Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

By George, I think I’m getting it!

1 Comment

Being a girl of a certain age, I can quote practically all of Disney’s 1989 The Little Mermaid. When the soundtrack came out the following spring, it was THE gift to give. Shortly after that, I was gearing up to go to Spain for (what would be) my last summer visit, and my friend Sarah made a cassette copy for me to take.

That soundtrack saved me. I spent hours and hours playing and rewinding the tape in the upstairs sitting room in my grandparents’ house. I had adopted the space as my “office” since no one ever went in there and it was quiet. I’d figured that a good way to kill time was to type all the lyrics out on an old typewriter.

And so I dutifully transcribed everything, even the sea shanty that opens the film, and for the most part I was dead right, but that little French ditty sung by the chef, Les Poissons, always bothered me since there was stuff I just couldn’t make out.

I re-watched Ariel’s adventures recently (totally holds up) and I’ll be damned if I didn’t understand everything that little Gaulish caricature mutters. For all these years, I’d assumed he was just mumbling, but he actually says “Nouvelle cuisine, Champs-Élysées, Maurice Chevalier,” which is still nonsense but are actual French words.

Bonus fun!!! The voice of the chef is the guy from Benson! And, sacrebleu! The French dub of the song, WHICH I JUST FOUND, totally proves that I was right! Have a good weekend!

Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

One thought on “By George, I think I’m getting it!

  1. It’s amazing how many people I know who think “hee-hee-hee-ho-ho-hoon” means something in French.

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