The Music of Paris

Our mind is a beautiful little thing. It absorbs every single detail around the body, every noise, smell, and sensation. Moreover, it not only collects that information, but also stores it. This is why a specific scent of perfume can remind you of someone. Oh, memories are a powerful thing, and though I would love to talk about the scents now, I’m afraid we’ll have to leave it for future. Here’s homework for you, watch the movie Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (or read the book), and if you want me talking about scents after that, I’ll be more than glad to dive into the topic.

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For now, I have another delicious bite of cookie for you, the sound of Paris. Very often certain songs become the soundtracks of our lives or some short time periods. I can bet you have been at least in one situation, where a soundtrack on the background was needed so much. Anyway, I want to talk about a few artists that should definitely form a Parisian playlist on your iPod or smartphone while visiting this spectacular city.

Before going on to the artists, I want to warn you. You might not instantly like this music if you’re an experienced fan of Lil Wayne, David Guetta, Nicky Minaj, Rihanna, and so on. Not that I have anything against them, it’s just that this music is very different, it’s more calm, relaxing, and slow. It’s not for dancing (or at least dancing at the club), it’s more sensitive and emotional. In a word, I hope you like it and associate the attractions of Paris with any one of the below mentioned musicians.

Charles Aznavour

No one sings more emotional than Aznavour, and no one can touch your heart strings the way he does. And I’m completely serious. He’s one of the best representatives of French music today and ever. The audience enjoys in silence when this Armenian-French musician sings.

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The two of his most famous songs are “La Boheme” and “She” (the last one is highly recommended for people in love). If you want a song about Paris, then try “Paris au mois d’août.” He’s songs will be perfect everywhere in the city, in a small cafe, entering the Louvre, climbing the Eiffel stairs, in a word, everywhere in the capital of romance.

Anzavour is also an actor and a diplomat. You can also watch a few films of his and, if it’s in the framework of your interests, find out more on his diplomatic career.

Edith Piaf

Why, this is a name you are more than supposed to know. A true legend, the goddess of French music, one of the most known names. Interestingly, Piaf was discovered in Pigalle, the red-light district of Paris.

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As this singer doesn’t need any kind of introduction, it’s better that you familiarize yourself with her music as soon as possible. Here are the points to start with: “La vie en rose” (her most famous one), “Non Je ne Regrette Rien,” “Hymne à L’Amour” (this one specially for lovers), “Padam, Padam…” and many other great works that will paint your vacation with the brightest colors.

Joe Dassin

I’m pretty sure that American tourists will cheer for him, no matter what stereotypes are known about French attitude towards Americans. The mixture of these two came out to be more than fantastic.

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He started as an actor, playing in the films directed by his father, then gradually moved to melting the hearts of young ladies by singing. In fact, Dassin sings not only in French, but also in English, German, Spanish, Italian, and even in Greek.

So, here are some of the best songs by Joe Dassin: “Les Champs-el Ysees”, “L’Amerique” (specially for our American fellows), “Bip-bip” and, of course, the most popular one “Et Si Tu N’Existais Pas.”


Garou will be more suitable to the younger generation, you know, those who would prefer Moulin Rouge to the Rodin Museum (although please never do this, visit BOTH!), or would more likely get a ticket to the Crazy Horse than spend hours on wine tasting. Not that it’s too pop or rock, no, Garou has a more modern edge to his music, a melody that is contemporary and at the same time touching. It’s also more dynamic, so you won’t fall asleep in the middle of the song (I hope this doesn’t happen in case of other artists too).

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So, let’s come to his songs, if you’re sick of French and want to stick to English, add the songs “For you” and “Burning” to the playlist. Other than that, “Gitan” and “Belle” are no less than masterpieces. “Hemingway” is one of my favorites. These are the best ones, if  you like it, then listen on.

Each one of the mentioned songs has the potential to win your heart and accompany you in Paris. Give them a chance. The French is always unique, you have to feel it with all of your senses, let your mind combine your experience and the music. When you get back home, these songs will become instant time travel machines for you.

Listen to a few songs, download or buy the best ones, the ones you like the most. Get a plane ticket, get to Paris streets, turn off the world and turn on the music! Now, you have an exclusive access to the strings of Paris.

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