FRENCH POP LYRICS
FRENCH FEMALE SINGERS IN THE EIGHTIES: CODA
Everything at French Pop Lyrics seems to revolve back to Serge Gainsbourg, and so what better way to close this series than with a tribute to him.
In 1981 Serge Gainsbourg referred to himself as ‘Gainsbarre’ on his song ‘Ecce Homo’. The name came to symbolise his eighties incarnation when he became more famous for his provocative appearances on TV than for his music. By this point Jane Birkin had left him, admitting after his death that “I really liked Gainsbourg, but I was afraid of Gainsbarre”. Gainsbourg then married the singer Bambou.
However, here ‘Gainsbarre’ is the title of an affectionate tribute song by Buzy which appeared on her album ‘I Love You Lulu’ (1985). Gainsbourg was the photographer for the cover art and he appears in the video. He wasn’t involved in the music, though I think that is his voice on the final line.
Below are some of the references to Gainsbourg in the lyrics. There may be more that I have missed. There are even more references in the video e.g. Buzy burning a 500 franc note (Gainsbourg did this on TV in 1984 as a protest against high taxes). Also, Buzy gets hit by a flash car while cycling, a reference to the ‘Melody Nelson’ album.
GAINSBARRE REFRAIN: Coup de bambou (1), coup de barre J'ai rencontré Gainsbarre Coup de bambou, coup de barre Une drôle, une drôle d'histoire Boudin (2) en gin Le roi d'la rime ? mille et une nuits Boudin en gin Le roi d'la rime Gainsbarre en travesti (3) Coup de bambou, coup de barre J'ai rencontré Gainsbarre Coup de bambou, coup de barre Je raconte mon histoire Y m'dit : « T'es belle gamine Ton truc y rime C'est marrant tes conneries » « T'es belle gamine Ton truc y swingue OK j'y réfléchis » Boudin en gin Le roi d'la rime ? mille et une nuits Boudin en gin Le roi d'la rime Gainsbarre en travesti REFRAIN Après l'Asie Qui l'aurait cru Chez le roi des tordus Après l'Asie Qui l'aurait cru J'atterris convaincue ? m'a bien eue Eh ouais !
GAINSBARRE CHORUS: Exhausted, suddenly I'm shattered I met Gainsbarre Exhausted, suddenly I'm shattered A joker, a strange history Black pudding and gin The king of the rhyme Thousand and one nights Black pudding and gin The king of the rhyme Gainsbarre in drag Exhausted, suddenly I'm shattered I met Gainsbarre Exhausted, suddenly I'm shattered I'm telling my story And he tells me: "You're a cute little tomboy Your knack, your rhymes Your funny bullshit" "You're a cute little tomboy Your knack, the way you swing OK - I'm thinking about it" Black pudding and gin The king of the rhyme Thousand and one nights Black pudding and gin The king of the rhyme Gainsbarre in drag REFRAIN After Asia Who would've believed it At the home of the king of freaks After Asia Who would've believed it I end up convinced It really got me Oh yeah!
(1) I think ‘coup de bambou’ is an expression that means to be exhausted. Bambou is also the name of the singer who Gainsbourg married in 1981.
(2) Possibly a reference to the 1967 song ‘Les Petits Boudins’ written by Gainsbourg and previously featured on this blog.
(3) Gainsbourg appeared in drag on the cover of his 1984 album ‘Love On The Beat’.