Les sucettes, a French children’s song about lollipops (and oral sex)

An amazingly risqué song for its era, and equally amazing that the poor singer had no clue as to the songwriter’s intentional double-meaning:

“Les Sucettes” (“Lollipops”) is a French pop song written by Serge Gainsbourg and first recorded by France Gall in 1966. One of Gall’s biggest hits, it was an unusually risqué song for its time, but in performing it she was unaware of the fact.

“Les Sucettes” was, on the surface, a pleasant children’s song about a girl who likes aniseed-flavoured lollipops. But Gainsbourg’s lyric was full of playful double meanings referring to oral sex, which Gall, aged 18, simply did not understand. She was filmed singing “Les Sucettes” for television programs, with actions and props playing on the sexual references. By Gall’s account she did not realize until later why the filming attracted so many visitors to the set.

She was extremely upset upon finally learning the truth about the song’s double meaning–”mortified, hiding herself away for weeks, refusing to face anyone”.[3] Gall said that she had sung Gainsbourg’s songs “with an innocence of which I’m proud. I was pained to then learn that he had turned the situation to his advantage, mocking me.” In a 2001 television interview, Gall said that she felt “betrayed by the adults around me.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OninZ_EWEM]

And here’s a compilation of videos about the song and the controversy surrounding it.  Do you believe the singer when she says she had no idea what the song was really about?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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