March 27, 2011

Poupée de Son - France Gall

Joann Sfar's intelligent and thrillingly rendered Gainsbourg bio art pic Une Vie Heroique offers up scene after scene of class Gainsbourg/Gainsbarre moments. Few more so than Gainsbourg's first meeting with teenager France Gall belting out Baby Doll in the raw (steady, meaning sung unplugged...oh, desist).

Present comp musters poppermost ye-ye apres ye-ye classic. Galloping opener Poupée de cire, poupée de son won Eurovision Song Contest 1965, representing Luxembourg. Being Gainsbourg, words unfold double / triple meaning wordplay. Translating as doll of wax, doll of bran/sound, the title sets up floppy singing doll Gall as Gainsbourg's plaything. Sylvie Simmons in her fine biog Fistful of Gitanes writes the song is about "the ironies and incongruities inherent in baby pop", that "the songs young people turn to for help in their first attempts at discovering what life and love are about are sung by people too young and inexperienced themselves to be of much assistance, and condemned by their celebrity to be unlikely to soon find out." (And if the galumphing rhythm and melody weren't later ripped off for theme tune of 70s UK children TV staple "The Flashing Blade" then je suis l'oncle d'un singe.)

Les Sucettes, Lollypops, ups le risqué factor with anis flavoured oral sex shenaniganisms.

Annie aime les sucettes
Les sucettes à l'anis
Les sucettes à l'anis
Donn'nt à ses baisers
Un goût ani-
Sé lorsque le sucre d'orge
Parfumé à l'anis
Coule dans la gorge d'Annie
Elle est au paradis

Annie loves lollypops
Anis lollypops
Anis lollypops
Give her kisses
A taste like ani-
S while the barley sugar
Perfumed with anis
Sinks in Annie's throat
She's in paradise

Gall maintains she performed the song wholly unaware of Serge's sleazy intent.

All this plus anti-LSD flop single Teenie Weenie Boppie.

Oddi wrth y brawd
salut poupee

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