Sunday, May 24, 2015

France Gall: Poupée de cire, poupée de son

While are heads are still full of Eurovision, here is one of the contest's more interesting winners.

"Poupée de cire, poupée de son" was the Luxembourg entry in 1965. It was written by Serge Gainsbourg, whose protégé Gall was.

Wikipedia is enlightening about the song:
As is common with Gainsbourg's lyrics, the words are filled with double meanings, wordplay, and puns. The title can be translated as "wax doll, rag doll" (a floppy doll stuffed with bran or chaff) or as "wax doll, sound doll" (with implications that Gall is a "singing doll" controlled by Gainsbourg). 
Sylvie Simmons wrote that the song is about "the ironies and incongruities inherent in baby pop"—that "the songs young people turn to for help in their first attempts at discovering what life and love are about are sung by people too young and inexperienced themselves to be of much assistance, and condemned by their celebrity to be unlikely to soon find out."
And if Gall is not securely in tune all the way through her winning performance, doesn't that just add to our sense of her as an ingénue?

1 comment:

Paul Murray said...

Certainly one of the all time greats. I have always assumed the title to be a reference to the plastic qualities of both the medium (the 45) and the equally plastic properties of the performer: ("I'm nothing but a wax doll").