From Michel Sardou’s “Les Ricains” to Emmanuel Macron’s G6 Comment [Updated 6/9/18] | We’re Fired on Blog#42

In 1967, French singer, Michel Sardou, recorded his famous song, Les Ricains. In French, Ricain is short for American.

The song was published after America received much criticism over its behavior and foreign policy.  A book, The Ugly American, was published in 1963. From its Wikipedia page:

The Ugly American is a 1958 political novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer which depicts the failures of the U.S. diplomatic corps in Southeast Asia.

The book caused a sensation in diplomatic circles, and had major political implications. The Peace Corps was established during the Kennedy administration partly as a result of the book. 

From the introductory text of this YouTube post:

“The incomparable Michel Sardou wrote this in 1967 when anti-American sentiment in France was being generated by de Gaulle, as a reminder of the debt owed to the Americans and the Allies. The French never believed the propaganda as you can judge from the audience’s reaction to the song, even in 2005. Many Americans today believe the French hate the Americans, and hopefully this translation will help to dispel this fiction. Whenever this song is performed the audience reaction is the same: an outpouring of emotion. The French do not forget their friends.”

This song sought to repair the damage done by American behavior overseas.

Contrast with Emmanuel Macron on France and the G7’s relationship with America:

According to Reuters:

Asked by reporters whether the problem with Trump was that he “didn’t care about being isolated”, Macron said:

“You say the U.S. President doesn’t care at all. Maybe, but nobody is forever,” he told a news conference flanked by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “The six countries of the G7 without the United States, are a bigger market taken together than the American market.”

Macron tweeted:

Trump made a brief but volatile appearance at the G-7 summit and it is said that words were exchanged. Leaders, obviously, were displeased.

German Chancellor Merkel uploaded this photo to her Instagram account:

Then, Trump lobbed the ultimate insult:

Trump says U.S. won’t sign G-7 joint statement

The president touted great relationships with other G-7 leaders — but then abruptly reverses on signing a joint communique, blaming Canadian leader Trudeau’s opposition to his trade policies.

This is a very, very far cry from the sentiments expressed in “Les Ricains.” Trump is bringing the Ugly American back.

«Les Ricains»

Si les Ricains n’étaient pas là
Vous seriez tous en Germanie
A parler de je ne sais quoi,
A saluer je ne sais qui.

Bien sûr les années ont passé.
Les fusils ont changé de mains.
Est-ce une raison pour oublier
Qu’un jour on en a eu besoin ?

Un gars venu de Géorgie
Qui se foutait pas mal de toi
Est venu mourir en Normandie,
Un matin où tu n’y étais pas.

Bien sûr les années ont passé.
On est devenus des copains.
A l’amicale du fusillé,
On dit qu’ils sont tombés pour rien.

Si les Ricains n’étaient pas là
Vous seriez tous en Germanie
A parler de je ne sais quoi,
A saluer je ne sais qui.

English Translation

If the ‘mericans weren’t there
You would all be in Germany
Talking about I don’t know what
Cheering I don’t know who

Of course it’s been years
We became friends
At the Vet hall
We say they fell for nothing

A guy from Georgia
Who didn’t give a damn about you
Came to die in Normandy
On a morning when you weren’t there

Of course it’s been years
Guns have changed hands
Is that a reason to forget
That we once needed them

Of course the years have gone by
We became friends
At the Veterans’ center
They say they fell in vain

If the ‘mericans weren’t there
We would all be in Germany
Talking about I don’t know what
Saluting I don’t know who

This blog is my work. Your contributions help me and my family get by during this medical emergency. Thank you for your ongoing support!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *