Françoise Hardy: ‘tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles’

This month, we thought that we would choose a song which might capture the feeling of French autumn in a musical form. Therefore, we have picked a singer whose wistful and nostalgic tone, paired with her elegant and understated style, make her songs the perfect companion for a stroll through Paris’s October streets, amongst the muted stone of the buildings and the leaves turning from vibrant green to melancholy brown.

Parisian born singer Françoise Hardy shot to fame at the age of just 18 with her debut single ‘Tous les garçons et les filles’ (1962), which sold 500,000 copies in a single year. In the following years, she appeared on the cover of Paris Match, represented Monaco at the Eurovision Song Contest of 1963 with ‘L’amour s’en va’, and acted in several films, including Jean-Luc Godard’s Masculin, féminin (1966).

Her music, which is marked by the meditative and delicate way in which it explores the anxieties and emotional turmoil of romantic relationships, is known for belonging to the yéyé genre of the 1960s. This style of pop music took its name from the French pronunciation of the interjection ‘yeah! yeah!’, that can often be heard in American and British rock music of the time, particularly in songs such as ‘She Loves You’, by The Beatles.

Although she is recognised as a key member of this musical movement, Hardy’s career has extended far beyond its decline. Over the years, she has released albums in French, English, Italian and German, and, even now, over fifty years after she sang ‘Tous les garçons et les filles’ for the first time, she continues to be a popular and recognisable figure in French culture.

You can watch the music video for ‘Tous les garçons et les filles’ here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V-b8QIYOpM

 

‘Tous les garçons et les filles de mon âge

Se promènent dans la rue deux par deux

Tous les garçons et les filles de mon âge

Savent bien ce que c’est qu’être heureux

Et les yeux dans les yeux et la main dans la main

Ils s’en vont amoureux sans peur du lendemain

Oui mais moi, je vais seule par les rues, l’âme en peine

Oui mais moi, je vais seule, car personne ne m’aime

 

Mes jours comme mes nuits sont en tous points pareils

Sans joies et pleins d’ennui personne ne murmure “je t’aime”

A mon oreille

 

Tous les garçons et les filles de mon âge

Font ensemble des projets d’avenir

Tous les garçons et les filles de mon âge

Savent très bien ce qu’aimer veut dire

 

Et les yeux dans les yeux et la main dans la main

Ils s’en vont amoureux sans peur du lendemain

Oui mais moi, je vais seule par les rues, l’âme en peine’

 

 

‘All the girls and boys of my age,

Go walking down the street two by two

All the girls and boys of my age

Know very well what it is to be happy.

Looking into each other’s eyes, hand in hand

In love, they go along, unafraid of what the next day may bring

Yes, but I, I go alone in the streets, the lost soul,

Yes, but I, I go alone, for there is no one to love me.

 

My days like my nights are the same in every way

Without joy and full of sorrow, with no one to murmur ‘I love you’

In my ear

 

All the boys and girls of my age

Make plans for the future together

All the boys and girls of my age

Know very well what it is to love

Looking into each other’s eyes, hand in hand

They go along, in love, unafraid of what the next day may bring

Yes but I, I go alone in the streets, the lost soul’