Thursday, December 17, 2020

La Fille du Père Noël

'La Fille du Père Noël' (1966) by French living legend (and ex-lover of Francoise Hardy) Jacques Dutronc has one of the greatest riffs ever used in a Christmas-themed song. Story goes that Bowie was inspired by this riff for this 'The Jean Genie'. Belgian expert Arnold Rypens also figures Jacques Dutronc might have heard it on a Five Americans B-side (HERE) or from a Shadows of Knight single (HERE).

The lyrics of de Dutronc/Lanzmann song are about an odd love affair between the daughter of Santa Claus (Marie Noël) and the son of Pere Fouettard (Jean Balthazar). We're going deep into the Saint Nicolas folklore here. The song itself inspired a bunch of other songs, but was covered a lot too. Most of the time those cover versions are rather dull, but here are a handful of nice versions:

French singer Clara Luciani recorded this cover two years ago, but it was re-released recently. The riff is slighty changed, she electrofied it a little and made it a tad more sexy. HERE's a live version.

Belgian superstar Arno and Beverly Jo Scott made a mash-up of Bowie and Dutronc:

Another mash-up, now with the Pink Panther theme by a Swiss band:

Also in duet, from Montreal. Not that different from the original, but still pretty good:

French retro-rockband, they made a great arrangement with horns and organ. Do check the full compilation:

Electrockin' version

Also electo-fied, how Iggy Pop would've covered it the 80s:

With toy instruments: