In my pre-teens, i.e. before I began to control what music I wanted to expose myself to, I spent a lot of time in France and got accidentally exposed to a lot of French popular music, much of which I then never heard again for decades. And some of that buried stuff comes back now, as musicians famous in the sixties die, as youtube recommends videos to me, or by some other random coincidence.
So here and in a new playlist on youtube I'm collecting French songs that I haven't heard in decades between my early childhood and say the last ten years. Obviously, that rules out the French music that I have consciously explored and chosen to listen to in the interim, such as the works of Brassens, Brel, Moustaki, Piaf, etc.
Work in progress, as I'm sure other musical memories will resurface.
So, here goes, in chronological order (some of the songs are older than me):
Richard Anthony, J’entends siffler le train
(French version of 500 miles written by Hedy West)
A video made with the original sound recording.
Françoise Hardy, Tous les garçons et les filles de mon age
Rediscovered when Pomme recorded a cover. In this case I can't rule out that I may have heard it being used in some film - at least I was aware of the title and knew it was by Françoise Hardy.
Charles Aznavour (1924-2018), Hier encore
A poignant performance from 2016, in Armenia.
Charles Aznavour, La Boheme
Christophe (1945-2020), Aline
When he died I saw the newsclip on TV5 Monde and I was so sure I had never heard of him, and then they played Aline ...
Hervé Vilard, Capri c’est fini
Françoise Hardy, Comment te dire adieu
I'm following the very amazing Pomplamoose on YouTube and they did a stunning cover of this song, which I am positively sure I haven't heard since 1973.
Michel Legrand (1932-2019), Les moulins de mon coeur
Windmills of your mind was composed by Michel Legrand for the soundtrack of the film The Thomas Crown Affair, then recorded by him in a French version. The very catchy circular part of the tune comes from Mozart's Sinfonia concertante, K 364.
I think what happened was that I had watched couple of videos from the French/Arabic cultural interface and the YouTube bots concluded that I should watch the clip of Hiba Tawaji singing this on the French edition of The Voice, starting in French and switching to Arabic in the middle of the first verse (watch out for Mika's reaction which is priceless). If you prefer proper concert performance of the Arabic version without the Voice nonsense, click here. Legrand died last year too, but I think the YouTube bots found me before that.
Michel Sardou, La maladie d'amour
In the movie La famille Belier, music by Sardou was featured prominently. I recognised a few songs, of which this was the earliest.