Songs to Listen to Before You Go to Paris

by Edward Mack

Mar 4, 2015

Moulin Rouge of Montmartre, Paris, France © Dennis Dolkens | Dreamstime

Destination
Edith Piaf © Estampe Moderne | Flickr

Edith Piaf © Estampe Moderne | Flickr

Music is one of our most powerful emotional stimulants. It can transport us around the world and through time. Paris has a particularly powerful musictradition. Just think of strolling along the Champs-Élysées while an accordion sighs softly under a cloud-covered sky. Or a beautiful stranger offering you a rose while you sip a café au lait. Here is a playlist to help you get ready for Paris.

 

La Vie En Rose – Edith Piaf

Is there any song more evocative of France than Piaf’s internationally acclaimed lament?

 

Je T’Aime…Moi Non Plus – Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin

You’re not quite sure what Gainshourg and Birkin are whispering breathlessly in your ear, but you know it’s sexy. So is the rumor of what they were actually doing while they recorded this song.

 

Il est 5h, Paris s’évielle – Jacques Dutronc

This song about Paris coming alive in the morning was voted the best French-language song of all time by music critics at the Nouvel Observateur.

 

La Boheme – Chalrnes Aznavour

What list of songs about Paris would be complete without mentioning its bohemian Montmarte?

 

Josephine Baker © Uppity Rib | Flickr

Josephine Baker © Uppity Rib | Flickr

J’ai Deux Amours – Josephine Baker

You may prefer Madeliene Peyroux’s version, but this 1930s song by the Creole Goddess talks about her two loves: Paris and her homeland of America.

 

Tous Les Garçons et Les Filles – Françoise Hardy

Love, can Paris get enough of it? This is the song to listen to if you’re going to Paris looking for love.

 

Other songs include Que Je T’aime by Johnny Hallyday, Sous le Ciel de Paris by Juliette Greco and La Romance de Paris by Charles Trenet. And, of course, As Time Goes By.

 

After listening to these songs, you will be ready to be swept off your feet by the city and maybe even a cute local.

 

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