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Like most girls my age, I had a crush on France, and Paris in particular. The cafes, the architecture, the men in striped shirts and berets, and the woman in slimming black. All of this in a haze of cigarette smoke.

I was in love with a cliche, as many of us find, when we travel to the places we admire from afar. I went to Paris, while studying abroad in Sweden, and saw American pizza chains, hordes of tourists, and found that French waiters really enjoyed shaming me in public.

But, I also ate warm baguettes, cheese, and drank wine on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower. I looked through old paperbacks along the Seine and watched stylish women in heels walk easily down cobblestone streets.

I loved Paris still, but in a new way.

Forever and always, my favorite music from France is that of Yann Tiersen, the musician who is best known for composing the Amelie soundtrack. It may be cliche, but it’s the kind of music that makes your heart smile and dream.

 

Plus, he’s absolutely stunning on a violin. I’ve probably watched this clip one hundred times. (It gets crazy at the 1:45 mark). Seeing it live in San Francisco was even better.

Another French artist that I adore is Francoise Hardy. I had a phase in college where I wanted to be her; brown bangs, 60s eyeliner, and all. Her music was featured in Moonrise Kingdom and the love was reignited.

France usually takes itself quite seriously, so here’s an artist who doesn’t give AF. Thank you, Eurovision, for always giving us the cream of the crop. (If you don’t know what Eurovision is, Youtube it and thank me later. It will change your life.)

 

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