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Archive for May 6th, 2010:

French Pop Song of the Week: “Dans mon café,” by V. Paradis

posted May 6, 2010

Posted by Thomas Riggs in music translation world literature


Rare among contemporary French singers, Vanessa Paradis has a following in the United States, partly because she is the longtime partner of actor Johnny Depp, with whom she has two children. Paradis and Depp divide their time between Los Angeles and the south of France and also have property elsewhere. Depp was the cover artist for Divinidylle, her 2007 CD.

Paradis, now 37, has been famous for years as a singer and actor in France. Her first hit, “Joe le taxi,” was released in 1987 when she was 14 years old, and it became a number one song in 25 countries. She was instantly a kind of French Lolita, adored and scorned by the French public. Years later she is now often seen as a chic French rocker.

Here is Paradis doing an acoustic version of “Dans mon café” (“In My Coffee”) from her album Bliss (2000). The concert took place on November 22, 2009, in the historic Parisian theatre La Cigale. Before singing, Paradis says,

Vous me donnez soif . . . [from someone in the audience: “à ta santé] . . . merci . . . Cette chanson est dédiée à tout ce qu’on le sait . . . l’incendie prend dans leurs cœurs. On va laisser le feu les envahir, sans faire des dégats, sans extincteur, sans eau.

(You make me thirsty . . . [from someone in the audience : “to your health”] . . . thank you . . . This song is dedicated to everything we know . . . the fire takes hold in our hearts. We’re going to let the fire invade us, without damage, without an extinguisher, without water.)

Below are the lyrics and a translation.

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