25 Best French Songs about Paris, Old & New

Photography by Anne Elder.

As I was putting together the chapter openings for my upcoming cookbook Tasting Paris, I was inspired to illustrate each with a few lines from a beautiful French song about Paris. (I’ve got to admit, I’m pretty pleased with this idea; I hope my editor keeps it in.)

Wanting to expand beyond my own knowledge of Paris-inspired songs, I asked my Facebook friends — such a clever, resourceful bunch — to suggest their own favorites. The resulting collection was so uplifting and brought me so much joy I couldn’t keep it to myself, so here it is, for your enjoyment.

You can listen to the songs individually, or play the whole bunch using this YouTube playlist or
Spotify playlist I created for you (and for me).

Do you have one you love that’s not included here? (Note: I decided to stick to French-language songs as a theme here, but feel free to submit songs in other languages!)

Classic Songs about Paris

“J’ai deux amours”, Josephine Baker

“Les Prénoms de Paris”, Jacques Brel

“Paris”, Edith Piaf

“À Paris”, Yves Montand

“Sous le ciel de Paris”, Yves Montand

“Paris mai”, Claude Nougaro

“Les Champs Élysées”, Joe Dassin

“Revoir Paris”, Charles Trenet

“Revoir Paris” cover by Benjamin Biolay

“La romance de Paris”, Charles Trenet

“Paris en colère”, Mireille Mathieu

“L’âme des poètes”, Charles Trenet

“La Valse à Mille Temps”, Jacques Brel

“La Valse à Mille Temps” cover by Babel

Free Download for Paris Lovers!

10 Romantic Things to do in Paris

Contemporary Songs about Paris

“Un après-midi à Paris”, Philippe Katerine

“À Paris”, Riff Cohen

“Paris by Night”, Bénabar

“Paris”, Camille

“Paris s’éveille”, Jacques Dutronc

“Paris sera toujours Paris”, Zaz

“Titi Parisien”, Seth Gueko Ft. Nekfeu and Oxmo Puccino

“La Seine”, Vanessa Paradis et -M-

“Les nuits parisiennes”, Louise attaque

“J’aime plus Paris”, Thomas Dutronc

“PARIS”, Taxi Girl

“Dans le bar tabac de la rue des Martyrs”, Pigalle

“Paris je t’aime”, Ryadh

  • Taste of France

    I love Brel.
    Brassens mentions Paris a few times: “Le Bistrot” and “A Paris, dans chaque faubourg.”
    I don’t think a single wedding reception, communal dinner or camping soirée would be complete without “Les Champs Elysées.”

  • Annabel Smyth

    How about Yves Montand’s “Les Grands Boulevards” https://youtu.be/4pyFHar4mRc

  • Chelin Jamie Hu

    I only recently seen the animated movie “a monster in Paris” and loved the song “La Seine” — it’s so good to hear the actual French version! So good! Thank you! I’m going to try and listen to all of your recommendations!

  • Marilyn

    What a fantastic idea for your book, Clotilde! I too hope that the editors leave it in!! Thanks so much for sharing these songs with us now. It’s always wonderful to make a quick trip to Paris via satellite!!!

  • Maria

    Thank you so much for all of this- it is such a fun treat. I was in Paris about 46 years ago around this time- Your old school videos – along w/ the new things are just a delight & very enjoyable. As a 62 year old w/ a disability that doesn’t afford me to get out much, this great compilation of music is a fine gift to treasure, thanks again.

  • Christianne Leite

    What a brilliant idea! Love it.

  • NotJoking

    Two of my favourites are Ella Fitzgerald’s version of I Love Paris and 10CC’s Une Nuit à Paris.

  • rachelsloan79

    What a great idea – I certainly hope your editor is on board!
    A few to add to your list – Lys Gauty’s ‘À Paris dans chaque faubourg’ (I see someone else mentioned Brassens), Marc Lavoine’s version of ‘Le Pont Mirabeau’ and Rufus Wainwright’s version of ‘Complainte de la butte’… and, although mostly wordless, Yann Tiersen’s music (especially the older albums, up to and including L’Absente) has always felt very Parisian to me.

    • Wonderful, thank you! And yes, I overdosed on Tiersen after Amélie got so popular but now I can listen to it again. :)

  • Gibson

    How about that song from the 90s by Malcolm McClaren tha features Catherine Deneuve (Paris Paris).

  • Catherine Borchmann

    A wonderful idea for a book. My all time favorite artist was the wonderful Georges Brassens whose ” Les amoureux qui bécotent sur les bancs publiques ” says it all. Although the public displays of affection are not limited to the famous green benches , they are so evocative!

  • Tina Lindquist

    I’m working my way down the list…LOVE!!! Merci Clotilde!

  • Bríd

    I might just be an old fuddy duddy, but what about Juliette Gréco (though ‘Sous le ciel de Paris’ is already on the list) or Serge Reggiani’s ‘Paris Ma Rose’ or his ‘Le Pont Mirabeau’ (well, Apollinaire’s actually). And – I was amazed – there are actually recordings of Aristide Bruant ‘(Le chat noir’, or ‘A la Bastille’) and Yvette Guilbert on youtube.

  • Pat Tanumihardja

    Oooh … thank you for this list! I’ve been wanting to expand my repertoire of contemporary French singers beyond Keren Ann and Gerald Genty! I’ll be listening to the entire list :).

  • Nellie

    You have to include “Écoutez-moi les gavroches” by Renaud!

  • Linda Popp

    Aucune liste est complete sans ‘La Boheme’ d’Aznavour.

  • JaimeLobo

    Well, as long as someone already broke the ice with a non-French, Cole Porter song, how about one of Cole’s lesser know songs about Paris or France (and he wrote a lot of them). “You Don’t Know Paree”

    Here’s nice, Liliane Montevecchi version in a medley with “I Love Paris”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLyOMK3I0uw

    or a more complete version by Lisandro Nesis
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bzT7-86Kr4

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