En rouge et noir

Here is my song for a Saturday. Voici ma chanson pour un samedi.

The year was 1986. Haircuts were punk and shoulders were wide when I first landed in Paris. The music on the radio that year included this hit from the lovely Jeanne Mas.

How I admired her elfin look! She had something edgy but very feminine that was probably born of her Spanish and Italian origins.

Jeanne Mas wasn’t exactly a one-hit wonder but her fame faded out in the 90s. Still, this song from 1986 will always be associated with my first year in France.

What’s your favourite 80’s song?


  1. 355101pkl · April 13, 2019

    My wife is Mauritian and French is her first language and so French music her first choice. Over the years I have been drawn in as an accidental listener . I love the amazing range of Dalida and we would play her CD’s in long car journeys between France and Spain. and would play her singing Gigi L’amoroso to keep my eyes open whist driving through desolate villages and countryside at night with the children in the back . You could picture the goings on ,as you passed through the village and listened to the song.
    There is something about the tragic passions and the lives of the French women singers that you cant get away from . We sometimes talk about her life . Dalida is just one. She was known internationally and a huge star in France but i doubt if she is known by one hundred In England .
    Now we fly to Spain . I miss the song but not the driving !

    • MELewis · April 14, 2019

      What lovely memories you have shared! Dalida is a much-loved icon of ‘la chanson française’. I can imagine how listening to her in the car on those long trips was evocative (and I think I’ll devote a future post to one of hers…). Flying to Spain is certainly more practical but surely less romantic. P.S. We are going on holiday in Mauritius soon. I hear it is an amazing place!

      • 355101pkl · April 17, 2019

        My wife is a follower of all French music and I know the life stories of most of the singers . I find them much more interesting than the Brit music scene. Yes Mauritius is a lovely place but be warned there is not a lot of nightlife . I enjoy going to restaurants and going for walk at night when in Spain but I think there isn’t lot going on at night there except if you keep to the hotels

      • MELewis · April 17, 2019

        Thanks — quiet nights sound good to me! 🙂

  2. You landed in France a couple of years before me but it does take me back.

    • MELewis · April 14, 2019

      France in the late 80s, eh? We are a couple of expat survivors! 😂

  3. Susanne · April 13, 2019

    You’re on a post roll this week- I can’t keep up! My favourite ‘80’s song is Try by Blue Rodeo sung by the incomparable Jim Cuddy.

    • MELewis · April 14, 2019

      Yeah, I’ve decided to challenge myself and post daily for awhile — we’ll see how long I last! 😇 Thanks for sharing the song — I will add it to my playlist!

  4. A new life in Lille · May 11, 2019

    When I was a student in France in the 1980s, my favourite French song was Corinne Charby’s Boule de flipper. Sadly, it seems to have become a favourite of compilers of shopping centre muzak playlists these days…

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