If you’ve had enough of people singing “Voulez-vous couchez avec moi? Ce soir?” when you say you speak French, here are 11 other songs with French lyrics you can teach them instead.
1. Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
French Lyric: “Je veux ton amour, et je veux ta revanche. Je veux ton amour…”
Translation: “I want your love, and I want your revenge. I want your love…”
Lady Gaga, a pop singer originally from New York City, isn’t the type of person you’d expect to speak French; however, she is actually fluent in the language. The addition of French lyrics into “Bad Romance” makes the flirty song more romantic.
2. Blondie – Call Me
French Lyric: “Appelle-moi mon cherie, appelle-moi.”
Translation: “Call me, my darling, call me.”
This 80s bop is a great dance hit, so you might have been too busy dancing to realize Blondie is singing in French during the bridge. Debbie Harry uses French in many of her songs.
3. ABBA – “Voulez-Vous”
French Lyric: “La question c’est voulez-vous.”
Translation: “The question is do you want to?”
Contrary to popular belief, ABBA was around long before Mamma Mia, and “Voulez-Vous” is one of their greatest hits to date. This upbeat, fast-paced song makes everyone want to get up and dance.
4. The Beatles – “Michelle”
French Lyric: “Michelle, ma belle / sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble / très bien ensemble.”
Translation: “Michelle, my beauty / are words that go very well together / very well together.”
Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, this love ballad had to include the most romantic language: French. In 1967, “Michelle” won song of the year at the Grammy’s; we can’t say that’s because of the French lyrics, but they definitely don’t hurt.
5. Talking Heads – “Psycho Killer”
French Lyric: “Psycho killer / Qu’est-ce que c’est?” and “Ce que j’ai fait, ce soir là / Ce qu’elle a dit, ce soir là / Realisant mon espoir / Je me lance, vers la gloire.”
Translation: “Psycho killer / What’s that?” and “What I did last night / What she said last night / Realizing my hope / I throw myself toward glory.”
You’d never know that “Psycho Killer” isn’t supposed to be a love ballad with all that French in there. This Talking Heads hit uses the romantic language in a hateful way, as opposed to with a romantic intent.
6. Lana Del Rey – “Carmen”
French Lyric: “Mon amour, je sais que tu m’aimes aussi / Tu as besoin de moi, tu as besoin de moi dans ta vie / Tu ne peux vivre sans moi / Et je mourrais sans toi / Je tuerais pour toi.”
Translation: “My love, I know that you love me as well / You need me, you need me in your life / You can’t live without me / And I’d die without you / I’d kill for you.”
Known for being emblematic of the genre “Hollywood Sadcore,” Lana Del Rey loves to sing about her lost love and youth in a haunting, melodic voice. “Carmen” is no exception, and the French lyrics in the song give it another dimension of romance and sadness.
7. Dusty Springfield – “If You Go Away (Ne Me Quitte Pas)”
French Lyric: “Ne me quitte pas / Il faut oublier / Tout peut s’oublier.”
Translation: “Don’t leave me / We have to forget about it / Everything can be forgotten.”
Adapted into English from the original French lyrics, most versions of this sad but optimistic ballad keep a verse of the French words in the song, to connect to its roots. Dusty Springfield’s version is the classic compromise; half French, half English.
8. Prince – “Girls and Boys”
French Lyric: “Vous étiez de l’autre côté de la salle / Vous dansiez si fort / Je sentais votre parfum / Votre sourire me dit que nous devrions nous parler / Sur la piste de danse, baby.”
Translation: “You were on the other end of the room / You were dancing so hard I could smell your perfume / Your smile tells me we should talk / On the dance floor, baby.”
This is only about a third of the French lyrics in this song. Prince, ever the seducer, clearly knew that French was the way to a woman’s heart. With an entire verse in the language of love, this song is sure to entice any prospective love interest.
9. Electric Light Orchestra – “Hold On Tight (To Your Dream)”
French Lyric: “Accroches-toi a ton reve / Accroches-toi a ton reve / Quand tu vois ton bateau partir / Quand tu sens ton coeur se briser / Accroches-toi a ton reve.”
Translation: “Hold on tight to your dream / Hold on tight to your dream / When you see your ship go sailing / When you feel your heart is breaking / Hold on tight to your dream.”
ELO isn’t the type of band you’d think would have a French song; their futuristic sound isn’t exactly romantic. However, “Hold On Tight” is a classic, and the addition of a second language only makes this song more interesting.
10. Kylie Minogue – “Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi”
French Lyric: “Je ne sais pas pourquoi.” (x9)
Translation: “I don’t know why.”
Australian-British popstar Kylie Minogue is nicknamed the “Princess of Pop” for her contributions to music, but this song is slightly more melancholic than her others. The addition of the lamenting French lyrics show how heartbroken Minogue is over her lost love.
11. Blondie – “Denis”
French Lyric: “Denis Denis, avec tes yeux si bleux / Denis Denis, moi j’ai flashe a nous deux / Denis Denis, un grand baiser d’eternite.”
Translation: “Denis Denis, with your eyes so blue / Denis Denis, I’m always thinking about us / Denis Denis, one deep kiss will last forever.”
Another of many Blondie songs containing French, “Denis” is more of a love ballad than “Call Me.” Blondie’s use of French deepens her evident longing for desired lover.