There's an interesting debate going on under the video for France Gall's 'Les Sucettes' on YouTube (Archived comments here). You can read my thoughts on the matter in my comments on the page. Or in a nutshell: I find it puzzling that it's such a stretch for many to believe France Gall really didn't understand the double entendre of the song's lyrics. It seems easily forgotten that automatic innuendo-scanning is a more recently-acquired cultural habit. I'm sorry to burst the bubbles of those who clearly are enjoying their fantasy that a wholesome, innocent young singer of the era was knowingly and happily singing something naughty. Yep, file under 'people who want it all'.

Go here to download the clip. Thanks once again to Will for this.

Icrojy points out that "teenagers in France were then far less informed than nowadays. I was myself very surprised as I was told the hidden meaning of that song as I was 20 or so. I had sung it as a little boy and then as a teenager without noticing anything."

He mentions that Lio suffered a similar humiliation with her 1980 hit 'Le Banana Split':

Lio makes the comparison herself in this 1983 interview. (Video now gone, and I can't find another copy).

And to tie it all in together:

Lio - Les Sucettes

From the otherwise dreadful tribute CD, Ils Chantent Serge Gainsbourg (1998).

Comments (16)

  • Kate  
    I sympathize with your plight on the YouTube page. Sometimes it's best not to even engage with people in that kind of a forum cause it'll just make you tear your hair out. It's especially frustrating when people who know nothing about the subject themselves won't take your word for it! Argh!
    • Christine  
      Haha, yes it is frustrating indeed, but I don't seem to be able to help myself! It is quite an amusing exercise checking my youtube inbox.
  • Woodshed  
    They're obviously confusing what's going on in their own heads with what's going on in her's. This is one issue where the genders are never going to agree. I think it was the Dalai Lama who said, "Never let the facts get in the way of a France Gall blow-job fantasy."
  • Christine  
    Bruno, I really can't tell if you're kidding, but if not, I don't get it.
    Woodshed - yes, I believe you're right. Wise words indeed.
    • Christine  
      Oops, I accidentally deleted Bruno's comment, but this was it: "What's dirty about a girl who likes lollipops?I think it's a really sweet song,her kisses must have tasted a lot sweeter.Very nice indeed,maybe a bit erotic (le sucre coule dans sa gorge) at times,but not dirty. One only hears a dirty song if one wants too."
      • Bruno  
        Maybe I'm a bit naive? I'm a child of the 60's after all... :)
        • Christine  
          Did you read the wiki link above, or the youtube comments? The wiki doesn't really state it strongly enough, but it is confirmed that Gainsbourg wrote it to mean the other meaning, not the lollipops. My source of frustration at the youtube comments is not that people thought it was dirty, but the insistence that France Gall must have known.
          • Bruno  
            Hi Christine,I strongly believe that France thought this was a nice song about lollies (just like I do),the text really suggests not much else,or you should really want to... That part about "when her lollypop is finished...she returns (to get some more) to the drug-store" strongly suggests she is going back to get lollies (unless you have a very dirty mind)... So no I don't think she knew...The video is quiet interesting in that France never sucks the lollypop herself,and the other footage of the "erotic sucking" girls with lollies was obviously inserted.The lollies are also big and phallic shaped but that kind of lollies were quiet common in those days...I think the only thing France noticed was the giant lollies dancing,which is quiet innocent.Now if Gainsbourg would have sung this... :)
            • Christine  
              OK, I think I get your previous comment now. You're right, she didn't know what it meant, and that's the effect Gainsbourg was hoping for. He did sing it later himself, with a devilish laugh that leaves the listener with no doubt as to what he means! It's a good point about those lollipops looking like common lollipops. We're conditioned to see that stuff now.
            • Christine  
              Do you realise the 's' is missing from your URL? You should click it and see where it goes... are you trying to save my soul? :D
            • Woodshed  
              "The video is quiet interesting in that France never sucks the lollypop herself"
              Having watched the video very carefully with this subject in mind, I can tell you she definitely does

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