The Musical Wes Anderson: France Gall – “Poupée de cire, poupée de son”

Part of the reason for our lack of posts is because there’s not a whole lot to report on at the moment in the world of Wes Anderson.

With that in mind, The Rushmore Academy is proud to present our new series: The Musical Wes Anderson.

Each week we’ll post at a song featured in one of Wes’ works, whether they be films long, films short or commercial advertisements and we’ll take a look at the history of the song, its use in the Anderson work, and a whole bunch of other tangential stuff and what not that we come up with that week.

For the first part in our (presumably endless) series let’s take a look to the past, all the way December 2008.

This French hit is sung by the popular “yé-yé” singer France Gall. The song was written by Serge Gainsbourg, and became an immediate hit in Europe when it won the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest.


The song was featured in Anderson’s 2008 ad for the Japanese cell phone company SoftBank. The ad is an homage to French comedian and filmmaker Jacques Tati, particularly Tati’s 1953 film M. Hulot’s Holiday (Les Vacances
de Monsieur Hulot).

Trailer for M. Hulot’s Holiday


The song’s title roughly translates to “Doll of wax, Doll of sound” which some interpret as an expression of Gainsbourg’s view of Gall. You can read an interpretation and breakdown of the lyrics here. They are presented in French below.

Je suis une poupee de cire
Une poupee de son
Mon coeur est grave dans mes chansons
Poupee de cire poupee de son

Suis-je meilleure suis-je pire
Qu’une poupee de salon
Je vois la vie en rose bonbon
Poupee de cire poupee de son

Mes disques sont un miroir
Dans lequel chacun peut me voir
Je suis partout a la fois
Brisee en mille eclats de voix

Autour de moi j’entends rire
Les poupees de chiffon
Celles qui dansent sur mes chansons
Poupee de cire poupee de son

Elles se laissent seduire
Pour un oui pour un nom
L’amour n’est pas que dans les chansons
Poupee de cire poupee de son

Seule parfois je soupire
Je me dis a quoi bon
Chanter ainsi l’amour sans raison
Sans rien connaitre des garcons

Je suis qu’une poupee de cire
Qu’une poupee de son
Sous le soleil de mes cheveux blonds
Poupee de cire poupee de son

Mais un jour je vivrai mes chansons
Poupee de cire poupee de son
Sans craindre a la chaleur des garcons
Poupee de cire poupee de son.

The song is very well known in France, and has been covered by a number of people including the Canadian/Haitian/American band Arcade Fire.

Gall continued to record until her retirement in 2001, and remains a popular figure in France.

France Gall Poupée de cire

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