Music tour/different Paris: A look into Châtelet les Halles by Florent Pagny 

Well, wonderful might be a little bit ironic. It’s like rain on your wedding day, that might spoil your vision of the perfect City of Light (« On you left, picturesque Montmartre, on your right, the Champs Elysées, oulala, that’s so beautiful »). Or maybe not. Stuck between the Louvre Museum and the Marais, Les Halles station, very close to Châtelet, stands on line one – I swear I’m not obsessed with Underground journeys-.

This rail hub overused by commuters is not the favourite spot of tourists but offers a different vision of Paris. And who is taking you on tour there? The guide is called Florent Pagny.

Who? A popular French singer creator of « French Variety » (Variété Française) who became famous in the 90s and had a love story with Vanessa Paradis. Since then his big Red lors-des-battles-florent-pagny-buzze-et-mika-reagit-11101903pighhvelvet chair can’t help turning over whenever he hears a heavy voice « I was waiting for the high aaaah and you got it so please join my team », he sounds like Tom Jones in The Voice France.

But between his baryton singing playtimes and his political musical jaws – he performed « Ma Liberté de Penser »,  a song about his excessive taxes, he released an album about this area. Châtelet les Halles put an urban stop into the love machine of pop songs. This single pointed out melancholia of the hustle and bustle and the wish to escape.


Enough talking, let’s sing with a homemade translation and some pictures following Tags2this sad travel:

Among grey and graffiti
Where day-to-day existence is enclosed      
And walls so slim
We hear everything from neighbouring
With only vis-à-vis
Mountains of breeze blocks
Where tedium roams
And destinies drag themselves along
On Saturday afternoon
Going undergroundUNE2
And seeing where it’s alive
Line One
Châtelet les Halles
Seaside resort
But without sea front
Like a suburb beach
Glancing at a bit of Blue
Run aground her galley
Mark her track
Follow the graffiti
When there is no landmark left
Châtelet, end of the journey

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It is not Tahiti 
But it is still better than nothing
Sneakers on forecourtBin1
Do not go very far
Rubbles are trampled
And so are shelters
Even feeling contempt
For those who stretch their hands
From Harlem to Paris
Rush into the train
Then we followed a corridor
Do not go further 

Well, well, well, gloomy song for a poetic live time but is it real? The singer related that the song came to him when he was making the album. Pascal Obispo‘s team who composed most of the pop songs in the 90s, sent him the lyrics with the music by a certain Calogero, upcoming pop idol who wrote a song for over positive Sister Emmanuelle. By fax. The 2000 song was a real oldies but goodies. The song writer Lionel Florence was inspired a lot by Florent Pagny’s life when he arrived in Paris, at 20 years old. So in the 80s…. The shanty town described here might have disappeared now. Since the area had encountered big changes, numerous works, pictured in the cover by Local lovers The Stentors, thanks to new shops and pubs that gentrified a bit « the Belly of Paris ».

Restaurants keep feeding the 1st arrondissement but the « Canopée » project, which is to be launched in 2017, giving a new look to Les Halles shopping centre built fluorescent Green prefabs opposite to Ste Eustache church. And entering the-work-in-progress Underground with visibles wires is so depressing and my way to escape to Sunny island on Blue wages is to sing Florent Pagny’s whole song on my lips.

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Let’s hang out together ! 

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