Learning French Songs - A Fun Way to Study the Language

Nicole, my French teacher in Israel used to teach us old French songs to enrich our vocabulary and practice our conjugation. I don’t sing, but it was a lot of fun learning the French language this way. She had introduced me to many old French singers that, to this day, I love listening to. In this post I would like to pass on her heritage and expose you to some of the songs she had introduced me to, and other that I have discovered on my own. For each song title I attach a link where you can find the lyrics in French and English. I hope you will enjoy this.  

In this song, Edith Piaf summarizes her not so easy life, while not regretting a thing. The word that has stuck with me from this song is balayé - swept, as in to sweep the floor. House work sounds so much more appealing in French.

Les Feuilles mortes by Yeves Montand

This is such a romantic song, perfect to warm up cold fall nights. I love the French picturesque words in this song that describes the foliage - dead leaves. 

Nathalie by Gilbert Becaud 

Forbidden love is always a great romantic subject. In this song a French man visiting Moscow, while it was still part of the Iron Wall, falls in love with his Russian guide – Nathalie. I remember that when I learned this song I learned that in French the word “guide” is always masculine, even if it’s about a women. That is why Nathalie is referred to as “mon guide”

L'été Indien by Joe Dassin 

Indian Summer is another perfect song for the fall.  I remember this song each time I see the beautiful fall colors on the trees.



Les gens du nord by Enrico Macias 

Enrico Macias is an Alegerian Jew who immigrated to France in his early 20’s. His music is a mixture of the different cultures he is part of. I love the gentle melody of this song. 

Mike Brant was an Israeli singer who succeeded in France. The song “let me love you” was his most successful song. Unfortunately he committed suicide at the age of 28.

Avant de nous dire adieu by Jeane Manson 

This beautiful French singer is actually from Cleveland, Ohio. If you ever want to use your American origin as an excuse to why you would never be able to speak French properly, think again. It’s a sad song about wanting to make love for the last time before separation. I think the title “let’s make love before we say goodbye” could be a much nicer alternative to “voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir