Since I have a background in France and the French language, I have decided to focus my research on English in French songs.
From my experience studying abroad in France and from the French music I listen to online, I have found an interesting mix in terms of language. While I was in France, many radio stations play a mix of songs, some entirely English that come from the US or other anglophone countries, then some songs entirely in French, and, finally, there are bilingual songs in which musicians sing in English and French even if it’s only a phrase or two.
My host mother in France would complain about the rise in popularity of English music and wished that there were radio stations that only played French music. Being an American, I hadn’t realized that English was so popular in France until I got there and found that English was a big deal, particularly with the youth. It is rare to find a radio station or place that plays only French music, and those that do are labeled as “classic” or “traditionalist” stations. One station I listen to is called Chante France but is only available streaming online or as a local station in Paris. I’ve noticed that they play a mix of songs, mostly older or the classics but a fair amount of newer French songs as well. The newer songs are more likely to have English lyrics incorporated into the songs.
Some examples of French songs and bilingual songs are as followed:
“Nation” by TiBz
Link to the lyrics: http://paroles2chansons.lemonde.fr/paroles-tibz/paroles-nation.html
“La loi de Murphy” (Murphy’s Law) by Angèle
Link to lyrics: https://genius.com/Angele-la-loi-de-murphy-lyrics
“Le Lion est Mort ce Soir” (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)- A French cover of a song originally written in English
Daft Punk– this is an interesting French band since the group is French by origin yet none of their songs have French in them, instead they sing in English to reach a broader audience. The only song that does have French is “Musique”, yet the word sounds so similar to “music” it doesn’t really count.