Sunday, September 17, 2006

Laughing in a foreign language

You'll be glad to hear I have a new song obsession.
It's "Felicie Aussi" as sung by Fernandel. I found it while playing around in YouTube, so here's the initial encounter:

Weird thing, laughter. I know this song is funny because the audience laughs and because one of the band members in the background cracks up. I know enough French to get by. (Enough, even, to get a hotel room with a TV rather than a bathroom during the World Cup in France - in Nantes, to be specific - while telling my wife-to-be that this was the best I could do; we had one of our better fights after she found out -- and the biggest irony of the incident: the concierge spoke perfect English.) Where was I? Yes, I can understand some of what's going on, but not really. Only because the people were laughing did I know something else was going on. And, after the third listen or so, I got clued in to the double entendres. And what did it? The puce toward the end. (See, lore has it that puce is the color developed by the French court to hide fleas - camouflaging their presence by making the draperies the same color.) So I figured, "Hey, the couch has fleas, Felicie aussi (too)? That's funny! I wonder what the rest of the song is about?"

So I got the song off iTunes and found the lyrics on-line, too. Here they are.

Felicie aussi

C'est dans un coin du bois d'Boulogne

Que j'ai rencontré Félicie
Elle arrivait de la Bourgogne
Et moi j'arrivai en Taxi
Je trouvai vite une occasion
D'engager la conversation

Il faisait un temps superbe
Je me suis assis sur l'herbe
Félicie aussi
J'pensais les arbres bourgeonnent
Et les gueules de loup boutonnent
Félicie aussi
Près de nous sifflait un merle
La rosée faisait des perles
Félicie aussi
Un clocher sonnait tout proche
Il avait une drôle de cloche
Félicie aussi

Afin d'séduire la petite chatte
Je l'emmenai dîner chez Chartier
Comme elle est fine et délicate
Elle prit un pied d'cochon grillé
Et pendant qu'elle mangeait le sien
J'lui fit du pied avec le mien

J'pris un homard sauce tomates
Il avait du poil au pattes
Félicie aussi
Puis une sorte de plat aux nouilles
On aurait dit une andouille
Félicie aussi
Je m'offris une gibelotte
Elle embaumait l'échalotte
Félicie aussi
Puis une poire et des gaufrettes
Seulement la poire était blette
Félicie aussi

L'Aramon lui tournant la tête
Elle murmura " quand tu voudras "
Alors j'emmenai ma conquête
Dans un hôtel tout près de là
C'était l'hotêl d'Abyssinie
Et du Calvados réuni

J'trouvai la chambre ordinaire
Elle était pleine de poussière
Félicie aussi
Je m'lavai les mains bien vite
L'lavabo avait une fuite
Félicie aussi
Sous l'armoire y avait une cale
Car elle était toute bancale
Félice aussi
Y avait un fauteuil en plus
Mais il était rempli d'puce
Félicie aussi

Et des draps de toiles molles
Me chatouillaient les guiboles
Félicie aussi

Now I just have to find out what they mean and why these people are laughing. I'm working on it. And I'm enlisting the help of anyone who speaks French and has a dirty mind.
When I obsess, I obsess.


green clementine said...

Hi Goedi,

I landed on your blog and thank you for the video!!! I had forgotten about this song. This guy is absolutely hilarious and the double-entendres are fantastic.

I am French by the way so if you need any help with your translation?

green clementine said...

This video made me laugh so much! Last time I heard it I was much too young to understand any of it. And as a special thanks to you, here is a rough translation:

Felicie too
It was in the corner of the Boulogne Woods*
Where I met Felicie
She came from the Bourgogne Region (= country girl)
And I came in a taxi
I soon found an opportunity
To start a conversation

The weather was wonderful
I sat on the grass
Felicie too
I thought the trees are coming into bud
And mushrooms are hatching/spreading**
elicie too
Next to us a bird was singing
The dew was dripping
Felicie too (= is sweating)
A bell tower was ringing
He had a funny bell
Felicie too (= weird face)

To seduce this pussy
I took her out at Chartier’s
As she is a fine lady
She ordered a roasted pork’s trotter
And while eating her trotter
I stroked her foot with mine.

I had lobster with tomato sauce
He had hairy legs
Felicie too
Then I had some sort of pasta dish
Which looked like an andouille***
Felicie too
I had a gibelotte****
Which smelt of shallot
Felicie too
Then a pear and a waffle
Only the pear was overripe
Felicie too
The Aramon wine was making her feeling dizzy
She whispered “when you’re ready”
so I took my trophy
To the nearest hotel
It was the hotel of Abyssinia
And Calvados in one. (Calvados = part of Normandy)
I thought the room was mundane
It was very dusty
Felicie too
I quickly washed my hands
The sink had a leak
Felicie too
Under the wardrobe there was a chock
Coz it was very wonky
Felicie too
There was also an armchair
Which was covered in fleas
Felicie too
The sheets were very flabby
And tickled my legs
Felicie too

* a traditionally rather infamous part of Paris. I think it has changed since then though.
** double-entendre: also means to get pimples when speaking about a person.
*** = sausage but also means prat
**** seems to be some delicacy involving game meat and red wine sauce.