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Je t'aime: The Story of French Song with Petula Clark

Documentary exploring the story of the lyric-driven French chanson and its greatest artists, including Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Juliette Greco, Anna Karina and Jane Birkin

'I want to make people cry even when they don't understand my words.' - Edith Piaf

This unique film explores the story of the lyric-driven French chanson and looks at some of the greatest artists and examples of the form. Award-winning singer and musician Petula Clark, who shot to stardom in France in the late 1950s for her nuanced singing and lyrical exploration, is our guide.

We meet singers and artists who propelled chanson into the limelight, including Charles Aznavour (a protege of Edith Piaf), Juliette Greco (whom Jean-Paul Sartre described as having 'a million poems in her voice'), Anna Karina (muse of Jean-Luc Godard and darling of the French cinema's new wave), actress and singer Jane Birkin, who had a global hit (along with Serge Gainsbourg) with the controversial Je t'aime (Moi non plus), and Marc Almond, who has received great acclaim with his recordings of Jacques Brel songs.

In exploring the famous chanson tradition and the prodigious singers who made the songs their own, we continue the story into contemporary French composition, looking at new lyrical forms exemplified by current artists such as Stromae, Zaz, Tetes Raides and Etienne Daho, who also give exclusive interviews.

The film shines a spotlight onto a musical form about which the British are largely unfamiliar, illuminating a history that is tender, funny, revealing and absorbing.

60 minutes

Last on

Fri 21 Dec 2018 23:55

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Petula Clark

    Boum

  • Édith Piaf

    La Vie En Rose

  • Édith Piaf

    L'Accordeoniste

  • Édith Piaf

    Milord

  • Édith Piaf

    Non, Je Ne Regrette Rein

  • Aristide Bruant

    Mimi Pean De Chien

  • Damia

    C'est Mon Giogolo

  • Fréhel

    La Java Blue

  • Jean Sablon

    Un Seul Couvert, Please James

  • Charles Trenet

    La Mer

  • Charles Trenet

    Boum

  • Petula Clark

    Que Rest-il De Nos Amours

  • Léo Ferré

    Les Temps Difficiles

  • Juliette Gréco

    Jolie Môme

  • Georges Brassens

    Les Roi Des Cons

  • Georges Brassens

    Le Gorille

  • Jacques Brel

    Madeline

  • Jacques Brel

    Ne Me Quitte Pas

  • 00:12

    Charles Trenet

    La Mer

    Singer: Charles Trenet. Orchestra: Guy Luypaert and His Orchestra.
  • 00:22

    Nina Simone

    Ne Me Quitte Pas

  • Jacques Brel

    L'Ivrogne

  • Petula Clark

    Un Enfant

  • Juliette Gréco

    Parlez-Moi De L'Amour

  • Juliette Gréco

    Paris Connait

  • Barbara

    Nantes

  • Barbara

    L'Aigle Noir

  • Charles Aznavour

    Mes Emmerdes

  • Charles Aznavour

    She

  • Gilbert Bécaud

    Je T'Attends

  • Françoise Hardy

    Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles

  • Françoise Hardy

    Mon Amie La Rose

  • Brigitte Bardot & Serge Gainsbourg

    Comic Strip

  • Brigitte Bardot & Serge Gainsbourg

    Harley Davidson

  • France Gall

    Poupée De Cire Poupée De Son

  • Petula Clark

    La Gadoue

  • Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin

    Ballade De Melody Nelson

  • Anna Karina

    Sous Le Soliel Exactement

  • Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg

    Je t'aime...moi non plus

  • Alain Souchon

    La Foule Sentimentale

  • Étienne Daho

    La Peau Dure

  • Têtes Raides

    Emma (feat. Jeanne Moreau)

  • Anna Karina

    Mes Yeux Pour Pleurer

  • Stromae

    Tout Les Memes

  • Stromae

    Alors En Danse

  • Zaz

    On Ira

  • Zaz

    Je Veux

  • Zaz

    Paroles Paris Sera Toujours Paris

  • Georges Brassens & Charles Aznavour

    Boum

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Petula Clark
Producer Celia Moore
Executive Producer Nick de Grunwald
Director George Scott

Broadcasts

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