Top Ten Tracks in The “Chanson Française” Tradition

// Image courtesy of Guillaume Hankenne.

This playlist represents ten voices of the “Chanson Française” tradition of song, a genre from the mid-twentieth century in France (and Belgium in one case - Jacques Brel). Each of these singers is remarkable in their own way, but I encourage listeners to look out for common characteristics. For instance, some of the singers such as Georges Brassens, Édith Piaf, and Claude Nougaro use a throaty trilled “r,” which is quite difficult or even impossible for many people to reproduce. What other patterns do you notice make up this genre?

  1. Chanson pour l’Auvergnat - Georges Brassens
  2. Mon Amant de Saint-Jean - Lucienne Delyle
  3. Y’a d’la joie - Charles Trenet
  4. For Me Formidable - Charles Aznavour
  5. Les Champs Elysées - Joe Dassin
  6. Madeleine - Jacques Brel
  7. La Foule - Édith Piaf
  8. Tous les Garçons et les Filles - Françoise Hardy
  9. Poinçonneur des Lilas - Serge Gainsbourg
  10. Tu Verras - Claude Nougaro

// Madeleine Riskin-Kutz ‘25 is a writer for Blues.