French Pop Star and Icon France Gall Has Died

Image via BFMTV on Twitter.
Image via BFMTV on Twitter.

Singer France Gall, who rose to fame in 1965 after winning the Eurovision Song Contest at 17, has died at age 70.


In 1966, she recorded the controversial Serge Gainsbourg song “Lollipops,” which included the lyrics “When the candy stick/With anise flavor/Goes down Annie’s throat/She is in heaven.” She later refused to perform it and cut ties with Gainsbourg after realizing the sexual entendre. The tune of her 1967 hit “Comme d’habitude” was adapted by singer/songwriter Paul Anka for Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”

Gall returned to pop success in 1987 with the album Babacar, including a popular tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. She quit recording in the late 90s to focus on humanitarian work, following the death of her husband and daughter.  

On Sunday, Emmanuel Macron tweeted that she “leaves behind songs that are familiar to all French people and the example of a life devoted to others.”

Staff reporter, Gizmodo. wkimball @ gizmodo


The lollipops song is even more obscene than that line in the article suggests. Apparently, Gainsbourg didn’t believe that she was as innocent as her image suggested so he wrote this one to see if she’d actually sing it. She did. Gainsbourg was a louche creep, but I also heart him.

What you’ve got to understand here is that anise/Annie/Annie’s are all pronounced the same, and that ‘sucette’ means lollipop (literally ‘sucker’) and also blowjob:

Annie aime les sucettes/ Annie likes suckers
Les sucettes à l’anis/ anise suckers (or ‘Annie’s suckers’)
Les sucettes à l’anis/ The anise suckers
D’Annie/ (belonging to Annie)
Donnent à ses baisers/ give her kisses
Un goût ani-/ an anise flavor
sé lorsque le sucre d’orge/ when the barley sugar
Parfumé à l’anis/ flavored with anise
Coule dans la gorge d’Annie/runs down Annie’s throat
Elle est au paradis/ she is in heaven

Pour quelques pennies Annie/ for a few pennies, Annie
A ses sucettes à l’anis/ gets her anise suckers (or ‘gets blowjobs in Annie’s style’)
Elles ont la couleur de ses grands yeux/ They’re the color of her big eyes
La couleur des jours heureux/ the color of happy days

Annie aime les sucettes
Les sucettes à l’anis
Les sucettes à l’anis
Donnent à ses baisers
Un goût ani- (same as above)
sé quand elle n’a sur la langue/When she has nothing on her tongue
Que le petit bâton/but the little stick
Elle prend ses jambes à son corps/ She gets her legs back under her
Et retourne au drugstore/ and returns to the drugstore

Pour quelques pennies Annie (same as above)
A ses sucettes à l’anis
Elles ont la couleur de ses grands yeux
La couleur des jours heureux

Lorsque le sucre d’orge (same as above)
Parfumé à l’anis
Coule dans la gorge d’Annie
Elle est au paradis