Radio GaGa

5 April 2011

That’s me. I love the radio and I am VERY slowly discovering French music. This is thanks to
A: My son, who learns to sing French music at school. It seems he has a really good music teacher. She manages to get a class of about 30 teenagers to sing beautifully. (I have heard the proof via the schools website). She seems to choose the songs well.
B: The radio. Not French radio, all I listen to is France Culture, the French equivalent to BBC radio 4 (still …un de mes petits péchés). The speakers on France Culture use ‘proper’ French i.e. vocabulary that I can understand — never verlan or slang, they pronounce all the necessary syllables and thus speak at a speed much slower than your average radio DJ. This all makes a satisfactory listening experience for me, because I have a chance to understand what is going on and enlarge my vocabulary at the same time.
But I actually heard the singer I have recently become a fan of the other day on a German radiostation. It’s Funkhaus Europa, a radio station that focusses on what’s happening in Europe (and the world) politically and culturally. They also play an interesting mix of music from all over the world, so I hear new and exciting stuff that the mainstream stations would never play. I listen to Funkhaus Europa pretty much every day in the morning, but I tend to switch to a different station once they start broadcasting in languages such as Greek, Spanish, Portuguese or Turkish in the evenings… I am not keen to learn, for example, Turkish right now, but maybe I should, who knows where our next home will be…
Anyway, I heard this song (Le vélo — unfortunately the original is not on YouTube 😦 ) about a boy learning to ride his bike. It is by a French singer called Bénabar. He is great. He makes wonderful music and the lyrics are very funny and ironic. I think the first CD of French music I will buy will be by Bénabar. You can read about him on Wikipedia (in English)
And for all those who would like to listen to his music, there are two also really cool songs on YouTube:
Le dîner and L’effet papillon . If you understand just a little French (like me…) you might want to also read the lyrics (as I do, I only every catch parts of the text), they are easy to google.

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