Song of the Day #1,807: ‘Lali Est Paresseux’ – Nellie McKay

nellieI used to have a rule that any time an American singer recorded a song in French, the result was pretentious shit. I’m not even sure what that rule was based on, but I believed it adamantly.

While some would say Billy Joel’s ‘C’Etait Toi (You Were The One)’ should be Exhibit A for my no-French rule, I’ve actually always had a soft spot for that song. I think it stems from the (true?) story that he was booed while singing it in France by a crowd unimpressed with his accent. Fuck you, Frenchies.

I also liked ‘La Belle Dame Sans Regrets,’ a French track on Sting’s otherwise lame album Mercury Falling, and he’s pretentious enough in English.

In recent years, Rufus Wainwright has recorded a few French tracks, including a duet with David Byrne, with nice results. And Tift Merritt, who can do no wrong in my book, closed her lovely Another Country album (recorded in a Paris apartment) with a French original called ‘Mille Tendresses.’

So maybe my rule is completely baseless, as I can name many more exceptions than examples.

Thank you, then, to Nellie McKay, the precocious songstress who is way too quirky for her own good, for providing a lovely example of why French songs by American singers suck.

Avez-vous de la glace ce soir
Il est temps de partir ce soir
Oui apportez une chaise ce soir
Je n’aime pas beaucoup cela ce soir

Ecoutez s’il vous plait ce soir
Il est temps de partir ce soir
Est-ce que vous fumez ce soir
Je n’aime pas beaucoup cela ce soir

Ooo…
Oui montrez-moi
Le chemin ce soir
Lali est paresseux
Ooo…
Oui montrez-moi
Le chemin ce soir
Lali est paresseux

Est-ce authentique
Je ne sais pas
Montrez-moi le chemin vers la boutique
J’adore ce soir

Avez-vous de la glace ce soir
Il est temps de partir ce soir
Oui apportez une chaise ce soir
Je n’aime pas beaucoup cela ce soir

Ooo…
Oui montrez-moi
Le chemin ce soir
Lali est paresseux

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,807: ‘Lali Est Paresseux’ – Nellie McKay

  1. Dana says:

    Yeah, this one falls into the pretentious French rule (or is it now the exception) for me as well. The little laughs inserted and kiss at the end do NOT help her cause!

  2. pegclifton says:

    Edith Piaf is turning in her grave :)

  3. Andrea Katz says:

    Seems like a harmless little ditty that I could imagine in a movie. I rather like it. Ut oh…

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