vendredi 10 octobre 2008

Parachute doré

Alain Souchon does it again.
I was just reading Le Monde and came across an article about French pop singer and songwriter Alain Souchon. You have probably never heard of him, unless you live in France or some other French-speaking land. He's typical of French stars, at least those who came on the scene before the advent of the reality show version of "the star-making machinery behind the popular song." His songs are popular, but they are highly personal and often about things that really matter. Check out Foule Sentimentale. Even if you don't understand the words, you'll appreciate the haunting tune. Or so I hope. Is it possible to separate that song from its lyrics? Is it possible to appreciate the tune without listening to the words?
I don't know. But Alain Souchon has just written a song called Parachute doré (Golden parachute), and you can download it for free from his official website or see/hear it here:

You can probably guess that this song is well-timed given the planetary meltdown of the stock markets, the collapse of the banking system, and news that AIG executives, after begging for and getting an 85 billion dollar bailout from the government, spent a week at a ritzy spa, for another half million of our money. Alain Souchon's latest song is about the world we live in, with all its faults.

"Il y a des gens, on leur dit vous avez une boîte avec plein d'employés, vous organisez (...) et le gars, le chef, il sait pas. La boîte, elle coule, et là, on lui donne des millions et des millions. Il s'en va sous les tropiques. Mange des noix de coco avec des top-models. Nage dans l'eau transparente. Ça, ça s'appelle un parachute doré, c'est extra, vous merdez complètement et on vous donne plein d'argent!"

"J'ai creusé, creusé la dette, au lieu de me creuser la tête. Un jour, les cours ont chuté et moi... parachuté !"

Ah, I'll let you wonder what he's saying for awhile, then translate. But listen to the song as well. Note how sweet the voice is, how detached and ironic the singer is. Ironic but not cynical; without illusions, but not resigned. Thank you, Alain Souchon... c'est déjà ça!