Skip to main content

Dance: French Cha Cha Cha Songs - Part 2 of 2

My articles are to inspire creativity by engaging readers in a thought-provoking dialogue in an entertaining and uniquely memorable way.



Hand-picked selection of forty French pop songs suitable for Cha Cha Cha including some tempo-controlled versions.

Songs Used - Pop Versions

Songs Used - Pop Versions

TitleArtistAlbum - Year Released

1. Dans la danse

Eli et Papillon

Colorythmie - 2015

2. Allez Savoir Pourquoi

Alain Morisod & Sweet People

Si c'était à refaire - 2012

3. Joe le Taxi

Vanessa Paradis


4. Paroles, Paroles



5. Abîmée

Slimane et Léa Castel


6. Le Rat

Dany Brillant

Havana - 1996

7. Redonne-moi ma chance

Dany Brillant

C'est Toi - 1993

8. Le Cha Cha d'Isabelle

Les Musclés

La bourrée des Musclés - 1992

9. Tropique

Muriel Dacq

Single - 1986 (Silver Disc)

10. Voyage, Voyage


Single - 1986

Boriana Deltcheva and Delyan Terziev

Boriana Deltcheva and Delyan Terziev

Here is a song by a lovely Canadian duet – Eli et Papillon (Eli & Butterfly).

The gist of the story: I go straight ahead without stopping towards my happiness. I leave behind people I liked, my past and all that I cannot take with me which is pretty much everything. I live according to the time.

But to try my luck I have to go through slopes and riverbanks that are strewn with roses and their thorns. Paths of freedom are not that easy. I am heading towards where the sun shines and heat makes me drunk.

At some point, however, comes direction confusion – “It doesn’t matter where I go” which disappears as soon as you realize that “wherever you go there you are”.

The most optimistic thought – I am stepping into the dance and that’s why I sing. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Happiness is dancing and singing. When people are happy they dance and sing and when they sing and dance, people are happy as long as the music and the intent are happy ones.

Video with Lyrics

Je veux aller là où le soleil brille

Quelque part où la chaleur m'enivre

Je suis partie pour mieux revenir

Pour tenter ma chance

Entrer dans la danse

C'est pourquoi je chante

Entrer dans la danse

Scroll to Continue

C'est pourquoi je chante

I want to go where the sun shines

Somewhere where the heat makes me drunk

I left to get better

To try my luck

Entering the Dance

That's why I sing

Entering the Dance

That's why I sing


Video Clip with Lyrics

Cha Cha Cha Version

Who knows why songs affect us the way they do?

A song is a little seemingly inconsequential thing,

But when it lends in your ear, it stays there

Who knows why?

It resonates with our joys and sorrows

It’s a memory and a reminder

Who knows why?

Because once a few words of love

Turn into rhymes and make

A child who has nothing but a wooden guitar


Because once a kid from Paris

Whistled when she found Mimi (a doll, a dog or a friend or I’m out of options)

And this happy event resulted in singing all around

Because when one evening

A troubadour fell in love

He could not sleep

And by the sunrise

He came up with a new song

So, who knows?

Why such little inconsequential things like songs

Have such tremendous staying power

Resonating with our joys and sorrows?

I Happen to Know

but is it important why?

Strange Things Happen

In 1987, a fourteen year old singer records a song about Joe, a Parisian taxi driver, who knows Paris like the back of his hand. He loves Latin music in general and mambo in particular, indulges in rum and loves his yellow saxophone.

Verse 1

Joe the cab driver

won't go to some places

won't go for soft drinks.

His yellow saxophone

knows every street by heart:

every cosy bar

every dark alley

and the Seine river

and her glittering bridges.

In his car

Joe's music echoes

It's the rumba,

the good old mambo-flavoured rock.

Joe le taxi

Y va pas partout

Y marche pas au soda

Son saxo jaune

Connaît toutes les rues par coeur

Tous les p'tits bars

Tous les coins noirs

Et la Seine

Et ses ponts qui brillent

Dans sa caise

La musique à Joe

C'est la rumba

Le vieux rock au mambo

Colour Confusion Again

“His yellow saxophone knows every street by heart” doesn’t make much sense unless you know that “yellow saxophone” is an allusion to New York yellow taxi cabs. In Paris, there is no colour exclusivity for taxi cabs which cost the drivers some business for sure. Yellow is the most visible colour on the road and yellow cars have the lowest accident rate. It's a fact!

Too bad for Paris, which might explain why in the original video, Joe is so gloomy not to say hostile. Who can listen all day to mambo and old mambo-flavoured rock and be so depressed?

Of course, traffic jams don’t help Joe’s mood, but I have a suspicion that a trip to the Amazon suggested by the singer is too cost prohibitive to be happy about it. This idea might cost Joe many, many sleepless nights driving around Paris.

Then there is a special mention of the King of Mambo - Xavier Cugat, the Spanish-Cuban bandleader and Yma Sumac, a Peruvian soprano singer with a voice range of well over five octaves, which, frankly, creeps me out. Mariachi is thrown in, I’m afraid, for the rhyming’s sake.

So, Joe dreams about visiting South America, Brazil and Peru, Mexico and Cuba and meet all these famous people.

Location, Location, Location

Instead of going to the Amazon, Joe goes to Martinique - the place where the second video takes place. Clearly, it’s a wise choice. The New Joe has a lighter shade of brown skin, he is older and he drives a blue jeep. Saxophone is nowhere in sight, but he is so happy, he makes me jealous. Here is the genuine smile!I don’t know what musical instrument can be used as an allusion to a blue jeep, but it doesn’t seem to bother Joe at all. Nothing seems to bother him. He found his Paradise.

Paradis, Vanessa is not quite there yet. With the bags under her eyes and some malaise like disposition she doesn’t look too well. But she takes long walks in the greenery and has a place to live. So given time, she can become as happy as Joe.

Who knows where this little seemingly inconsequential activity like singing can take you?

Martinique, the Happy France

Left, Right, Left

He Says, She Says

This song was originally written in 1972 by Leo Chiosso and Giancarlo Del Re and performed by Mina Mazzini and Alberto Lupo in Italian. Needless to say that it became a hit and was subsequently translated into many languages. The first translation was into French in 1973 for Dalida and Alain Delon.

The song is about love that ended and a dialogue between two lovers. She is singing mostly “paroles, paroles” – words, words, empty words, nothing but words. He speaks and speaks beautifully if you can hear him which is not easy. Her singing overpowers his talking and has a great emotional resonance with the female audience. It’s being said that women love with their ears while men love with their eyes, which I interpret as men are not much to look at and women are not to be listened to.

He Says:

You are my today and tomorrow

You are my destiny

You are so beautiful

You are a beautiful love story that I will never get tired of reading

You are my only truth

You are like the wind that makes violins play

You are the music that makes stars dance

You are my forbidden dream, my torment and my hope

If you did not exist, I would have invented you

He Begs:


Listen to me!

Let me say another word!

I swear to you!

He Tells the Truth:

Sometimes I don’t understand you

If only you could listen to me

I don’t know how I can talk to you so that you will listen

I want you to understand me

Try and Understand Me

This is a beautiful video clip.

It's in French,

no, I don't understand,

no, it's French,

no, what, French has changed that much?

No, it's French.

I did not realize that it was French. Mixed with Portuguese.

Words, Words, Words...

She speaks French and he speaks Portuguese.

No wonder they don’t understand each other. Very Toronto like.

Léa Castel & Slimane - Abîmée

The Black and White

accentuates the message of the song

Just Listen

If you just listen to the words, the sound seem to go so well together as if the words were in complete harmony with the music and each other.

Tell Me

Do you feel the surrounding emptiness?

That the world collapses around you

That the world has become deaf and blind

And I feel as if I am nothing but a cry

My tears don’t change a thing

Like a damaged child

Lost in their forgotten nights

Tell me how to pretend

I lose myself in the machine of time

Drowning in the uncertainty

Of tomorrows, and floating

In the middle of the bitumen

Under a dull sun

Is it necessary to lower the head

Collect the crumbs

And pretend to dream

Since none of my tears

Can change a thing

Si noyé dans l’incertitude

Des lendemains et flotter

Au milieu du bitume

Sous un soleil éteint

Faut-il baisser la tête

Ramasser les miettes

Et faire semblant de rêver

Puisqu’aucune de mes larmes

N'y pourra rien changer

Wrapped in Semi-Coherence

That’s what I call a mystery song. Google Translate gave me a

“what the hell could it possibly mean?” translation. So, I tried to understand...

"If only you could listen and understand me," said Google Translate.

"I'm trying, but you give me Paroles, Paroles, words, words, words, empty words, nothing but words! Men! Rats!"

Close Enough

Probably close enough

When he sees her his heart does something - either good or bad which is followed by a lamentation that he has good tobacco in his snuffbox, but now she will have it.

When he sees her, it's under the moonlight and on the dunes where they kiss and gather lovely poppies.

On the dunes? Poppies?

I have to mention that there is a line about having drinks with friends - after the moonlight and before gathering floral delights.


You know very well I love potatoes,

So why do you make me peas?

If you continue, I call the police

And with them, you know, you won’t joke around.

Tu sais très bien que j'aime les pommes de terre,
Alors pourquoi tu me fais des petits pois ?
Si tu continues, j'appelle le commissaire
Et avec lui, tu sais, on rigole pas.

The In-Laws

Later the word “Ta Mère, La Vipère” – mother rhymes with viper and I’m pretty sure that’s what he means. He calls her father “a pigeon” which in French could stand for a simpleton (fool). According to Google Translate, his “in-laws” have a difficult relationship because the mother, the viper bites the foot of her father the pigeon.

Culinary-literary references

You have taken a blow on a coffeemaker because you have read Bhagavad Gita. Coffee might come together with the chocolate éclairs that she ate, I presume.

In the Bedroom

Now you come to my bedroom

And I eat your head in chocolate

Then I show you my beautiful hat

And there

Boom! The door strikes...

The Punch Line

the big fat rat

If you can make sense of it, let me know.

I, on the other hand, will let you know what this song is about as soon as the translation becomes available. Then we all can have a good laugh, indulge in some chocolate éclairs and take a blow on a coffeemaker (hoping it has a warranty against incoherence).

Speaking of "Paroles"

Here Dany Brillant asking his former love to give him another chance to start again and make things better. Yes, he knows that their love has been dead for a long time. That all the beautiful words have not lasted more than a year. That living together kills feelings and love tends to fall of the shared bed.

Yet, I cry now, let me die or redefine myself, give me another chance. Yes, I know I have made mistakes, but I also know how to please you. Tell me you love me, you adore me like the first time we met. Remember you thought I was clever? Give me another chance...

If You Let Me

to rekindle our love

Redonne-moi ma chance
que je recommence, ouais
j'ai fait des erreurs
aujourd'hui j'en pleure
ouais, laisse-moi partir
à ta reconquête
et que tu regrettes
et que tu sois prête
ouais, si tu me laisses faire
je saurais te plaire
ouais refaire à l'envers
l'amour d'hier
dis-moi que tu m'aimes
et que tu m'adores
comme au premier jour
parle-moi d'amour

Give me another chance

To start again, yeah

I made mistakes

Today I cry

Yeah, let me go

To reconquer

And that you regret

And that you are ready

Yeah, if you let me

I know how to please you

Yeah do it upside down

The love of yesterday

tell me that You Love Me

And you adore me

like the first day

Speak to me of love

I don’t have the lyrics for this song, but I don’t think there is any need for explanations. It’s obvious that people here have jolly good time. They dance and sing without contemplating complicated relationships and existential questions about one’s place in the universe.

Quelle belle isabelle, quelle belle, quelle belle

How beautiful Isabelle is

How beautiful

How beautiful

She dances Cha Cha Cha

It’s one of those songs when it’s hard to say what it is about exactly. It’s mostly about how hot it is in the tropics, inside the discoteca, something about champagne and changing or not changing a motor on the counter. The ocean draws on the canvas of the boat – and stuff like that which makes no sense whatsoever.

But the main message – it’s hot, hot, hot. I am hot, hot, hot. Some passion resonates inside of my piano and something is happening to my microphone and you move to the tempo. And it’s hot, hot, hot, and I’m hot, hot, hot...


The ocean draws

on the canvas of my boat

The passion resonates

in the guts of my piano

L'océan dessine

sur la toile de mon bateau
La passion résonne

dans les tripes de mon piano


10. Desireless - Voyage Voyage


What's wrong with you people?

Everybody seems to suggest these expensive trips to the Amazon, deserts of Fujiyama, swamps of Spain and the rain forests of Tundra.

It's only half the trouble or rather half-price because the tickets are not open date tickets, they are not return tickets, they are NEVER-YOU-RETURN tickets. Or, wait, there is another name for that, One-Way-Tickets...

Yes, these are my thoughts, never mind that I loved and love this song still. It was interesting to finally learn what the lyrics are about and see that the whole Voyage takes place in a nuthouse. Really?

Verse 1

Above the ancient volcanoes

Slide your wings under the carpet of the wind

Travel, travel, eternally

From clouds to swamps

From winds of Spain to rains in Ecuador

Travel, travel, fly high

Above the capitals, fatal ideas

Look at the ocean

Au-dessus des vieux volcans

Glisse tes ailes sous le tapis du vent

Voyage, voyage, éternellement

De nuages en marécages

De vents d'Espagne en pluies d'Équateur

Voyage, voyage, vole dans les hauteurs

Au-dessus des capitales, des idées fatales

Regarde l'océan

Verse 2

On the Ganges or the Amazon

Where people of different races live (more politcally correct)

Travel, travel, throughout the kingdom

On the dunes of the Sahara

From Fiji islands to Fujiyama

Travel, travel, don't you stop

Above barbed wires, some bombed hearts

Look at the ocean

Sur le Gange ou l'Amazone

Chez les blacks, chez les Sikhs, chez les jaunes

Voyage, voyage, dans tout le royaume

Sur les dunes du Sahara

Des îles Fidji au Fujiyama

Voyage, voyage, ne t'arrête pas

Au-dessus des barbelés, des cœurs bombardés

Regarde l'océan


Travel, travel,

further than night and day


in the incredible space of love

Travel, travel

on the sacred water of an Indian river

Travel, and never come back

Voyage, voyage,

plus loin que la nuit et le jour


dans l'espace inouï de l'amour

Voyage, voyage,

sur l'eau sacrée d'un fleuve indien

Voyage, et jamais ne reviens


Strictly Cha Cha Cha

Songs Used - Tempo-controlled Versions


1. Mon Petit Garcon

Francesca Lotà

Corazón Desperado



2. Paroles Paroles

Dalida & Alain Delon

Ti Mon Bo



3. Sous Le Soleil

Ton Greten

Rhythm To Result Cha Cha Cha



4. Tropique

Alex Brouwers & Alma Nieto

Dancefloor Stars Vol. 3



5. Tu Me Gates

Claude Blouin

Disque De Danse Vol. 2



6. Voulez Vous

Francesca Lotà

Dance Sport Cup Alcobendas 2007 - The Gold Collection Vol. 2



7. Voyage, voyage


Up & Away



The Impossible Quiz

Quiz Time

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. How far are you prepared to travel to find happiness?
    • Nearest beach
    • Nearest mall
    • Far-away galaxy
    • Far-away undisclosed location
    • Wherever my next youtube clip takes me
    • The nearest support group for escapists
  2. Do you believe the sweet talk?
    • Yes, it's true until the end of the sentence.
    • I don't, but I enjoy it nonethless
    • I don't, but I always pretend that I do
    • I don't, but I keep tabs on the sweet talker
    • I don't, but I appreciate the effort
    • Is there the right answer to this?
  3. What do you think about Joe, the Taxi Driver?
    • His name is not Joe
    • He doesn't play saxophone
    • He wanted to go to the Amazon, but did not have enough money
    • Yellow is his favourite colour
    • He chose Martinique because the rum there is better than in Paris
  4. Why music gets stuck in our heads?
    • Because it is too loud
    • Because lyrics rhyme
    • Our heads are empty and need something to fill the void
    • There is a way in, but there is no way out
    • Music tries to escape but our heads are to dense
    • Music interacts and dissolves in the brain chemistry
  5. What do you think about Rats and Google Translate
    • Google Translate was in a bad mood
    • Google Translate was in a good mood
    • Google Translate has no moods
    • Sometimes Google Translate does not have translations either
    • Can you rephrase the question into a coherent one?
    • Rats!
  6. How many second chances did you give in your relationships?
    • Always one too many
    • Never enough
    • Only one

Answer Key

  1. The nearest support group for escapists
  2. Is there the right answer to this?
  3. His name is not Joe
  4. Because lyrics rhyme
  5. Rats!
  6. Only one

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 1 correct answer: Don't worry, these questions have no right answers. The right answers were randomly assigned.

If you got between 2 and 3 correct answers: Congratulations! You pressed the "right" buttons some of the time. There were no right answers.

If you got 4 correct answers: Your intuition is commendable. There were no right answers here.

If you got 5 correct answers: Congratulations! Tell us how you did it. There were no right answers here, only randomly selected ones.

If you got 6 correct answers: Congratulations! You guessed all the right answers where there were none. Even I don't remember the "right" ones!

“You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.

― Merce Cunningham

My head tends to fall off more often than i care to admit. Well, I have just admitted it.

My head tends to fall off more often than i care to admit. Well, I have just admitted it.

TitleTitle TranslatedArtist

1. Béber le Dromadaire

Beber the Dromedary

M'sieur Thomas

2. Chic Planète

Chic Planet

L'Affaire Louis Trio

3. La voisine

The Neighbour

Gil Cassan

4. Les Tartines



5. Marcel et Roger

Marcel and Roger

Nino Ferrer

6. Oh mon bateau

Oh, My Boat

Eric Morena


More Cha Cha Cha

TitleTitle TranslatedArtistAlbum - Year Released

1. A Bailar Calypso

To Dance Calypso

Elli Medeiros

Bom Bom - 1986

2. Allez donc vous faire bronzer

So, Go Get Tanned

Sacha Distel

Sacha Distel: La bonne humeur - 2014

3. Alors on danse

Ans So We Dance



4. Ce soleil là 1992

This Sun There

Michel Fugain

Sucré-Salé - 1992

5. Cha-Cha de L'insécurité (1983)

Cha Cha of Insecurity

Louis Chedid

Single - 1983

6. Comment te dire adieu

How to Say Good-Bye to You

Francoise Hardy

Françoise Hardy - 1968

7. Fais-moi du chachacha

Make Me Cha Cha Cha

Les Cocogirls


8. Foule sentimentale

Sentimental People

Alain Souchon

C'est déjà ça - 1993

9. Garde moi la dernière danse

Save the Last Dance for Me


Garde-moi la dernière danse - 1961

10. La Queue du Chat

The Cat's Tail

Dany Brillant

Havana - 1996

11. Le Chacha des Bedouilles

Cha Cha des Bedouilles

Duo Cocktail Passion


12. L'oiseau et l'enfant

The Bird and the Child

Marie Myriam

L'Oiseau et l'Enfant - 1977

13. Magdalena


Julie Pietri

Single - 1979

14. Marie elle danse

Marie, She Dances

François Valéry

François Valéry 1983 - 1986 - 2008

15. Ne crois pas

Do Not Believe

Dany Brillant

Viens à Saint-Germain - 2012

16. Pour Danser Le Chacha

To Dance the Cha Cha

Jérôme Richard

La corrida de l'accordéon - 2009

17. Pour la fin du monde

For the End of the World

Gérard Palaprat

Fais Moi Un Signe - 2006

18. Quand je vois tes yeux

When I See Your Eyes

Danny Brillant

Havana - 1996

19. Sacha N'Aime Pas Le Cha Cha

Do Not Like the Cha Cha (Q)

Laurence Davenel


20. Voyage en Italie

A Trip to Italy


Lilicub - 1994


Series in Two Parts

  • 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.

Dancing with the Stars