Put on your headphones French learners, and let’s explore the world of French music!
In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of using songs to learn French, and offer you top songs to enjoy and learn French. From classic French songs to contemporary selections, we’ve got a song for every taste.
Don’t sweat if you’ve just begun learning French. Even complete beginners can benefit from listening to French music.
How Songs Can Help You Learn French?
Here are a few of the biggest reasons why studying French through songs is a big advantage. Songs can:
- Improve Your Pronunciation
- Help Your Brain Remember
- Give You a Glimpse of French Culture
- Boost Your Motivation
10 French Songs to Help You Learn to Speak French Through Music
1. Barbara Pravi – Voilà
Barbara Pravi represented France with her song “Voilà” at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and finished second there. This was France’s best score in 30 years, evoking comparisons to Edith Piaf.
The lyric of “Voilà” depicts a woman in hiding and her struggles with insecurities and shame stemming from living in isolation.
While reading the text, we hear a woman who is ready to take charge of herself and her dreams. Throughout her song, she sends a powerful message to all women struggling with insecurities.
2. Papaoutai by Stromae
Paul Van Haver, known by his stage name Stromae is a Belgian musician, rapper, singer, and songwriter. Hip-hop and electronic music are intrinsic to his style.
The intentionally misspelled song “Papaoutai“, translates as “Where are you, dad?”.
The lyrics speak of a boy who no longer sees his father and feels something is wrong with him. The mother tries to make up excuses to prevent her son from discovering the truth.
The video shows a young child, trying to communicate with his father, who sits motionless, looking like a mannequin in his expression and posture.
Not only his music sends a powerful message, but his videos are always a work of art.
Elle Me Dit by Mika
Mika is a British singer and songwriter from Lebanon. The contagious joy in his performances and colorful aesthetics have delighted audiences worldwide from the very beginning.
“Elle, me dit” (English: She Tells Me) has a catchy rhythm but talks about painful criticism that affects the low self-esteem of men.
Mika describes how women in his life call him one childish and immature big man.
Maître Gims – Est-ce que tu m’aimes ?
Maître Gims is the stage name of a Congolese singer and rapper. Deezer ranked him as the 7th most performed artist in the world in 2018.
A music video filmed in New York and Paris in 2015 shows people in various stages of their often difficult relationships.
It speaks about a complicated relationship between men and women, a path that begins with love and ends with hatred.
The eternal question “Do you love me?” turns around to a higher sense of self-awareness “Do l love you?”
Carla Bruni – Quelqu’un m’a dit
Better known as Nicola’s Sarkozy’s wife, Carla Bruni is a singer-songwriter, model, and former First Lady of France.
Her songs are breezy, romantic, nostalgic, with a typical French vibe. “Quelqu’un m’a dit” is one of the best of Carla’s songs about the transience of life and love.
Easy melody and easy to understand.
Sous le Ciel de Paris by Yves Montand
When recorded by artists Edith Piaf and Yves Montand, the song became a symbol of Paris and France for the whole world. The song is amongst the most romantic praises of Paris.
Françoise Hardy – Le Temps de l’Amour
A French singer best known for singing melancholic ballads, Françoise Madeleine Hardy has been a key figure in traditional French pop since her debut.
She has released over thirty studio albums. Her breakthrough came in the early 1960s with the yé-yé wave, a genre of pop music and a phenomenon of youth culture that adapted to French the popular American and British rock styles.
“Le Temps de l’Amour” is a song about youth and the view of the world at that early stage of life. A time when everything feels more intense and powerful.
Voyage, Voyage – Desireless
Claudie Fritsch-Mentrop, known by her stage name Desireless, has made it to the first place on many European and Asian single charts, her hit single “Voyage, voyage“.
The lyrics talk about the desire to travel and explore many wonderful, and sacred destinations around the world.
It evokes the beauties of the Sahara desert, Fuji mountain, the legendary Gang river. A perfect tune for all adventurers who learn French.
La Vie En Rose by Edith Piaf
As a singer-songwriter, cabaret performer, and film actress, Edit Piaff was one of France’s most recognized international stars.
Piaf’s music often reflected her own life, and she specialized in chansons and torch ballads about love, loss, and sorrow.
Among her best-known songs are “La Vie en rose” (1946), “Non, je ne regrette rien” (1960), “Hymne à l’amour” (1949), “Milord” (1959), “La Foule” (1957), “L’Accordéoniste” (1940), and “Padam, padam…” (1951).
France Gall – Ella, Elle l’a
France Gall is a French yé-yé singer from Paris. With 11 studio albums under her belt, she has had a very prolific music career. In the early 1960s through the late ’80s, she wrote feel-good pop songs that appealed to European teenagers.
To understand the song, you’ll have to acknowledge that it represents a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, but also a protest against racism and a call to empower yourself. It was released in 1987 and became a hit across the globe.
Ella is praised for her charisma, her aura, and empowerment in this song which also denounces racism. The song, in fact, highlights Ella’s charismatic voice as well as the experiences of Black people in segregated America.
Let’s Listen to French Music
Learning French through music is an excellent way to soak pronunciation, learn about culture, and grammar simultaneously. Moreover, music boosts your brain activity. This mood lifts your spirits and makes your interest in learning French (re)pique.