Yesterday when I posted about the great new France Gall DVD compilation put out by Mod Cinema, I was frustrated because I couldn’t find an embeddable clip of her notorious TV performance of “Les Sucettes.” (“The Lollipops”). Dante at Mod Cinema was kind enough to upload a higher quality version than any that were previously on-line so that I can share it with you here. It’s a doozy.
“Les Sucettes” was written for the virginal, 18-year-old Gall by that arch-lecher himself, Serge Gainsbourg, who wanted to market her as the ultimate French “Lolita” pop star. The song’s lyrics depict a young girl, Annie, who likes aniseed-flavored lollipops:
When the barley sugar
Flavored with anise
Sinks in Annie’s throat,
She is in heaven.
Annie’s aniseed. Think about that for a minute.
Christ, he’s good…
But here’s the thing: France Gall apparently had no idea that she was singing a song about oral sex and swallowing… seed.
When she performed the number on the television program seen in the clip below, she did so oblivious to what every other person present was thinking! It wasn’t until she was on tour in Tokyo that someone let the cat out of the bag. Gall was infuriated and greatly embarrassed by what she’d unwittingly taken part in. She felt betrayed by the adults around her and mocked like a naive fool. She refused to leave her home for weeks afterwards and ultimately stopped singing Gainsbourg’s songs that had made her so famous. For years afterwards her career suffered from her association with this scandal, even if “Les Sucettes” had been a big hit.
Tonight and tomorrw in Los Angeles at Cinefamily: Gainsbourg and His Girls
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Bongwater: The Power of Pussy
A video story about “Les Sucettes” with a rare public comment from France Gall about the scandal.