24: The English on Holiday

Posted on 04/02/2017


24. The English on holiday

Charlelie Couture is a french singer and painter, born in 1956. His songs are amusing but also have a black humour in them. His song about the English on Holiday is a good example. It begins with the observation that:

‘The English on holiday have white skin/under their thick red legs
their wives are old fashioned, they are too pale or sickly/and even their stokcings are matt’

After this withering introduction he turns to the driving of us English Tourists:

‘The English on holiday awkwardly drive/they are always afraid of trucks, turns of the mountains, orads of France
they fear for their engine and exhaust’

the song ends on a doom laden note@

‘The Enslish go on holiday by couple, like the hitchhikers
The English sleepon the low side of a quiet roadway at the edge of a forest
The English are knocked off by two’s like lovers
The English die for nothing, the English’

It is quite surprising to see ourselves as othere see us, but this version is positively shocking. Luckily the mortality rate amoung English tourists in France remains low.


Another of his songs that I like is ‘La vie facile’: the easy life. Its all about the difficulties of life. It goes ‘is it easy…’ and there follows a long list of

Is it easy ‘for butterflies, huge rhinoceros’ or ‘deceived wives….professors who lack sex appeal’. The latter is revealing of the French assumption that any academic must spend his or her time seducing stuents. I cannot think of any other reason why it should be notable that aceademics should lack sex appeal. In my fairly wide experience of the species, I should say that sex appeal was less common among them. They tend to be rather fascomated with their subject, rather than with women. Not universally true obviously, and probably not in France, but elsewhere.

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