Sunday, 5 October 2008

Lyrics & their meanings Part 15 -Ca plane pour moi

This continuing story of song lyrics and their meaning in some of the worlds best loved songs.


Plastic Bertrand was the name adopted by Belgian Roger Jouret.
Part of a musical family, Jouret made his first record in 1966 as part of a band named The Bisons in which he played drums; he was eight years old at the time. When things returned to normal again he settled down to classical studies and when finished school trained as a stage manager.
In 1975 Jouret formed Hubble Bubble the first Belgian Punk band and released one non- memorable album. During this period Jouret met producer Lou de Pryck and together they created the persona Plastic Bertrand, a satire on the safety- pin image of punk. (The name was derived from a punk journalist and singer popular in the Belgian music underground)
With Jouret’s good looks, ruffled hair and bright coloured pseudo punk clothes they had a huge hit in 1977 with “Ca Plane Pour Moi”. They did what many had failed to do by making Punk rock palatable to the unconverted.
With its big production, buzz saw guitars and frantic drumming it was perfect plastic pop. Having the song sung in French just added to the novelty value, (which is what this song was intended to be, a money making novelty song.) In actual fact Punks critics complained that the words sung by Johnny Rotten, Joe Strummer, Dave Vallum et al were unintelligible at the best of times.
The song itself translates very badly into English, which is understandable, as it has been described as nonsensical in French.
The title has been translated as meaning This life’s for me, All wells for Me and Come glide on Me but after my own investigations I believe it to be This Planes for Me. To see the English version of the lyrics is not a pretty sight and defiantly deserves to be sung in French much the same as Ninas 1980 hit 99 luft balloons sounded better sung in German.

A quick snippet of the words are as follows:

Go hop! The chick

What a Panard(?) What a vibration

To be sent, On the door mat

Filed, ruined, emptied, filled

“You are the king of the couch”

That she says to me in passing


I am the king of the couch

Contrary to rumours when it was realeased it is not a Belgian version of Elton Mortello’s UK hit “Jet Boy Jet Girl”. Mortello incidentally was a session player on the Bertrand Album.
Noted rock writer writes on the Trouser Press web site: “Ca Plane Pour Moi” is truly great dumbness – Bertrand singing verbose, seemingly nonsensical French lyrics over a classic three chord Ramones roar with Spectorish saxes and a winning falsetto “ oooh-weee-oooh” on toe chorus. It must have been truly inspiring dumbness because years later the Ramones did work with Phil Spector to record The End Of The Century album in 1980.
Described by one Pop music Encyclopaedia as “the laughing stock of the worlds Punk scene” (a tough ask that one.) The song ended up in Rolling Stone Magazines top 100 rock songs of all time.
As for Plastic Bertrand, he had minor hits in his native Belgium and Canada
In 1987 he was the Belgian entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest where he came second last.

© 2004 Shidot Prod.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a word about "Panard".
In french panard = pied (foot but in slang)

"Quel pied" or "C'est le pied", it's about something you enjoy very much, a very pleasant thing (but it's a little bit colloquial expression). I think it can be translated by something like "that's terrific".

ps: I'm poor frenchy boy, so I hope you can understand my explication.