22 French Love songs to swoon over

22 French Love songs to swoon over

With French being the language of love, you can bet there are some beautiful French love songs declaring Je t’aime in style. With its many legendary composers and musicians, here are the best romantic French songs that are sure to make your heart go pitter-patter.

Chansons d’amour

English Translation: Love Song

I first heard these sweet love songs after moving to France, (and meeting and marrying my own Frenchie.) I fell in love then, and I hope you will too.

So put on your headphones and imagine yourself in Paris, with some of the best French romantic ballads and love songs that have become classics.

Note: if you have a Spotify account, log on to your account in a different tab on your internet browser, to hear the full song below.

1. Jacques Brel – Ne me quitte pas

Jacques Brel’s classic hit “Ne me quitte pas”, tops just about every best songs list in France. And that is pretty tough to do, considering how many top hits and romantic ballads Brel produced.

Ne me quitte pas, meaning “don’ leave me”, Brel asks to forget the past and move on to the land he will create where “she will be Queen, and love will be the law”.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Ne me quitte pas 
Il faut oublier 
Tout peut s’oublier 
Qui s’enfuit déjà 
Oublier le temps 
Des malentendus 
Et le temps perdu 
Do not leave me
You must forget
everything can be forgotten
That already fled
Forget time
Misunderstandings
And lost time

2. Carla Bruni – Quelqu’un m’a dit

Carla Bruni may have been better known as a model, but she definitely brings the chops as singer. She released this single several years before she would become First Lady of France, as wife of French ex-President Nicholas Sarkozy.

This soft ballad about lost love in this song that spent over 34 weeks in the top 10.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Pourtant quelqu’un m’a dit
Que tu m’aimais encore
C’est quelqu’un qui m’a dit
Que tu m’aimais encore
Serait-ce possible alors?
However, someone told me
That you still loved me
It was someone who told me
that you still love me
So could it be possible?

☞ READ MORE: 24 French Love Quotes to make your heart flutter (with English Translation)



3. Johnny Hallyday – Je te promets

French Rocker Johnny Hallyday may have put out more hard rock hits like the massive Allumer le feu, but he shows his romantic side in “Je te promets” meaning “I promise you”.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Je te promets la clé des secrets de mon âme
Je te promets la vie de mes rires à mes larmes
Je te promets le feu à la place des armes
Plus jamais des adieux rien que des au-revoir
I promise you the key to the secrets of my soul
I promise you my life from laughter to tears
I promise you fire instead of weapons
No more goodbyes just “see you later”

☞ READ MORE: 15 French Musicians you need on your playlist

4. Roméo et Juliette – Aimer

It is only appropriate that a duo with a stage name Romeo and Juliette put out a hit called “Aimer”, meaning “to love” in French.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Aimer
C’est ce qu’il y a de plus beau
Aimer
C’est monter si haut
Et toucher les ailes des oiseaux
Aimer
C’est ce qu’il y a de plus beau
To Love
This is what is most beautiful
To love
It is going up so high
to touch the wings of the birds
To Love
This is what is most beautiful

5. Lara Fabian – Je t’aime

If there ever was a French love power ballad, it is Lara Fabian’s Je t’aime, meaning “I love you”. Fabian holds nothing back making her declaration with:

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Je t’aime, je t’aime
Comme un fou, comme un soldat
Comme une star de cinéma
Je t’aime, je t’aime
Comme un loup, comme un roi
Comme un homme que je ne suis pas
Tu vois, je t’aime comme ça
I love you, I love you
Like a crazy person, like a soldier Like a movie star
I love you, I love you
Like a wolf, like a king
Like a man that I’m not
You see, I love you like this

6. Loane – Aimé

Soft and sensual, Loane leaves it all out there in this lovely little tune:

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Je voudrais que tu y viennes
Que tu me prennes
Ce qu’il y’a de plus beau
De mes yeux ont coulé
Des envies d’être aimée de toi
Si tu pouvais tout me dire
Car rien n’est pire que de cacher les maux
De ma bouche j’ai dit
Ces envies d’être aimée de toi
I would like you to come
That you take me
That which is most beautiful
From my eyes which are watering
The need to be loved by you
If you could tell me everything
Cause nothing is worse than hiding the bad stuff
From my mouth I said
The need to be loved by you


7. Céline Dion – Pour que tu m’aimes encore

French Canadian legend Celine Dion didn’t rerecord Titanic’s “My heart will go on” in French, but we still have “Pour que tu m’aimes encore“. Her delicate voice powers through this ballad in the style that we love her so much for.

There is no holding back in this song, where she wholeheartedly declares her love and proclaims to go to the ends of the earth “so that you will still love me”.

☞ READ MORE: French Views on Sex: 7 Interesting Differences

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Il faut que tu saches
J’irai chercher ton cœur si tu l’emportes ailleurs
Même si dans tes danses,
d’autres dansent tes heures
J’irai chercher ton âme
dans les froids dans les flammes
Je te jetterai des sorts pour que tu m’aimes encore
You have to know
I’ll go look for your heart if you
take it elsewhere
Even if in your dance,
others dance with you for hours
I will seek your soul
in the cold in the flames
I’ll cast spells on you to make you love me again

8. Zaz – Je veux

French singer Zaz talks about true love in this next song, and is not willing to put a price on happiness:

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Donnez-moi une suite au Ritz,
je n’en veux pas!
Des bijoux de chez Chanel,
je n’en veux pas!
Donnez-moi une limousine,
j’en ferais quoi?
Give me a suite at the Ritz,
I don’t want one!
Jewelry from Chanel,
I don’t want any!
Give me a limo,
what will I do with it?
Offrez-moi du personnel,
j’en ferais quoi?
Un manoir à Neuchâtel,
ce n’est pas pour moi.
Offrez-moi la Tour Eiffel,
j’en ferais quoi?
Offer me staff,
what will I do with them?
A manor house in Neuchâtel
is not for me.
Give me the Eiffel Tower,
what will I do with it?
Je veux d’l’amour, d’la joie, de la bonne humeur,
C’n’est pas votre argent qui f’ra mon bonheur,
Moi j’veux crever la main sur le cœur.
I want love, joy, good humor,
It’s not your money that will make me happy,
I want to put my hand on my heart.

☞ READ MORE: 21 French Pick-Up Lines that will make you giggle

9. Patrick Bruel – J’te l’dis quand même 

French singer and actor Patrick Bruel is one of those singers you can listen to all afternoon long, on a rainy day, with his album on repeat. In “J’te l’dis quand même“, meaning “I’m telling you anyway”, he makes a soft and heartfelt declaration of love.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
J’voulais quand même te dire 
Merci
Pour tout le mal qu’on s’est 
Pas dit
Certains rigolent déjà
J’m’en fous, j’les aimais pas
On avait l’air trop bien
Y en a qui supportent pas
I still wanted to tell you
Thank you
For all the trouble we got into,
not saying,
Some are already laughing
I don’t care, I didn’t like them
We looked too good
There are some who can’t stand
Mais j’trouve pas d’refrain à notre histoire
Tous les mots qui m’viennent sont dérisoires
J’sais bien que j’t’l’ai trop dit
Mais j’te l’dis quand même
Je t’aime
But I do not find a refrain on our history
All the words that come are derisory
I know that I told you too much
But I’m telling you anyway
I love you

10. Barbara – Ma Plus Belle Histoire d’Amour

Monique Andrée Serf, better known by her stage name Barbara, sings about her most beautiful love story without restraint.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
C’était déjà votre image
C’était vous déjà et le cœur nu
Je refaisais mes bagages
Et poursuivais mon mirage
Ma plus belle histoire d’amour, c’est vous
It was already your image
It was you already and a bare heart
I pack my bags
And pursued my mirage
My most beautiful love story
is you

11. Camélia Jordana – Non Non Non

Camélia Jordana doesn’t want to move on from a broken heart in the song “Non Non Non Non“, preferring to sit at home and listen to sad love songs from Barbara and hope he will return…

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Non, non, non, non
Je ne veux pas prendre l’air
Non, non, non, non
Je ne veux pas boire un verre
Non, non, non, non
Je ne veux pas l’oublier
Non, non, non, non
Je ne veux pas m’en passer
J’veux juste aller mal et y’a pas de mal à ça
Traîner, manger que dalle
Écouter Barbara
Peut-être il reviendra
No no no no
I don’t want to take the air
No no no no
I don’t want a drink
No no no no
I don’t want to forget him
No no no no
I don’t want to do without it
I just want to go bad and there’s no harm in that
Hang out, eat nothing
Listen to Barbara
Maybe he will come back

It is a very catchy tune however, despite the dispirited lyrics.

12. Vanessa Paradis – Le Tourbillon

Le Tourbillon, meaning the “Whirlwind”, is a song written made famous by the film Jules et Jim in 1962 , where it is sung by actress Jeanne Moreau. The song was composed by writer Serge Rezvani, who had originally only intended it to be sung among their circle of friends at dinner parties.

Since the film, the song has been sung by several artists including the multi-talented Vanessa Paradis (who perhaps is better known for being the ex of a certain Johnny Depp).

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
On s’est connu,
on s’est reconnu
On s’est perdu de vue,
on s’est reperdu de vue
On s’est retrouvé,
on s’est réchauffé
Puis on s’est séparé
Chacun pour soi est reparti
Dans le tourbillon de la vie
Je l’ai revue un soir,
aïe, aïe, aïe
Ça fait déjà un fameux bail
Ça fait déjà un fameux bail
We knew each other,
we recognized each other
We lost sight of each other,
we lost sight of each other
We found each other,
we warmed up
Then we broke up
Each for himself is gone
In the whirlwind of life
I saw him again one evening,
aie, aie, aie,
It’s already been a long time
It’s already been a long time

13. Gaëtan Roussel – Dis-moi encore que tu m’aimes 

Singer-songwriter Gaëtan Roussel lets us imagine walking and giggling in the streets of Paris, madly in love. What could be better?

☞ READ MORE: 21 Romantic Things to do in Paris for couples

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Le soleil effleure les persiennes
Les pluies vont être diluviennes
Sens-tu le parfum que le vent ramène?
Dis-moi encore que tu m’aimes
The sun brushes against the shutters
The rains will be torrential
Do you smell the scent that the wind brings back?
Tell me again that you love me

14. Vianney – Moi aimer toi

Another song that will easily put a smile on your face and make you fall in love is Vianney’s “Moi aimer toi“.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Sur mon coussin, comme un dessin 
Comme une tâche 
C’est ton mascara qui déteint 
Quand on se fâche 
Pour un café un peu mal fait 
Une bricole 
Quand on se bat, moi je voudrais 
Qu’on en rigole
On my cushion, like a drawing
Like a stain
It’s your mascara that rubs off
When we get angry
For a coffee a little badly made
A repair
When we fight, I would like
that we laugh
Si moi aimer toi, blesser moi 
Si moi aimer toi 
Quand moi aimer toi, blesser moi 
Quand moi aimer toi 
Si moi aimer toi, blesser moi 
Si moi aimer toi 
Quand moi aimer toi, moi blesser 
Moi
If I love you, hurt me
If I love you
When I love you, hurt me
When i love you
If I love you, hurt me
If I love you
When I love you, hurt me
Me

☞ READ MORE: French terms of endearment: 92+ Crazy & Romantic Nicknames

15. Renan Luce – Appelle quand tu te réveilles 

Singer Renan Luce begs for forgiveness and to be taken back in this upbeat yet sad French love song.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Du coup j’me sens un peu con
Roméo de pacotille
Quand je vois à ton balcon
Une lumière qui scintille
So I feel a little stupid
Romeo of the junk pile
When I see on your balcony
A light that sparkles
J’t’imagine, t’écoutes sûrement
Ma voix au téléphone
Te dire que j’m’en veux tellement
Appelle quand tu m’pardonnes
I imagine you are surely listening
My voice on the phone
To tell you that I blame myself so much
Call when you forgive me

16. Patrick Bruel – Rue Mouffetard

The famous Rue Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement of Paris makes an appearance in this tune. This pedestrianized shopping street with its tiny boutiques and cobblestone streets is in the heart of one of the oldest parts of Paris.

So you can just imagine flâner (meaning wandering aimlessly) down the street, arm in arm, enjoying your lover’s company.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
J’n’aime pas qu’on n’aime pas en parler
Même moi j’ai même pas tenté
J’n’aime pas qu’on n’aime pas y penser
A notre histoire
Rue Mouffetard
I don’t like that we don’t like to talk about it
Even I didn’t even try
I don’t like that we don’t like to think about it
To our story
Rue Mouffetard

17. Françoise Hardy – Tous les garçons et les filles

Françoise Hardy was just 16 when she sang this song in the 1960s about the loneliness of looking for love. She went on to have a long and prolific career on the music charts and on screen.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Tous les garçons et les filles de mon âge
Se promènent dans la rue deux par deux
Tous les garçons et les filles de mon âge
Savent bien ce que c’est qu’être heureux
All the boys and girls my age
Walk down the street two by two
All the boys and girls my age
Know well what it is to be happy
Et les yeux dans les yeux
Et la main dans la main
Ils s’en vont amoureux
Sans peur du lendemain
And eye to eye
And hand in hand
They go in love
Without fear of tomorrow
Oui, mais moi, je vais seule
Par les rues, l’âme en peine
Oui, mais moi, je vais seule
Car personne ne m’aime
Yes, but me, I’m going alone
Through the streets, the soul in pain
Yes, but me, I’m going alone
Cause nobody loves me

18. Jean-Louis Aubert – Voilà ce sera toi

Jean-Louis Aubert exuberates about being in love in this sweet French love song.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
J’ai toujours eu confiance,
Je n’ai pas renoncé
Bien avant ta présence,
Tu m’étais annoncée.
I have always trusted,
I did not give up
Long before your presence,
You were announced to me.
Voilà, ce sera toi,
Ma présence effective,
Je serai dans la joie
De ta peau non fictive
There it will be you
My effective presence,
I will be in joy
Of your non-fictitious skin

19. Renaud – Mistral Gagnant

Renaud’s Mistral Gagnant is a song that gets better every time you hear it. Interpreted later by various artists including Coeur de Pirate, the song title refers to the strong winter winds in Marseille and the South of France, known as the Mistral.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Et entendre ton rire
S’envoler aussi haut
Que s’envolent les cris
Des oiseaux
And hear your laugh
Soar so high
That the cries fly
the birds
Te raconter enfin
Qu’il faut aimer la vie et l’aimer même si
Le temps est assassin et emporte avec lui
Les rires des enfants
Et les Mistral Gagnants
Finally, to tell
That you have to love life and love it even if
Time is murderous and takes with it
Children’s laughter and the winning mistral winds

20. Shakira (Francis Cabrel) – Je l’aime à mourir

International star Shakira reinterprets Francis Cabrel’s classic French love song, in this live recording at a concert in Paris. She starts off in Spanish, while halfway through switching to French, with a joyful Parisian crowd singing along.

The song written by Francis Cabrel was originally released in 1979. In “Je l’aime à mourir” meaning “I love her to death”, he describes a woman with with plenty of strength of character and personality, who loves to how to enjoy life and have fun. Cabrel is in enthral with her as is the listener, ready to proclaim our love.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Elle a bâti des ponts
Entre nous et le ciel
Et nous les traversons
À chaque fois qu’elle
Ne veut pas dormir
Ne veut pas dormir
Je l’aime à mourir
She built bridges
Between us and the sky
And we cross them
Every time she
Does not want to sleep
Does not want to sleep
I love her to death

21. Élodie Frégé – La ceinture

The hauntingly melodic is more complicated than a simple love song, speaking of matters of sex versus the heart.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Non pas sur la bouche
Même si c’est louche
Puisque ma langue
A le goût de ta vertu
De ton honneur perdu
Non pas sur les lèvres
Même si j’en rêve
Même si je tremble
Et bien que mon coeur soit nu
Mon âme est revêtue
De pudeur et d’impudence
Sans te faire offense
Mieux ne vaut pas tenter sa chance
Rien ne dure
Au-dessus de la ceinture
Not on the mouth
Even if it’s fishy
Since my tongue
Tastes of your virtue
Of your lost honor
Not on the lips
Even if I dream of it
Even though I’m shaking
And though my heart is bare
My soul is coated
Of timidity and impudence
Without offending you
Better not take a chance
Nothing lasts
Above the belt

22. Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot – Bonnie & Clyde

And speaking of doomed love, it doesn’t get any more doomed than Bonnie and Clyde. A song by the legendary French singer Serge Gainsbourg with the equally legendary actress Brigitte Bardot, released for a film they did together of the same name.

They had an affair outside the recording studio for about 3 months which didn’t last, during which they recorded Je t’aime… moi non plus. Alas, she was already married, so the song wasn’t released, and he re-recorded it a few years later with Jane Birkin (of handbag fame).

Anyway, for a legendary love story quite short-lived, we will always have Bonnie & Clyde.

French Lyrics – SampleEnglish Translation
Alors voilà, Clyde a une petite amie
Elle est belle et son prénom c’est Bonnie
À eux deux, ils forment le gang Barrow
Leurs noms, Bonnie Parker et Clyde Barrow
So there you go, Clyde has a girlfriend
She is beautiful and her first name is Bonnie
Together they form the Barrow gang
Their names, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow
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So which French love song is your favorite? Comment below and let me know.

A bientôt!

¹ Featured Image: Samantha Hurley

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. 22 French Love songs to swoon over

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