FRENCH POP LYRICS: Yé-Yé Girls Summer Special
HOW TO BE A YÉ-YÉ GIRL: #4 – Have Musical Talent (Optional)
Yé-Yé girls have come in for more than their fair share of mockery, but Hardy stood out from the crowd with her undeniable musical talent.
This song is from her fifth French album, released in 1966. Here Hardy sings one of her own songs with minimal backing. See below for a more detailed look at her recording career.
SI C'EST ÇA Tu sais, si les gens que je vois passer qui n'ont rien à dire et rien à montrer ... et si les jours gris qui sont tous mes jours remplis de ces gens et vides d'amour ... Tu sais, si c'est ça ... la réalité Et si les nuits blanches que sont les nuits où je ne dors pas parce que je m'ennuye ... si ce que je fais qui ne vaux pas mieux que ce que font d'autres heureux - malheureux ... Tu sais, si c'est ça ... la réalité Mais si ton regard mais si ton sourire que j'aime bien plus que je ne sais dire ... si tout ce qu' un jour tu m'as apporté dont je ne veux pas devoir me passer ... Tu sais, si c'est ça ... rêver Mais si ton visage si toi tout entier ... ce que tu m'as dit ce que tu m'as fait... mais si ton regard mais si ton sourire ... mais si mon amour et mes souvenirs ... Tu sais, si c'est ça ... rêver Fais-moi retrouver ce que j'ai rêvé redeviens pour moi la réalité Comment vais-je faire? Tu ne m'entends pas Comment vais-je faire? Tu ne reviens pas
IF IT'S LIKE THAT You know, if the people that I see passing who have nothing to say and nothing to show... and if the grey days that are all my days filled with these people and empty of love... You know, if it's like that... reality And if the sleepless nights that are the nights where I don't sleep because I feel so weary... if what I do is no better than what makes others happy, unhappy... You know, if it's like that... reality But if your look but if your smile that I love more than I know how to say if all that one day you brought me which I don't want to have to pass me by... You know, if it's like that... to dream But if your face if your whole being... what you said to me what you did to me... but if your look but if your smile... but if my love and my memories... You know, if it's like that...to dream Let me find again what I have dreamed become again for me reality How will I do it? You don't understand me How will I do it? You don't come back
FRENCH GRAMMAR: SI
Si can mean If (as in Spanish)
Si can also be Yes (like Sí in Spanish), but only in response to negative questions:
Tu ne vas pas venir ?
Si (je vais venir)
Si can also be used like So i.e. as an intensifier
Je suis si fatigué (I’m so tired)
FRANÇOISE HARDY ALBUMS (1962-1971)
Most of her early albums don’t have a title, it seems that just her name and a big picture of her face was more than enough to send them flying out of the shops. However, the are often given a semi-official title after one of the best known tracks, which I have written at the start of the description in bold. She also recorded albums in English, Italian and German, but I haven’t included those here.
1962 ‘Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles’ was a worldwide hit and ‘Le Temps De L’amour’ is another of her best remembered songs. A period piece for sure, but the sparse arrangements and intimate feel give it plenty of charm. Arguably it remains her best album.
1963 ‘Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour’ is the standout track, and ‘Comme Tant D’autres’ features some groovey organ. This has weaker material than her debut, and less interesting arrangements (lots of soupy strings).
1964 ‘Mon Amie La Rose’ is the best known track. It also includes ‘Et Même’ (though the stomping single is better than the LP version) and ‘Dans Le Monde Entier’ (which was reworked in English as ‘All Over The World’). Hardy was arguably at the peak of her popularity at this point (at least in the UK).
1965 ‘L’Amitié’ and ‘Ce Petit Coeur’ are the best known songs here. It also includes the fine ballad ‘Il Se Fait Tard’ but overall Hardy is treading water on this LP.
1966 ‘La Maison Où J’ai Grandi’, an adaptation of an Italian hit, was the most succesful song here. My favourite track is the sparse ballad ‘Si C’est Ça’, written by Hardy herself. It’s not typical though, as many songs feature loud orchestral arrangements.
1967 ‘Ma Jeunesse Fout Le Camp’ is a string ballad that sets the tone for much of this rather bland LP. The brilliant ‘Voilà’ aside, this is more limp than limpid.
1968 ‘Comment Te Dire Adieu?’ (with lyrics by Serge Gainsbourg) was one of her biggest hits. However, it’s another rather MOR album, with too many covers and (unlike previous albums) only a couple of her own songs.
1970 ‘Soleil’, the MOR title track is typical of the album. More interesting is ‘Dame Souris Trotte’ with an arrangement by Jean-Claude Vannier – I just wish they had let him loose on the whole album.
1971 ‘La Question’ and ‘Viens’ are two of the best known tracks. Here Hardy is at her most blissed out, with cooler arrangements thanks to collaborator Tuca. Slightly overated perhaps, but it’s still her best LP from this period.