While on vacation last year, we stayed in the Marais district of Paris, close to Centre Pompidou.
Our mostly pedestrian cobble-stoned street, often packed with revelers, was a quite the social hub.
The area really came alive at night; with several restaurants, bars, nightclubs and people pouring out into the streets to make our little cramped quarter.
On some evenings Iâ€™d sit by the wide windows with a glass of wine and people-watch into the wee hours.
I slept with the windows open every night just to feel a part of the incredible energy outside.
Across the narrow street was a restaurant; you could see inside from the apartment, they cleared the tables and chairs at night to create a makeshift nightclub.
There was loud music, drinking, general merriment and mostly young people dancing.
The DJ was a big guy with messy long hair; he took long breaks outside, drawing leisurely on his cigarette, unfazed by the raucous around him.
After a few nights of waving bonsoir at him, I finally got to ask him what it was like to be that cool.
He laughed and we had a long chat, it turns out he loves African music â€“ Ghanaian and Congolese music to be precise.
When I told him I was from Ghana, heâ€™d hum/sing this old sixties highlife song whenever he saw me.
I thought it was charming; I mean, here I wasâ€¦ barely able to speak passable French, and he, not that great English and yet weâ€™re bonding over Ghanaian music from the sixties.
When I came back home, I sent him a link to Awesome Tapes from Africa and promised him Iâ€™d have a favourite French song by my next visit.
I decided that I also needed a song for whenever I saw him â€“ and watch the whole song-singing banter go from cute to annoying
It took a few months, but I too have found my favourite French song; and itâ€™s not by Celine Dion (although she did a cover of the song).
I watched Commes t’y es belle, a French romantic comedy about the lives and loves of four Jewish Parisian women.
Yes, itâ€™s a chick flick, but itâ€™s French and different in a fun and charming way.
It apparently was a big hit when it came out in 2006.
The movie had a few music montages, and the soundtrack which played over several scenes was ‘Lâ€™envie Dâ€™aimer’
I loved it! So much that I shazamed it, found it and a bought a copy.
[audio:https://elsbro.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/12-Lenvie-daimer-Amoureuse-en-voiture.mp3|titles=12 L’envie d’aimer (Amoureuse en voiture)]
I can’t believe I’d never heard this song before…
Itâ€™s a beautiful soft melodic tune about the courage to love, the words are simple â€“ I added a few phrases to my vocabulary.
It turns out the song is from a popular French musical from 2000, Les dix commandements about the ten commandments, itâ€™s the final song in the musical, sung by Moses.
Iâ€™ve listened to it so much that itâ€™s pretty much the only French song I can sing almost word for word (the alouette and frÃ¨re Jacques songs donâ€™t count).
My favourite line from the song is â€œFaire que l’amour, Qu’on aura partagÃ© Nous donne l’envie d’aimerâ€ – something about sharing love to find the desire to love.
Watch this video, and tell me this isn’t your favourite French song too!