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French Cha Cha Cha Songs in Dancing with the Stars. Part 1 of 2

Rossy de Palma and Christophe Licata

Rossy de Palma and Christophe Licata

This is an exploratory essay about French pop songs used in the show Danse avec les Stars (French version of Dancing with the Stars). The main purpose of my writing is entertainment.

You can dance along,

Sing along

Pick up some French,

Meet French stars,

But most importantly have fun.


Because

...day after day, life slips away...

Monday is just another morning

Tuesday I only feel like living

Dancing along with every song...

  • Dancing with the Stars - Wikipedia
    Dancing with the Stars is the name of several international television series based on the format of the British TV series Strictly Come Dancing, which is distributed by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC.

List of Songs Used

TitleArtistAlbum

1. Au bout de mes rêves

Jean-Jacques Goldman

Minoritaire (1982)

2. J'ai cherché

Amir

Au coeur de moi (2016)

3. Je te donne

Jean-Jacques Goldman

Non homologué (1985)

4. La Bonne Aventure

La Compagnie Créole

C'est bon pour le moral (2011)

5. Le Jerk

Thierry Hazard

Single (1989)

6. Marcia Baila

Les Rita Mitsouko

Rita Mitsouko (1984)

Luck Be upon You


La Bonne Aventure by La Compagnie Créole is the only song not used in the Dancing with the Stars show, but I have included it because of its meaning. The song is about a fortune teller who predicts that soon you will meet your ideal partner. In couples’ dancing, having an ideal partner is the most important “predictor” of success. If you have your ideal partner, you don’t need to dance, sing or even speak French.

La Bonne Aventure

Translating Lyrics

The best way to find translation is to google it

Artist Song lyrics English

Best site: lyricstranslate.com

French Celebrities - Stars

StarDancing to

1. Kamel le Magicien

J'ai cherché

2. Keen’V

Je te donne

3. Laura Flessel

Au bout de mes rêves

4. Rossy de Palma

Marcia Baila

5. Thierry Samitier

Le Jerk

1. Rossy de Palma and Christophe Licata (Season 1, 2011)

Actress and model Rossy de Palma meets Christophe Licata to dance an electrifying and steamy Cha Cha Cha to Marcia Baila by Les Rita Mitsouko. It’s their best dance and even though this couple was second to be eliminated, it was good while it lasted. Don’t forget that apart from competition, it’s the training that matters the most.



Even if you are not interested in dancing, singing, Cha Cha Cha or French, it’s worth meeting Rossy de Palma. It’s not a face or character you will forget.

Rossy de Palma

Rossy de Palma

Once Seen, Never Forgotten

Rossy de Palma is a striking actress, a "Picasso-Come-to Life" unconventional belle breaking all standards of beauty.

She was discovered in 1988 when she starred in the film Women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown by the prominent Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. She became his muse and a close friend ever since.

Later Rossy de Palma became a model and an inspiration for designers like Jean-Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, and Sybilla.

Daze: an Interview with Rossy de Palma

Les Rita Mitsouko - Marcia Baila

She’s the grasshopper

The siren sick with love

The dancer in flannel cotton

Or the cardboard paper

Lyrics:

C'est elle, la sauterelle

La sirène en mal d'amour

Le danseur dans la flanelle

Ou le carton



It's Something Else


This song can be described by all synonyms and all the synonyms of synonyms for the word bizarre. Here is a short list.


I personally picked outré (unusual and startling)

BizarreBizarrerThe Most Bizarre

aberrant

funny

strange

baffling

kooky

twisted

bizarre

outlandish

unconventional

eccentric

peculiar

unusual

exceptional

quirky

wacky

extraordinary

remarkable

weird

freaky

screwy

zany

Odd, but Easy to Follow


Lyrics are confusing, but it’s clear that Marcia dances. Yet this song is good for vocabulary acquisition for two reasons: first, it's so bizarre, it burns into your mind as an oddity, which it is, and, secondly, the pace of the song allows to sing along. Words are clearly articulated almost syllable by syllable.

But then again, if all this French is too difficult, you can simply dance to it.


Marcia she dances on satin, on rayon

Hard expanded polystyrene at her feet

Marcia dances with her legs

Sharp like blades

Two arrows that give ideas

Sensations

Marcia she’s skinny

Lovely on stage as she is in life

Seeing her dance transforms me into a maniac

Marcia, elle danse sur du satin, de la rayonne

Du polystirène expansé à ses pieds

Marcia danse avec des jambes

Aiguisées comme des couperets

Deux flèches qui donnent des idées

Des sensations

Marcia, elle est maigre

Belle en scène, belle comme à la ville

La voir danser me transforme en excitée

Les Rita Mitsouko - Marcia Baila with Lyrics

2. Laura Flessel Meets Grégoire Lyonnet (Season 3, 2012)


A legendary Olympic French épée fencer Laura Flessel-Colovic meets Grégoire Lyonnet to dance Cha Cha Cha to Au Bout de Mes Rêves by Jean-Jacques Goldman. This couple also was second to be eliminated, but their Cha Cha Cha routine was their worst. You would expect more grace and agility from a fencer, but it’s not the place in the competition that matters most, but all that precedes it. I see it this way: someone’s flawless performance intimidates wannabe dancers. A so-so performance inspires one into thinking “Surely, I can do better” or “Surely, I cannot be worse than this”.


Au Bout de Mes Rêves - Jean-Jacques Goldman


The translation of this song is available on www.lyricstranslate.com, The overall message is obscure, but the ending explains it all:

and even if you leave me, I will pretend to forget you, but deep inside I will keep this wound and will go to the end of my dreams, to the very end of my dreams, to the place where all reason ends.


Complicated References


Complicated references obfuscate the meaning of the song. The whole second stanza only alludes, but doesn't mention of Odyssey.


Really?

And even if I have to leave

Change of land or tracks

If I have to seek in exile

The imprint of my space

And even if the storms

The evil gods, the currents

Will make us bow our heads

Bend the knee under the wind


Odyssey?

Et même s'il faut partir

Changer de terre ou de trace

S'il faut chercher dans l'exil

L'empreinte de mon espace

Et même si les tempêtes

Les dieux mauvais, les courants

Nous feront courber la tête

Plier genoux sous le vent

Vocabulary is all about bits and pieces


Learning a language is all about learning how to play with blocks.

AND EVEN IF you take it apart and put back together again

AND EVEN IFADD Just aboutAnything

Et même si

l'on m'arrête

they stop me

Et même si

s'il faut partir

I have to leave

Et même si

tu me laisses

you leave me

And even if

she is a grasshopper

elle est la sauterelle

And even if

Marcia dances like an evil siren

Marcia danse comme une sirene mal

And even if

I won't sleep well

je vais dormir mal

S03 - Au Bout de mes Rêves

I'll go to the end of my dreams

To the very end of my dreams

I'll go to the end of my dreams

Where reason ends

To the very end of my dreams

I'll go to the end of my dreams

To the very end of my dreams

Where reason ends

To the very end of my dreams

J'irai au bout de mes rêves

Tout au bout de mes rêves

J'irai au bout de mes rêves

Où la raison s'achève

Tout au bout de mes rêves

J'irai au bout de mes rêves

Tout au bout de mes rêves

Où la raison s'achève

Tout au bout de mes rêves

Where Dreams End


However, words are clearly articulated and the rhythm of the song allows reading words syllable by syllable. The chorus part is super repetitive, so if you learn nothing else, you will be able to remember “J'irai au bout de mes rêves” – I will go to the end of my dreams, which can be anything from learning French to dancing Cha Cha Cha.

3. Thierry Samitier Meets Emmanuelle Berne (Season 6, 2015)


An actor from the comedy series Our Dear Neighbours (Nos Chers Voisins) Thierry Samitier meets Emmanuelle Berne to dance Cha Cha Cha to the song Le Jerk (The Jerk) by Thierry Hazard. Samitier is hardly a dancer, but he is definitely a performer and a good sport. This couple was the second to be eliminated as well, but their Cha Cha Cha was a crowd pleaser and rightly so. Samitier and Berne delivered a galvanizing performance accompanied with roaring applaud from the audience. The music is so upbeat that it is impossible to remain still.


Our Dear Neighbours (Nos Chers Voisins) with English Subtitles


The choice of music is half the success. Le Jerk is a funny song with a coherent storyline. Josephine works in an office and daydreams, Roger works in a factory and his job is not very exciting either, not to say detrimental to his health. When the work is finally over both Josephine and Roger go to a discotheque where they meet. Eventually they get married, have four children and later teach them how to dance Le Jerk and they all go dance, sing and live happily ever after.


Le Jerk - Thierry Hazard

Interesting Facts:


There is a surprising amount of specific details and references in the song.


Josephine doesn’t just have a watch, she has a Kelton watch.

She doesn’t just have a big bust; she has a bust like Dolly Parton.

She doesn’t just want to be like any celebrity, she wants to be like Olivia Newton John.


Roger doesn’t just admire any musicians; he admires Lenine and Lennon.

He doesn’t just take any bus; he takes the 18:17 bus.


Josephine and Roger don’t just have four children, they have quadruplets.

They don’t just have quadruplets, but they specifically have Gustave, Alphonse, Arthur and Philibert.


And it’s not just any party; the whole family has a dance party like at Woodstock.


The Woodstock Music and Art Festival

The images in the video clip are perfectly matched with the lyrics line by line.

Thierry Hazard - Le Jerk with Lyrics

Speaking of ideal partners:

Josephine and Roger

found each other.

The fortune-teller was right.

4. Kamel le Magicien Meets Emmanuelle Berne (Season 7, 2016)

Amir

Laurent Amir Khlifa Khedider Haddad, better known as Amir, is a French-Israeli singer and songwriter. He represented France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with the song "J'ai cherché", which finished in 6th place.

Now Emmanuelle Berne the Dancer meets Kamel the Magician. Yet another couple was the second to be eliminated, but their performance is nothing short of magic. In fact, it is magic. Coupled with the most-listened to song J'ai cherché (I Searched) by Amir their Cha Cha Cha was spectacular.



The song was so successful that it was translated into both English I Was Looking for You and Spanish Yo Busqué. The French song goes like that:

I have been looking for you and I have found you; you are the answer to my whys (seemingly all of them); I used to feel like an error of the Universe, but no more because you have given the meaning to my existence.


I was looking for a sense

A point of reference

Divided into two hemispheres

Like an error of the universe

I threw

J’ai cherché un sens,

Un point de repère

Partagé en deux hémisphères

Comme une erreur de l’Univers

J’ai jeté


So many bottles into the sea

I drank so many bitter liquors

That my lips turned into stone


Tellement de bouteilles à la mer

J’ai bu tant de liqueurs amères

Que j’en ai les lèvres de pierre


You gave

Me like the need to be me

Gave a sense to my why's

You killed the fear

Sleeping there, sleeping there

In my arms


Tu m'as

Comme donné l’envie d’être moi

Donné un sens à mes pourquoi

Tu as tué la peur

Qui dormait là, qui dormait là

Dans mes bras

English Version - Looking for You

Lyrics and Translation


Lyrics and translation for

1. J'ai cherché

2. Yo Busqué

are available on lyricstranslate.com


5. Keen'V Meets Fauve Hautot (Season 4, 2013)

Another couple to use a song by Jean-Jacques Goldman for their Cha Cha Cha routine. This time it’s Je te donne (I Give to You). The couple got to the 4th place. Their performance is dynamic and cheerful carried mostly by Fauve Hautot, the dancer of the two. A reggae musician Keen'V is there for company or so it seems. However, the song itself serves as a morale booster and mood amplifier. That’s what I like about Cha Cha Cha songs.


Meet Keen'V

Keen'V

Kevin Bonnet better known as Keen'V is a French ragga* musician. He made his breakthrough with the single J'aimerais trop (I’d Love to) during 2011, peaking at number 3 on the French Singles Chart. The song is dedicated to an exceptional mixed- race beauty - Miss France 2008, Valérie Bègue and contains references to a scandal she was involved into. Clearly, Keen’V was on Valérie’s side. The song is very catchy and cheerful.

Keen'V and Fauve Hautot

Keen'V and Fauve Hautot

Je te donne - Jean-Jacques Goldman


The song is a mix of English and French where one language flows seamlessly into another. The lucidity of translation increases from one version to the next.

The main message of the song is “I give” - I give you all that I have, myself, all good and bad that I have and even the differences between us (the list follows).


Jean-Jacques Goldman - Je te donne (I Give to You)


What is good about this song? Its rhythm, its energy, the skill you need to jump from one language to another and then pick up the pace halfway through – what’s good about this song is the challenge and hopefully fun. We are talking about entertainment after all, with deeper meaning and graceful movement on the side.



Je te donne - Lyrics Translation - Three Versions

There are three versions of translation of Je te donne on Lyricstranslate.

Please take into consideration that translating songs is more difficult than it seems. What makes sense to native speakers, doesn't necessarily make sense to everybody else. The choices are to translate line by line or take liberties and add your own interpretation.

Translating line by line usually results in an awkward if not downright incoherent writing and taking liberties in order to illuminate the meaning results in violating the authenticity.

If you speak any foreign language well enough, try it for yourself - try translating a song. Only when I tried, I realized how little sense songs make.


Speaking of Sides:


Keen'V may not impress you much on a dance floor, but it is worth checking out his music.


Carpe Diem - Seize the Day

Carpe Diem


I liked this song much more than existential J'ai cherché or Je te donne because they sound empty to me - I feel nothing. You are my everything, and I give you everything and everything usually means nothing. "Carpe Diem" (Seize the Day) is more practical, if not deeply existential.

You know that everything happens for a reason?


On dit souvent qu'il faut profiter de l'instant présent
Profiter non à 100 mais plutôt 110 %
Laisser le passer derrière soit et y aller de l'avant
Profiter de chaque jours, chaque heures, chaque minutes, chaque moments
Quand on veut quelque chose faut jamais laisser tomber
S'accrocher à nos rêves comme si nos vie en dépendait
Surtout ne jamais baisser les bras non ça jamais
Tout en vivant sa vie comme on le voudrait


It is often said that one must take advantage of the present moment

Enjoy not at 100 but rather 110%

Let the past behind and go forward

Enjoy every day, every hour, every minute, every moment

When you want something you should never give up

Clinging to our dreams as if our lives depended on the

Above all never give up

While living his life as you would like


Marie Lopez and Yann-Alrick Mortreuil

Marie Lopez and Yann-Alrick Mortreuil

In the End


1. Who is your ideal partner?

2. How far will you go to find him?

3. How much attention should you pay to details?

4. What will it take to even start looking?

5. Would you rather give or take?


If you don't know, I suggest you

go visit Mademoiselle Clemence, the Fortune Teller, again.


Everything happens for a reason, doesn't it?

My prediction is that you find your ideal partner on a dance floor.


You can't prove me wrong!

Or can you?




End of Part 1

Dancing with the Stars

Two Part Series

  • French Cha Cha Cha Songs. Part 1
    Ten French Cha-Cha-Cha pop songs including some of their tempo-controlled versions. All of which is good for dancing, singing, improving French vocabulary together with articulation and having fun.
  • French Cha Cha Cha Songs - Part 2
    Forty French pop songs suitable for Cha Cha Cha, including some tempo-controlled versions.

My Collection

  • Cha Cha Cha French - YouTube
    Playlist for dancing Cha Cha Cha: French songs and French versions of songs from other languages including some originals.

Italian Cha Cha Cha

  • Italian Cha Cha Cha Songs
    A collection of Cha Cha Cha songs in Italian language for you to discover old and modern songs, meet Italian celebrities and learn some lyrics to sing along.

© 2017 kallini2010

Comments

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 20, 2017:

Thank you, Martie for your support. I do hope that this article is entertaining. Truth be told, these songs are not strictly Cha Cha Cha, they are pop songs used for the show; therefore, there is more show than Cha Cha Cha itself.

But we know that about Dancing with the Stars, don't we?

Dance teachers know better, they know their tempo-controlled music and new dancers should follow recommendations of their (hopefully) good teachers.

But, if one looks at it creatively, there is a lot of joy in discovering new songs.

You know better than me, that to like new music we should listen to it more than once and that's what has happened to me - I started writing the article being fairly indifferent, but in the end it has grown on me and that's my biggest payoff.

Search engines? I don't know. I always end up writing for non-existing audience. I get all enthusiastic and then lose steam somewhere around at 60% - 65% of completion. So, it was important for me to finish. Daniel had a good laugh at it. "Mom, are you still writing your "no one needs" stuff?"

Hugs,

P.S. Miraculously, the second part is 90% ready and it's weirder than the 1st. Or shall I say "more outré"?

P.S.S. If you did not look up Rossy de Palma, I strongly recommend it - she is very unconventional beauty. Maybe I am unconventional too?

Martie Coetser from South Africa on March 20, 2017:

This is truly a very entertaining hub, and also educational. I love cha-cha-cha's! Also good to see the translations. Understanding the lyrics gives meaning to the songs, although the music alone is a feast for the ears and soul.

I hope dance teachers and wanna-be dancers discover this superb hub via search engines.

Both thumbs up, Svetlana. I look forward to part 2.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 20, 2017:

Thank you, FlourishAnyway, for your comment. I am glad you liked the article. Ask me what possessed me to invest time and I won't be able to give you a coherent answer. The whole idea was to do it quickly and get it over with, but apparently words like "me, writing, quickly" don't belong in one sentence. "Me-do-quickly" got me in making two articles instead of one. Clearly I have a lot to learn.

I do admire how you put together your musical hubs.

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 19, 2017:

This was fantastic, between the dancing and those lyrics that are certainly unconventional by the standards we're used to! You obviously invested so much in constructing this article, and it shows!

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