I love music and I love languages, especially French, bien sûr! One way I continue my French learning is by listening to French music. Thankfully, there are websites, like YouTube or Genius, that make it easy and much more enjoyable to learn and sing along with songs in different languages.
I’ve put together a short list of my favorite songs that I love to listen to when I want to brush up on my French. So if you’re learning French, give these six songs a listen!
[Disclaimer: All images, videos, and song lyrics belong to their respective owners.]
- Pink Martini – “Sympathique” (1997)
In their song, “Sympathique,” American music group, Pink Martini sings, “je ne veux pas travailler…”
It’s French for “I don’t want to work.” You may love your job(s), but who hasn’t felt this way on a lazy Sunday, par exemple, as you gear up for the week ahead?
The music video for the song includes French vocabulary words making it perfect for learning French!
Speaking of perfect, the next song on my list is a French cover of one of Ed Sheeran’s many romantic ballads.
- Sara’h – “Perfect (cover in French)” (2017)
This is a lovely cover by French singer and YouTube star, Sarah Hage ali. It’s almost a literal word-for-word translation of the English song. There are gender pronoun changes, which bother me slightly as I find them unnecessary, but the change works nicely in this cover, so I digress. In the original, the lyric is “I found a girl…” but in the cover version, the lyric is changed to “I found a man…/ j’ai trouvé un homme...”).
Speaking of which, many people have “found a man” who sounds a lot like Ed Sheeran in the next song on my list. (A lot. And that’s a good thing!) Amir Haddad participated in various music competition shows, including the third season of The Voice: la plus belle voix, where he finished in third place.
- Amir – “Longtemps” (2018)
“je voudrais que ça dure longtemps/ I’d like this to last a long time” (me: Swoon!)
It’s a good song to practice possessive pronouns [mien(ne); tien(ne)/ mine; your] and direct object pronouns [t’/ informal ‘you’]:
“user ma peau sur la tienne,
un jour j’oublierai tout jusqu’à mon nom
j’ai saurais simplement
que t’es là, que t’es belle, que t’es mienne”
“To wear my skin on yours
One day I’ll forget everything, even my name
I would simply know
That you’re here, that you’re beautiful, and that you’re mine”
But if you’re into more uptempo music, you’ll love this next song. The infectious African-infused pop beat and rhythm of “Vivre,” featuring lyrics and vocals by Belgian artist, Marie Daulne of Zap Mama, will have you dancing in your seat!
- Zap Mama – “Vivre” (2004)
It’s a good song to practice numbers, specifically two (deux), two hundred (deux cent), and two thousand (deux mille):
Another upbeat song is “Get Up” by French duo, Diva Faune, and featured artist, Léa Paci. This exuberant bilingual song makes you want to live life and seize the day.
- Diva Faune – “Get Up” ft. Léa Paci (French edit) (2018)
“We’ll break these chains off and fly up to the sky/ it’s gonna be a new day, my dear”
“je vole, avec toi, vers demain
je veux ton amour, dans mes mains
je vibre, je veux vivre, ici, ailleurs
je saute dans le vide, sans peur
“I fly, with you, toward tomorrow
I want your love, in my hands
I vibrate, I want to live, here, elsewhere
I jump into the void, without fear
Get up, dance…!”
Check out this “Get Up lyric video” with English, Spanish, and French translations.
Last, but not least on my list is a sweet French adaptation of the song, “Somewhere Only We Know” originally by the English band, Keane.
- Aude Gagnier – “J’ai dans le cœur” (2015)
Sung as sweet as a lullaby over soft melodies, the French lyrics are inspired by the Saint-Exupéry book, Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince): “On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur/ One sees clearly only with the heart…”
I hope you’ll enjoy these songs!
Which other French songs should I add to my playlist? Let me know in the comments below.
If you liked this post, you may be interested in reading my post, If You’re Learning French, Read These 3 Books