Alain Souchon --- Foule Sentimentale

In 1993, Alain Souchon (a French singer/songwriter/actor) recorded this song with the intention of bringing to light the problem of consumerism and what it does to people. When I came across this gem, I knew that it said what I wanted to say. Because it's in French, I hope that the images will serve to convey the main ideas. Please scroll down.

Souchon's song "Foule Sentimentale" is aimed against the cruel emergence of "la société de consommation" (societal consumerism). The ultimate paradox is that Alain Souchon belonged to those same "change agents" within society, known as "les Baby Boomers" who were in their twenties in the 1960s. Though undoubtedly idealistic and well-intentioned, they chose to brush aside the fundamental teachings of writers like Plato and St. Augustine. By so doing, they unwittingly paved the way for the rise of the very same consumerist, unprincipled, society that they criticized later.

Lyrics in French and English: (NOTE: This is an interpretation versus a transliteration because the English would make no sense)

Oh la la la vie en rose
Life is like a pink cloud
Le rose qu'on nous propose
The pink cloud we are being offered
D'avoir les quantités d'choses
Deals with having a lot of stuff
Qui donnent envie d'autre chose
Which makes us want more

Aïe, on nous fait croire
Ow, they make us believe
Que le bonheur c'est d'avoir
That happiness is having
De l'avoir plein les armoires
Overflowing closets
Dérisions de nous dérisoires car
We are mocked as being ridiculous because (we're)....

Foule sentimental
Sentimental people
On a soif d'idéal
We thirst for the ideal life
Attirées par les étoiles, les voiles
We're drawn by all the glitter
Que des choses pas commerciales
Rather than by non commercial things

Foule sentimental
Sentimental people
Il faut voir comme on nous parle
You have to see (realize) how they're talking to us
Comme on nous parle
How they're talking to us

Il se dégage
He extricates himself
De ces cartons d'emballage
From all these packing boxes
Des gens lavés, hors d'usage
People are now washed up and useless
Et tristes et sans aucun avantage
And sad without having gotten ahead

On nous inflige
We are inflicted with
Des désirs qui nous affligent
Desires that afflict us
On nous prend faut pas déconner dès qu'on est né
We're assumed to be, if we haven't been aborted,
from the time we're born...
Pour des cons alors qu'on est de
A_ _ h _ _ _ s when we're really.....

Foules sentimentales
Sensitive people
Avec soif idéale
With a thirst for an ideal life
Attirées par les étoiles, les voiles
Drawn by all the glitter
Que des choses non commerciales
Rather than by non commercial things

Foules sentimentales
Sentimental people
Il faut voir comme on nous parle
We have to see how they're talking to us
Comme on nous parle
How they're talking to us

On nous Claudia Schiffer
We're given Claudia Schiffer (one of the world's most successful models)
On nous Paul-Loup Sulitzer
We're given Paul-Loup Sulitzer (a French financier)
Oh, le mal qu'on peut nous faire
Oh, the damage they can do to us
Et qui ravagea la moukère
As well as devastate the "moukère" (best I can do here is: name given to arab women who were regarded in a derogatory way; but here, it could simply mean a woman or a housewife...)

Du ciel dévale
Coming down from the heavens
Un désir qui nous emballe
Is a desire that takes hold of us
Pour demain nos enfants pâles
Tomorrow, for our pale children
Un mieux, un rêve, un cheval
Something better, a dream, a horse

Foules sentimentales
Sentimentales people
On a soif d'idéal
We crave what's ideal
Attirées par les étoiles, les voiles
Drawn by the glitter
Que des choses pas commerciales
Rather than by non commercial things
Foules sentimentales,
Sentimental people
Il faut voir comme on nous parle
We have to see how they're talking to us
Comme on nous parle
How they're talking to us"

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Alain Souchon foule sentimentale consumérisme société de consommation sentimental crowd consumerism commercial things shopping ideal life carton d'emballage

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