Vive La France: 14 French Lessons From English Pop Songs

Categories: Miles-tones

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Happy Bastille Day, everybody. Today France celebrates the day in 1789 when an angry mob stormed the eponymous (our new favorite word) prison in central Paris, freed all seven prisoners - they were really after the guns and ammunition, Clash-style - and touched off the French Revolution. As Karen O sang, heads will roll.

In other words, today is basically France's Fourth of July. It's just a few days late because the French are never in a hurry to do anything. Please let them enjoy it. France has had a tough time lately, between the U.S. women's soccer team's World Cup semifinal victory Wednesday, propping up bankrupt European neighbors like Ireland and Greece, and this whole Dominique Strauss-Khan mess.

Rocks Off has never been to France, something we very much hope to remedy one day. As a Texan, we feel a certain affinity for the French. France and the Lone Star State are about the same size, while the people share a taste for boeuf and spirits and, shall we say, a certain haughty opinion of themselves. For anyone who is lucky enough to be going over soon, we searched out some handy travel advice from some notable English-speaking songwriters.

Visitors To France Needn't Bother Booking a Hotel Room

"When it's good as it can be, it gets better, wait and see/ Oh, these folks don't ever sleep till they're passed out in the street"

- Grateful Dead, "France"


France Can Be Difficult to Locate By Boat

"The wind carries into white water/ Far from the islands/ Don't you know you're never going to get to France"

- Mike Oldfield, "To France"

Note: Rocks Off doubts Her Majesty's Royal Navy would agree with this one.


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They Have a Somewhat Liberal Attitude Towards Public Hygiene

The girls is all salty/ The boys is all sweet/ The food ain't too shabby/ An' they piss in the street"

- Frank Zappa, "In France"


There's No Fellatio Like French Fellatio

"They got diseases like you never seen/ Got a mystery blow-job turn your peter green"

- also Frank Zappa, "In France"


Jerry Lewis Has Nothing On Weird Al

"Every Frenchie that I meet/ Just can't wait to kiss my feet/ Get in line, pucker up/ Toute Suite!"

- Weird Al Yankovic, "Genius In France"


Public Telephones Can Be Difficult to Find

"And I looked round for a telephone/ To say 'Baby I won't be home'/ I was lost in France in love"

- Bonnie Tyler, "Lost In France"


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