Don’t worry! I’m not going to write this entire post in French. To be fair, I doubt I’d be able to at the moment considering I’ve not written anything in French since I graduated from university two years ago.
Anyway I digress, although there is a reason for the French title.
It is this this week’s Top 5 Friday.
My favourite Disney songs in French.
It’s a mix between my favourite Disney songs and those that I love more in French rather than English.
This topic might seem random to a lot of people but I’ve been listening to Disney music in French for a number of years. I started doing so just to keep me in touch with French when I wasn’t actively studying it at university, and it became something that I just automatically did on a regular basis. Also I understand more of a song if I hear it in a different language – it opens up subtext that wouldn’t always be obvious, thus the original messages lying dormant in the song are clearer. I do pick this up more with sign language rather than spoken languages but the concept remains the same. More importantly, as my French degree ultimately sucked all my initial enjoyment out of learning languages, listening to Disney in French reminds me why I’ve been attracted to languages from an early age. There’s something new to learn about the stories, the characters, and since 3 of my favourite Disney films have French origins, why not get more enjoyment out of them by listening to their respective songs in the language of their origin?
As there are quite a number of songs I love from each film, I’ll limit it to one song a film. And I’m also certain that all of these songs are French and not Canadian French because they do in fact differ.
Now that’s the background rambling out of the way, let’s get started.
Où est la vrai vie de Raiponce. (When Will My Life Begin, Tangled)
Regardless of whether it is in French or English, I love this song. It sets the tone for Tangled, we get an insight into what life is like for Rapunzel in the tower, and it’s rather catchy. The one thing I particularly like this version is that it openly states that the tower is a prison. Now normally that is not something to be prided on but I think it gives Rapunzel’s later motives added reasoning.
L’amour brille sous les étoiles du Roi Lion (Can You Feel the Love Tonight, The Lion King)
Again, it is a song that is gorgeous in either French or English, but I think the French adds the extra sense of romanticism to the growing relationship between Simba and Nala. In fact I think the lyrics here, particularly those sung by Nala, are more powerful and dictate her true feelings towards Simba: “moi je sais qu’il est ce roi en exil, qui regne dans mon coeur” (I know that he is this king in exile, who reigns in my heart). It’s probably not the best translation I’ve got but compared to “why won’t he be the king I know he is, the king I see inside” it feels and sounds more emotive..
La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast)
When I think about Beauty and the Beast, I think about two characters together in harmony, teaching each other about their own worlds and how they deal with it on a daily basis. This is what I get out of the pop version of Beauty and the Beast – Belle and Beast coming together as one to create something beautiful and eternal. I first came across this particular version when I was listening to radiodisneyclub.fr and it struck me how amazing and natural this songs sounds in French. I ended up forgetting about it until I went to watch a re-release of Beauty and the Beast in cinemas when I was living in France. I got stuck in a corner as families with young children took their time to leave at the end of the film, and whilst one woman was kind and apologetic, I wasn’t bothered at all because I completely drawn into the song and I wanted to hear it all before I left. I think at the end of the day, it’s a song that means a lot to me anyway so there’s no surprise at all to find it on this list.
Toi de Cendrillon (Strong, Cinderella)
I fell head over heels in love with this song when I watched Cinderella in the cinemas, and then I heard it in French when I was scouring YouTube and fell more in love with it. Both versions are brilliant in promoting inner strength, believing on oneself and letting one’s goodness shine. It sounds cliché but that is what Cinderella is about, and it’s what she promotes. Combined with a beautiful melody, it is great to listen to and I know I’ll never tire of it.
Vers le Ciel de Rebelle (Touch the Sky, Brave)
This is a case where I much prefer the French version over that of the English. To me I think the French vocalist sounds better and the lyrics are more in sync with the melody. I’ve not really watched Brave all that much so I can’t wonder if the song goes along with the film, but I know that it is a song I’m addicted to and can’t help singing aloud when I’m at home alone.
So that is it for the main 5.
However I have just this minute come across another song that I believe deserves an honourable mention:
L’amour Nous Guidera du Roi Lion 2 (Love Will Find a Way, Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride)
Beautiful lyrics combined with a beautiful melody is the perfect combination!
Anyway, thank you for joining me on this journey through my top 5 Disney songs in French.
If you listen to/experience Disney songs in another language, what are your particular favourites?
Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!