9

When I was taking French in high school my teacher played a song for us that I think was a popular song at some point (I took French in 2003, but I suspect the song was a lot older than that - maybe 70s? no idea). Anyway, the song is in French and the singer sings french lyrics and then leads into a couple songs that are American from the 60s or so.

They sang in one part Mellow Yellow

They call me mellow yellow, oh oh, they call me mellow yellow, oh oh

and then a couple lines from Mr.Tambourine Man, and a couple lines from a Beach Boys song (Surfin USA I think) and some lines from a Beatles song.

The whole song is relatively upbeat. Sorry if this is vague. I think the singer said "Champs Elysee" at some point and possibly "Maurice Chevalier". Before singing the American song parts he'd say something like "et les gens chantent", "et les filles chantent". I've searched Google extensively and I'm at a loss.

  • Champs Elysee is the name of a well-known song in French. Perhaps the entire song was made up of quotes from other songs that were well-known at the time, in both French and English. Sweet Soul Music is an example of an English language song that uses the same technique of extensively quoting other artists (FWIW, the writers of that song were successfully sued for plagiarism). – Chris Sunami supports Monica Dec 4 '15 at 17:53
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    Your story reminds me of my high school German teacher in the late 80s, who would play stuff for us like a video of a German-language cover of "Walk Like an Egyptian" ("Trehen wie ein Ägypter"), which we all thought was mildly hilarious. – mlibby Dec 5 '15 at 12:24
8

You seem to be referring to "Rockollection", performed by Laurent Voulzy and written by Alain Souchon. The Wikipedia article on "Rockollection" has an extensive listing (quoted heavily below) of the English-language songs that appear in the original 1977 version (of which a recording is presently available on YouTube)

  • "The Loco-Motion": Little Eva
  • "A Hard Day's Night": The Beatles
  • "I Get Around": The Beach Boys
  • "Gloria": Them
  • "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction": The Rolling Stones
  • "Mr. Tambourine Man": Bob Dylan
  • "Massachusetts": Bee Gees
  • "Mellow Yellow": Donovan
  • "California Dreamin'": The Mamas & the Papas

and in a 1994 live version

  • "The Loco-Motion": Little Eva
  • "Ticket to Ride": The Beatles
  • "A Hard Day's Night": The Beatles
  • "Fun, Fun, Fun": The Beach Boys
  • "I Get Around": The Beach Boys
  • "You Really Got Me": The Kinks
  • "Gloria": Them
  • "Let's Spend the Night Together": The Rolling Stones
  • "Jumpin' Jack Flash": The Rolling Stones
  • "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction": The Rolling Stones
  • "Mr. Tambourine Man": Bob Dylan
  • "Massachusetts": Bee Gees
  • "Stayin' Alive": The Bee Gees
  • "No Milk Today": Herman's Hermits
  • "Pinball Wizard": The Who
  • "Wild Thing": The Troggs
  • "California Dreamin'": The Mamas & the Papas
  • "Message in a Bottle": The Police

and in a 2004 live version

  • "The Loco-Motion": Little Eva
  • "From Me to You": The Beatles
  • "Day Tripper": The Beatles
  • "A Hard Day's Night": The Beatles
  • "Fun Fun Fun": The Beach Boys
  • "I Get Around : The Beach Boys
  • "Gloria": Them
  • "Paint It, Black": The Rolling Stones
  • "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction": The Rolling Stones
  • "Mr. Tambourine Man": Bob Dylan
  • "Massachusetts": Bee Gees
  • "Night Fever": Bee Gees
  • "Superstition": Stevie Wonder
  • "The Boxer": Simon & Garfunkel
  • "Venus": Shocking Blue
  • "Sunny Afternoon": The Kinks
  • "California Dreamin'": The Mamas & the Papas
  • "On the Road Again": Canned Heat
  • "Owner of a Lonely Heart": Yes
  • "Message in a Bottle": The Police

and in a 2008 version

  • "Da Doo Ron Ron": The Crystals
  • "I Want to Hold Your Hand": The Beatles
  • "Ticket to Ride": The Beatles
  • "No Milk Today": Herman's Hermits
  • "With a Girl Like You": The Troggs
  • "Oh, Pretty Woman": Roy Orbison
  • "Paint It, Black": The Rolling Stones
  • "Ruby Tuesday": The Rolling Stones
  • "Jumpin' Jack Flash": The Rolling Stones
  • "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction": The Rolling Stones
  • "Turn! Turn! Turn!": The Byrds
  • "L'Amour avec toi: Michel Polnareff
  • "Massachusetts (song)": The Bee Gees
  • "How Deep Is Your Love: The Bee Gees
  • "Night Fever": The Bee Gees
  • "More Than a Woman": The Bee Gees
  • "Eleanor Rigby": The Beatles[3]
  • "Good Vibrations": The Beach Boys
  • "Substitute": The Who
  • "Penny Lane": The Beatles
  • "Sunny Afternoon": The Kinks
  • "California Dreamin'": The Mamas & the Papas

I don't speak French, but the in-between music is apparently "a nostalgic first-person recollection of what is presented as a typical 1960s French adolescence", per that same Wikipedia article.

There might be other songs that are quoted in there musically but not lyrically, of course. For example, near the end of the 1977 version, I heard a quick quotation of "Get Back" by the Beatles (just that very distinctive, recognizable two-chord bit that leads strongly into the verse of "Get Back"); can't find it again right now, because the ending goes on for so very long. Anyway, I'll bet there are more musical quotations which I didn't spot (riffs and stuff) scattered throughout "Rockollection".

| improve this answer | |
  • omg that's it!! Thank you sooo much. <3 – Jbird Dec 5 '15 at 19:18
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    You're welcome. I think I just got lucky on Google or something. I'd never heard it before, but it's a neat song. – mlibby Dec 5 '15 at 19:34

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