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Favorite French Songs

Updated on August 10, 2014

French Songs I Grew-Up With / Favorite French Songs

I was born in the late 60's in Canada and my dad had a huge collection of albums. All sorts, including some early Gilbert Becaud vinyls. His songs are the first French songs I heard and he soon became one of my favorites. Over the year I discover a lot of new French songs and singers that have become favorites of mine.

Shown here: The Very Best of French Hits (2 CD Set)

Gilbert Becaud - I grew up listening to him

Here's my favorite song. "L'un d'entre eux inventa la mort" (one of them invented death).

here's the song, this is the only non-live version I found. Don't mind the clip.

Gilbert Becaud - Mister 100.000 volts

Here's the Gilbert Becaud Lp's I grew up with:

The Becaud eponym album with my favorite song "L'un d'entre eux inventa la mort" (one of them invented death). A very powerful song.

And "Les titres d'or" (best of) with many favorites such as Nathalie (go figure), L'orange, L'important c'est la rose and Quand l'amour est mort etc

Both of these are Lp's under Canadian labels. Shown below are the same LP's my dad had when I was a kid. I listened to these over and over. I love Becaud.

Classic French Songs From the 60's and 70's

Some of my favorite retro and classic French songs. Not all are well known outside France, I'm sure you'll discover some new soon to be favorites

Serge Gainsbourg

Hard to make a page about my favorite French songs without including the controversial, yet genius, Serge Gainsbourg.

His "Je t'aime... moi non plus" (I love you... me neither) has reached cult status (thanks to the fact in was banned in several countries) not only in France but in English speaking countries as well.

He wrote and recorded the song for (and with) actress Brigitte Bardot (his lover at the time) along with my all time favorite Gainsbourg song: "Bonny and Clyde". But the success of "Je t'aime moi non plus" came a few years later from his duo with his new lover Jane Birkin.

Listen to both versions, and check out the third video for the original "Bonnie and Clyde"

Duo Birkin Gainsbourg

Duo Bardot Gainsbourg

My favorite Gainsbourg's song

Everything you always wanted to know about S....erge

Francoise Hardy The French Ye Ye Girl

Francoise Hardy is the French icon of the ye-ye era. Her first success "Tous les garcons et les filles"; is a timeless classic song. In her long career she produced 25 studio albums.

In 2005 a DVD was produced featuring many videos and interviews. She is the perfect 60's icon: she dressed, talked and acted like a true ye-ye girl.

Tous les garcons et les filles: What started it all for Francoise Hardy. From her first LP. The song that launched her career. The hit was instant, she even made the charts in Germany and UK with the original French language. She also recorded an Italian version that made it to the top of the Italian hit parade.

Comment te dire adieu: Her most acclaimed piece The critic and the fans were both ecstatic about this song. But with lyrics and music by Serge Gainsbourg it is hard to make a flop.

Message Personnel: My favorite song. This is the original french version, she also made this one in English but honestly the original is far better. The music is by the famous french composer Michel Berger (Starmania). Lyrics is by Francoise Hardy. Such a beautiful song.

: my favorite song

Classic Francoise Hardy CD's

Vogue Years
Vogue Years

This is the ultimate fan pack. All her early work, under the Vogue label. So many hits! This CD includes 50 songs. Among others: Je Veux Qu'il Revienne, Mon Amie La Rose, Tous Les Garcons Et Les Filles, Quel Mal Y A-t-il A Ca?...


Jacques Brel

Although I am not a fan at all, he is one of the greatest song writer of his generation so, here's my 2 favorite Brel's song (and no, "Ne me Quitte Pas" is not on my list!):

Quand on a que l'amour and Dans le Port D'Amsterdam

French Music from the 80's and 90's

My favorite era, I was a teen in the 80's and in the 90's I was a music enthusiast and was always listening to music or watching videos.

My All Time Favorite French Singer

Mylene Farmer


80's group that is still around today after a dry spell in the 90's. Their latest live show had moms and dads bringing their teens to the show.

Indochine have so many success it's hard to pick. 2 favorites of mine are:

3em sexe (the third sex) and Les Tzars

Indochine Best Of

Tlphone - THE cult group

Terribly bad videos for these 2 classic songs from cult French group Tlphone.

Patricia Kass - Mademoiselle Chante Le Blues

A powerful voice, and many top songs in the late 80's early 90's. One of my favorite along with "Mademoiselle chante le Blues" is "Mon Mec a Moi"

Niagara - J'ai vu

A little more rock, Niagara had a few tops in the 80's. Here's my Favorite

Jeanne Mas / Guesch Patti

I am putting these 2 singers together because both had huge success in the 80's and then almost completely disappear. Many artists from the same period suffered the same faith, but a few, such as Mylene Farmer, Jean-Jacques Goldman and Indochine are still around, and as popular as ever today.

The Princess Stephanie of Monaco - Well, yes, she sings, kinda

Not my cup of tea, but it was quite popular in the 80's.

Today's French Songs

Some of my favorites from the 2000-2014 period.

Alizee: A Cause De L'automne - An addictive French song

An addictive French song, be warned you may spend a lot of time going back to it. There is a very sweet retro sound to this song and it reminds me of Francoise Hardy. And Alizee video as a little James Bond flair to it.

Lyrics translation of the first verse of Alizee's "A cause de l'automne"

It's the fault of autumn if I'm leaving

Living in an aquarium makes me sad

If I run away, it is Autum's fault, again

The colors fade and forgives us

Love tires and drops us

Because ... because of Autumn.

Buy Alize Latest CD

If you are from the UK, you can buy here latest album album here in : A cause de l'automne

Moi Lolita
Moi Lolita

Her first album


La Bande A Renaud - Des que le vent soufflera cover

A cover by a bunch of French artists. One of Renaud's classic song.

French Artists Who Sing in English

Music by the Do - French music in English

The do is another interesting music group I discovered in a TV ad running here in France. The Do is a French/Finnish duo of Dan Levy and singer Olivia B. Merilahti. The Do have released "A Mouthful" their first studio album, in 2008. The Do latest album "Both ways open jaws" is out since march 2011. . If you love pop music and looking to broaden your horizon, listen to The Do music.

TV ads seems to be a great way for me to discover new groups I would have missed otherwise. I discovered “The Do” (pronounced “dough”) in a Cahier Oxford ad. So there you go: the tv ad followed by the video of “On my shoulder”

Pop music by Telepopmusik - French Group Singing in English

Telepopmusik was formed in 1997 by Stephan Haeri, Christophe Hetier and Fabrice Dumont (the bassist from famous pop group Autour de Lucie).The trio is passionate about electronic music and their style is a mix of rock, pop and electronic. The group collaborates with some great singers including: Angela Mc Cluskey, Mau, Sylvia Black, Mai, Kim Wayman, Deborah Anderson and Juice Aleem.

Their first album "Genetic World" got them nominated at the Grammy Awards and Les Victoires de la musique (the french Grammy).

Telepopmusik gained some mainstream fame after the eerie song "ghost girl" was used in a peugeot TV ad.

Let's be honest. TV ads are a major annoyance and a pet peeve for the majority of TV watchers around the world. But, sometimes TV ads can provide a positive experience. Either by making you laugh. Laugh is good and some TV ads are really clever and worth the 30 seconds you are wasting watching them (I love funny international TV ads) or by making you discover a new artist.And a Telepopmusik song kept coming back haunting me for weeks after I saw a TV commercial:

Here's Ghost Girl for Peugeot 308 CC TV ad followed by Telepopmusik official video. The female singer is Kim Wayman

Official Pages

If you want to follow one of the French artist discovered here:

Don't Miss My Quebecois Music Page

Favorite French-Canadian Songs

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    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 3 years ago from London

      I do remember Dans le monde entier by Francoise Hardy in the 70's; it was really popular here and very sweet. Probably a real cliche, but Charles Trenet's La Mer (well before my time...I think I got it from my Dad), makes me glow every time I hear it.

    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      I listen to some music in other languages but never French. Had really never thought of French singers other than Celine Dion and her comments on having to learn English as it was the more dominant language in Canada.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 3 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Joan Baez' version of La Colombe got me into Brel years ago