressive of her images is when she is wearing the banana skirt. Thank you for the wonderful and informative post.

  9. What a wonderful post! This is the first time I have read your blog, but not the last…

    I have always known about Josephine Baker, but you have really opened my eyes – I learned so much from you today! I am at work, so cannot see the videos, but I will come back tonight on my home computer.

    Thank you so much for your wonderful informative writing!

  10. — Olga. Merci my friend. I love the banana skirt too. There are a lot of pictures of Josephine wearing it out there. I even saw pics of Beyonce “imitating” Josephine in a banana skirt of her own!
    — Bisbee. Welcome to my blog and thank you for leaving some feedback. I am glad you enjoyed reading about Josephine’s life. Come back anytime!

  11. v-i cannot believe my computer did not let me see this post until last night…i had a very slight knowledge of La Baker- but was ALWAYS curious …. and as owen put it, i will begin the gathering and reading quest, as i find stories such as her’s quite rewarding -in that there is this indomitable spirit…difficult to live with, bien sur…spirit and difficulty often walk hand in hand. my girl has always been edith piaf-love her, love her story and love her music. maybe someday you will do a post about her…as i have said before the methodology of your presetation/education is simply BEYOND excellent! so glad i finally got to visit and talk. as always looking forward to the next one….stay well -g

  12. — g– I have missed you this week, but assumed you were on the coast, chillin’ 😉 Thank you for stopping by. Ah, Edith Piaf… You may have inspired another story… Did you notice I just added a category named “Les Grands/Great Ones”? This one has Edith’s name all over it! A bientot!

  13. Bonjour, elle a aussi nous dans un film d’Edmond T Greville qui s’appelait princesse Tam Tam…
    On peut en trouver des extraits sur YouTube….amities

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