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Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Et moi et moi et moi"

Jacques Dutronc - "Et moit et moit et moi" (1966)

Jacques Dutronc wrote music for a number of Ye-Ye singers in the early 60s including Françoise Hardy before finding his own voice in the mid sixties. In a interesting twist, Hardy and Dutronc married in the early 80s and have a son who is a French Jazz guitarist.

The lyrics are more like a poem than a song. There is no chorus per se, there are 9 verses each following a pattern. the last two lines of each could be considered a chorus because they are the same, but they are really sung like they are part of the verse, so I don't really consider them a chorus. Each verse or stanza starts by mentioning how many there are of a specific group of people: three hundred million Soviets, nine hundred million hungry people, five hundred million Martians, etc. Then 'Et moit et moit et moi' which is basically 'and me and me and me'. Then two lines that are about the singer that are only tangentially related to the specific group of people. The last two lines of the verse are the ones that are repeated. 'I am thinking about it, and then I forget it/That's life, that's life' (Lanzman/Dutronc). Musically the song is flat out an electric folk kind of song, reminiscent of Bob Dylan. Even the wry vocal style makes him sound like a folky Dylan. Jangly guitars and almost no bass guitar, heavy on the bass drum and just chugging along like a little train. British rock band Mungo Jerry had a hit with "Alright, Alright, Alright" in 1973 which is sort of an English language adaptation, but instead of wry humor and self deprecating humor about folk music, it's just a straight ahead tune with a pretty good guitar solo.

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