French Fan Favourites for Bastille Day
It is Bastille Day, the French National Day, and what better excuse than to look back at some of the best French songs.
With 63 songs from 62 Eurovisions (there were two in the first competition) how could we possibly select 10? Well we left it up to you and asked for your fan favourites. Here's your Top 10 (though we have ensure there's a diverse range so a few recent ones got the boot - Je suis désolé!
10. Jacqueline Boyer - Tom Pillibi (1960 - 1st place)
The second winner for France is a song about a man who says who owns castles and ships but is lying about it all. Unfortunately she still wants to be with him... a twee little number with a pleasant hooky chorus. The song scored top marks from half of the 12 juries.
9. Anggun - Echo (You And I) (2012 - 22nd place)
Despite finishing outside the Top 20 this song has built up quite a cult following among fans. There is a LOT going on including half naked gymnasts and a lot of wind machine action. But look deeper than the gimmicks and there's a catchy little chorus and a great story of Anggun herself. Born in Indonesia she was a huge star selling over a 1 million records before becoming a naturalised French woman in the 90s. She then went on to a successful career there including representing the nation at the contest in 2012.
8. Sebastian Tellier - Divine (2008 - 19th)
Well the 2000s were full of quite a lot of novelty acts and this could fall into that category. Fake beards, a golf cart, a blow up globe full of helium and well it was always going to have it's lovers (and haters). Saying that Sebastian Tellier was quite an established artist and the song is quite of it's time. A worthy entry into French Fan Favourites, we're a fan.
7. Patricia Kaas - Et s'il fallait le faire (2009 - 8th)
This was the palate cleanser from those 'novelty' songs in the previous years. The French came back with this quality number from French superstar Patricia Kaas. Kaas, whose style of chanson, jazz, cabaret style had seen her sell over 16 million albums, didn't seem an obvious Eurovision choice. However her emotionally powerful and intimate performance on a giant Russian stage won over Europe with her finishing in 8th place. It was the first French Top 10 in seven years. This is a glorious entry and to be honest, we're a little disappointed you didn't vote this a little higher.
6. Natasha St-Pier - Je n'ai que mon âme (2001 - 4th place)
The power ballad from Natasha saw France get their first Top 5 since 1995. Natasha's flawless 'Celine-like' vocals win over many televoters and particularly nations using 100% jury (Russia and Bosnia-Herzegovina gave her 12 points each). Natasha herself was from Canada originally but unfortunately couldn't repeat the exploits of Celine herself and take the crown.
5. Jessy Matador - Allez Ola Olé (2010 - 12th)
Was the whole song a bit of fun up-beat fluff? Yes. Was it an obvious attempt to promote a song that tied in nicely to the upcoming World Cup? Most definitely. Did it sell a shed-tonne and become a summer smash? Hell yes! This fun up-beat song has stayed with fans long after the contest and indeed the World Cup. It was heard at beach bars and clubs around Europe all summer reaching no.6 on the European singles chart (and no.1 in their native France).
4. Amina - C'est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison (1991 - 2nd place)
Amina is a fan favourite for many reasons. She brought a unique performance and sound to Eurovision. Originally from North Africa, there were obvious African musical influences in her entry C'est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison (It's the last one who spoke who is right). She also goes down as the only artist in Eurovision history who finished equal first but lost on a countback. Carola's 'Fångad av en stormvind' (from Sweden) and her song finished on 147 points. They both had the same amount of 12 points, but Carola received more 10 points, giving her victory. Heartbreaking stuff!
3. Marie Myriam - L'oiseau et l'enfant (1977 - 1st place)
The last winner for France is also a big fan favourite. We were quite surprised just how many fans (particularly younger fans) put this down as a vote. It probably has one of the stranger song titles (translates as 'The Bird and the Child'), but that didn't stop it coming out on top, beating out the UK's 'Rock Bottom' for the title.
2. Twin Twin - Moustache (2014 - last place)
As soon as we asked for your favourites we were hit with multiple 'moustache' gifs and it's no surprise, this is definitely a cult class among fans. Vocals are not even close to being on point but it's an infectious chorus and performance. Unfortunately Europe was found tasteless and it finished dead last with two points (thank you Sweden and Finland). Remarkably the juries favoured it over the televote.... All these factors joined together to bring a true fan favourite - a terrible position but a legacy that will last longer than many songs that beat it home.
1. Amir - J'ai Cherché (2016 - 6th place)
Going into 2016 France were in a bad way. Their last four entries had finished outside the top 20 and their last top 10 had been in 2009. Enter French star Amir.... he stepped up to the plate with this cracking track to bring pride back to French Eurovision entries. An absolutely fan favourite from the get go, it won the OGAE Fan Poll before the contest but in a tightly run contest finished 6th on the night. It sold over 150,000 copies in France and reached no.2 on their charts. A great result for the nation. It still polls highly in fan polls to this day (including this one) where it easily gathered the most votes (I mean Amir could do that alone right?).
So that's it, was your favourite there? Mine (Dale) wasn't. Poor Roger Bens from 1985 really doesn't get enough credit.
Enjoy your Bastille Day, Merci et au revoir!