Le cul entre les deux chaises

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


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French Bandstand: Elle me dit

Bienvenue à French Bandstand! This is where I adopt the motto established by Dick Clark on “American Bandstand” and introduce you to French music that’s “got a good beat and you can dance to.”

I have a Best Songs Ever playlist that’s very hard to get into. The songs must be evocative of a specific moment or time in my life as well as being able to make me happy (without fail) every time they come on. There are great sad songs, but they’re on a separate playlist because I don’t want them to come up in the rotation much due to their inherent lack of fun.

Anyway, it’s so tough to get on the list that the most recent track is from 2011. (The oldest one is “Tighten Up,” from 1968.) Today’s artist is a guy who is Lebanese and American and grew up in Paris and London but this is his first single complètement en français.

Voici, je vous présente Mika’s “Elle me dit”

Learn something

The song is called “She tells me” and is about a mother who chastises her son about how he’s wasting his life away in silly pursuits. It starts with her saying that he should write a happy song and become a millionaire and not end up like his father or his brother. (Ouch.)

The chorus, which is pretty great, begins

Elle me dit “c’est ta vie          /       She tells me, “It’s your life
fais ce que tu veux tant pis   /       do what you want, I don’t care
un jour tu comprendras       /       one day you’ll understand
un jour tu t’en voudras”      /        one day you’ll wish you had.”

And then it goes into the super jumpy dance part with repeats of “pourquoi tu gâches ta vie?” [“Why are you wasting your life?”] This is where I learned gacher [:waste, squander] which is a helluva word.