Songs to learn french

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Super Member
Joined: 01.11.2017
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Hello everyone.
I am studying French and recently I studied Le Passe Composee and L'Imparfait. Could you tell me some songs where these kinds of verbs are used so I can learn them easier? Thank you.

Joined: 13.12.2016

Hello Regular smile
These are the most common past tenses and they are often used when speaking about the past, so they can be found in really a lot of songs.
Do you have any preference in the kind of songs you are looking for?

Super Member
Joined: 01.07.2018

For example :  Mon Légionnaire (Edith Piaf) ?
Lots of imperfects, some "passés composés" and other tenses too.

Super Member
Joined: 01.11.2017

Yes, could you suggest slow songs, kind of Sam Smith style

Super Member
Joined: 01.11.2017


Senior Member
Joined: 18.07.2015

There are two other ways to express the past with French verbs, which are "le passé simple" and "le plus que parfait". Therefore, I think the four tenses (imparfait, passé composé, plus que parfait, passé simple) should be learnt together, in order to have a full understanding on that matter.

Here is a short list of French singers who sing with a clear voice: Françoise Hardy, Anne Sylvestre, Véronique Sanson, Jean-Jacques Goldman, France Gall, Daniel Balavoine, Niagara, Sheila, Laurent Voulzy.
Here is another short list of French singers who may be more difficult to understand to foreigners, although they are well known: Tino Rossi, Johnny Halliday, Eddy Mitchell, Serge Gainsbourg, Rita Mistouko, Edith Piaf, Téléphone, Georges Brassens, Renaud, Carla Bruni, Charles Azenavour, Dalida.

Editor and cheeky nitpicker
Joined: 14.09.2013

You might want to have a look at this song.
It uses the imparfait to express something close to the past continuous (the fugue we used to play), in opposition with the passé simple (a violin got thrown on the floor) or passé composé (one day, Eléonore left the house).

This one has a good mix of passé composé and imparfait too.
The band usually has pretty poor lyrics, but this particular song was written by the lead singer of Mickey 3D, who happens to know his French.
The first two translations are pretty poor though. Better look at the fourth for a nice rendition, or the third for a more literal meaning.

Joined: 05.07.2018

I love french rap, that i wanna learn that language so f*cking bad (excuse my french) Heheh sorry for my joke, But for real if anyone got some tips how to learn french so i understand the rap songs that would be great.

Super Member
Joined: 01.11.2017

Thank you so much

Editor and cheeky nitpicker
Joined: 14.09.2013

Just like US gangsta babble, French rap uses a language on its own. Most French speakers don't bother to understand it, including a good portion of the teenage population.

Words can mean various things depending on the context, the year the song was written and the place where the singer lives. The syntax is broken as a rule, most of the authors don't master their own language and pick embarrassingly inappropriate words trying to look smart.

There is a constant whoring for audience going on, like in so many countries, so you're practically guaranteed to find over the top juvenile provocation, crass profanity, sexism, cult of violence and money, ego trips and urban warfare mythology that has nothing to do with reality.
Gun control being a serious business in France, gang warfare à la Bloods vs Crisps is nothing but a fantasy for bored rich kids and racist old farts. That's what the rap singers are serving them. Pure puppets of the system in whose eye they spend their days spitting, really.

The language of French rap can be an amusing thing to learn as a hobby, but despites the media hype it's only a constellation of dialects spoken by a tiny minority of kids and pretty immature young adults.
Trying to learn French through rap will not do your language skills any more good than watching kids babbling among themselves in a schoolyard.

Super Member
Joined: 13.08.2017
Super Member
Joined: 06.02.2016

i'd start with children songs, folk songs, or a youtube list with french chanson. slow song would be "ne me quitte pas" by jacques brel.
a song with past tense would be "vesoul" but i warn you its one of the fastest.

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