« C’est pas par plaisir qu’ils voyagent ! » Chanson et migration – contextualisation, thématique et point de vue narratif


  • Ursula Mathis-Moser




How can the rich panorama of French songs which scholars tend to identify as ‘songs of migration’ be characterized? The chanson politique, the chanson engagée, and the chanson de la migration – all three of them make statements about society but the latter is specific in its themes: It focuses on the individual and/or the collective experience of forced displacement and migration, which have been the lot of thousands and thousands of people in the past three decades. In the first part of this article, the history of French immigration is outlined in order to contextualise the 60 songs chosen for analysis. After briefly highlighting the complexity and plurimediality of the artistic form of the chanson, the second part concentrates on the themes addressed and on the narrative perspective; it ends with Louis Calvet who stated as early as 1976 that a chanson can be political for three reasons: the author’s intentionality, the topics dealt with, and the way in which the contemporary society ‘lives’ the respective songs.





Popular Music und Migration: Thema, Kontext, Intention – ein Überblick

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