Yesterday, I wrote about the French Adele, but in bouncing around online to research that post, I came across a story about another French pop song from the same era — “Les Sucettes,” an ode to lollipops sung in 1966 by France Gall. Yes, that’s her stage name, and yes, it’s just one letter off from France Gaul, which would be the name of the country she’s from and the ancient name for area that country now occupies. Such nationalism! She damn near rivals that airport guy.
And what a face, too. Seeing what she looks like, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that France Gall was once considered for a live-action musical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. It failed to materialize after Walt Disney died in 1966, but no worries, because Gall’s career was also stewarded along by Serge Gainsbourg. The same year as Disney’s death, Gainsbourg wrote the song “Les Sucettes” specifically for Gall. The following video resulted.
Let’s take a quick inventory: It’s about sucettes (“lollipops,” but literally “suck-ettes”), the French lollipops of the 60s were flagrantly phallic, cutaways show women who aren’t France Gall cramming lollipops into their mouths and, finally, people wear full-body lollipop costumes that allow them to waggle their long, pointed shafts back and forth. Gainsbourg had transformed Gall into a Lolita. Incredibly, though Gall was nineteen when “Les Sucettes” was released, she claims she was oblivious to all the sexual implications. And though you have to wonder what nunnery could have produced a girl naïve enough that she found nothing suspicious about the lyrics “When the candy stick / With anise flavor / Goes down Annie’s throat,” According to Wikipedia, Gall was so mortified when someone finally pointed out the obvious that she dissolved her successful partnership with Gainsbourg.
And that, friends, is the story of the sweet little French girl who accidentally sang a song about gobbling dongs.