Thursday, September 04, 2008

French music in English....

According to an article in Le Monde, more and more French singers and groups are choosing to write and sing songs in English than ever before.

While this isn't a new phenomenon, French singers have been singing English songs for years, these days it seems that instead of a one-off English song on an album, French based groups are producing entire albums in English.

Apparently it seems that certain genres, like R&B, hip hop, rap and rock are such anglo-saxon concepts that some French bands feel it's a bit weird to be singing lyrics in French. And of course they realize that if they are singing in English, more people can understand them, buy their records, want to see them live, etc.

So in a country where they are fiercely protective of the French language, you can imagine how this can be seen by some as not necessarily a good thing. France's entry in the Eurovision contest this year was an English song titled 'Divine', which prompted controversy by some government officials and French language purists.

French groups singing in English has also posed a problem for the French radio quotas that insist radio stations play at least 40% French language content. French singers singing in English then have to compete with the other 60% of predominantly anglo-saxon singers, who are usually more popular. Some are arguing that if it's produced in France, it should count as French.

I remember the days when you would watch a French person singing in English and be pretty sure they had no idea what they were singing. And I do still like the sounds of some French music even if sometimes I have no idea what they are saying.

Wouldn't world music be so boring if eveyone sang in English?

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