Do French people listen to American music? The answer is YES. Just like anywhere else in the world, American music is pretty well known. Though, I assumed I would hear a lot more of it at parties and in general. People play a lot more french music than I thought.
At parties especially there is a lot of french music because everyone knows the words and everyone can sing together. I mean we can pretty much all agree that the best part of a party is when everyone is buzzed and a song that everyone knows the words to comes on and there isn’t one person in the room that isn’t singing. At least it’s one of my favorite moments. Unfortunately, in France I am pretty much the only person that doesn’t know the words (besides my Czech friend but even he knows the words better than I do). It’s so sad when people look at me while their singing so that they can sing and dance with me but I’m just kind of standing there bobbing my head like an idiot. Just like the language though, the lyrics to words will start to enter into my head more and more easily as time goes on. One song that I’ve noticed is played at almost the peak of any party is called Les lacs du connemara by Michel Sardou. It’s oddly a pretty old song. But it’s cool because no matter what kind of party you’re at everyone knows the lyrics. Kids, parents, grandparents and so on… Everyone except me of course. Luckily, the song has a tune that you can just sing, “LA LA LA LA LA LA” to and dance around, so I can still participate.
Another really popular song in France is Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. When Bohemian Rhapsody comes on everyone stops talking and just starts belting out the lyrics. The thing that I thought was cool is that everyone knows pretty much all the lyrics. That’s not to say that they understand what they mean, but at least they know and can sing them. So if you’re ever in France and need to lighten up the mood at a party I’d say go with Bohemian Rhapsody or just any popular Queen song for that matter.
The other American music that I hear a lot of is the stuff from my childhood and what we call “oldies”. People like the Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, Pitbull, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars to name a few. All still super popular artists but just ones that I was introduced to during my childhood. I don’t mind listening to those because since it’s been so long since I listened to them I’m not sick of them anymore and I know all of the words. The “oldies” are more like “Brown Eyed Girl”, “December, 1963 (Oh what a night)” and anything by Earth, Wind and Fire. Oddly enough there is a French version of “December, 1963”. Imagine my disappointment when that song came on and I started singing in english while everyone else started singing in french! All of my french friends convinced me that the french song came first but they were wrong! I did some digging and figured our that the American song came first. The french song is called “Cette année là” by Claude François. Give it a listen, it’s literally the exact same song.
If you listen to the Pop radio stations in France for more than a couple of hours you will start to hear repeats. I mean like major repeats. You will most likely hear the same 10 songs on a loop until you want to pull your hair out. Okay… Maybe that’s dramatic but you know what I mean. I just choose not to listen to the radio.
Before leaving to France, my sister said to me, “You better not come back here with a library full of french music.” Because that is exactly what happened when we traveled there for 6 months. But I honestly still haven’t turned to the french side. Of course there are catchy french songs but I’d say I still like American music better.