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wonders never cease Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WEDNESDAY, JULY 14th, 2010fourteen songs for le quatorze juillet

bastilleday Ah, Bastille Day. Baguette bakers' busiest day of the year and a great excuse to tuck into some fine French cuisine and wash it down with libations from the world's most celebrated vineyards. The fourteenth of July actually commemorates the 1790 FГЄte de la FГ©dГ©ration, the feast held to celebrate the happy conclusion of the French Revolution, held on the first anniversary of the flashpoint of the uprising, the storming of the Bastille. We invite you to find some inspiration in these fine French songs and to wander over to your nearest creperie and have your own little FГЄte de la FГ©dГ©ration. Bon appetit! Vive la France!

1. La Marseillaise - Mireille Mathieu
If there's a bloodier or more rousing national anthem out there, we have yet to learn it. The French aren't joking around, exhorting their fellow citizens to rise up and water their fields with the impure blood of the invading armies. Perhaps that's the secret to their terrific wine grapes. Let's hope not.

2. Les SoirГ©es Parisiennes - Louise Attaque
A song about Parisian parties is only fitting on this holiday, the French day of La FГЄte Nationale, or national celebration.

3. La Vie En Rose - Edith Piaf
The ultimate French chanteuse, Piaf is regarded as her country's greatest popular singer. Born to a cafe-singer mother and a street-acrobat father, raised in a brothel run by her grandmother, she began her singing career as a Parisian street performer.

4. Brrrlak - Zap Mama
Founded by Marie Daulne, a Belgian woman born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but raised in Belgium after her Belgian father was kidnapped and killed by Simba rebels one week after she was born.

5. Aux Champs ElysГ©es - Joe Dassin
With this sauntering song that just drips happiness and bonhomie, Dassin makes the most expensive strip of real estate in Europe seem like the Elysian Fields that it is named after.

6. Rock El Casbah - Rachid Taha
French Algerian rocker channels the late Joe Strummer in this Arabic cover of the Clash classic, garnering international acclaim and multiple guest appearances onstage from former Clash guitarist Mick Jones.

7. Comic Strip - Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot
The second song from his 1968 album The Initials BB, an homage to his girlfriend, legendary French bombshell Brigitte Bardot.

8. Grand Champion - Les Trois Accords
Quebecois quartet who once opened for the Rolling Stones are known for injecting humor into some pretty cool sounding songs. Maybe this is just the inspiration we need to sign up for French lessons.

9. Douce France - Charles Trenet
In this love song to his native country, Trenet paints a picture that's hard not to pine for.

10. Entre Deux Taxis - Les Cowboys Fringants
The Frisky Cowboys lament the inevitable end of love from the moment of the first kiss in this hit song from this neo-traditional band from Quebec.

11. La BohГЁme - Charles Aznavour
The signature song of the beloved French tenor, who edged out Elvis Pressley and Bob Dylan to be voted Entertainer of the Century in a 1998 poll by CNN.

12. Alexandrie Alexandra - Claude Francois
A hit from the French superstar who could mold his image to keep with the times. This hit was the pinnacle of his disco phase, but it was also notable for being issued on the day of his burial after he was fatally electrocuted in his bathtub while preparing for a TV performance.

13. Le Bien, Le Mal - Guru with MC Solaar
A transatlantic track from hip hop superstars, with Gang Starr's Guru joining forces with Paris' MC Solaar.

14. Foux Du Fafa - Flight Of The Conchords
The goofy Kiwis are at it again, trying to bluff their way into a date with some beautiful French women but having to admit that their rudimentary language skills have been exhausted when the conversation becomes two-sided.

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