Friday, April 13, 2007

Attends Ou Va-T‘En (1965) – France Gall (Serge Gainsbourg)

The best pop music is constructed of elements with universal appeal. Even for those of us who don’t understand the French language, France Gall’s brand of yé-yé girl pop exemplified in “Attends Ou Va-T‘En” conveys a familiar air of apprehension. One recognizes the melodica’s latent distress imparted with doleful notes, Gall’s anxiety seeping through the opacity of a troubled melody, set to a locomotive canter that traverses the countryside en route to a hook that portends the dénouement.

As the muse and model for April March decades later, Gall lent a voice apropos to the songwriting brilliance of Serge Gainsbourg that transcended the barriers of language. (Unfortunately, her career also suffered as a result of being artistically exploited by Gainsbourg.) With a title that translates as “Wait for me, or get lost,” it’s any English-only listener’s guess as to what presently concerns the song’s protagonist, but the pathos of a fait accompli is easily absorbed.

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