“Les Sucettes” (“The Lollipops”) was written for the virginal blonde 18-year-old France Gall by that arch-lecher himself, Serge Gainsbourg, who wanted to market her as the ultimate French “Lolita” pop star. The song’s lyrics depict a young girl, Annie, who likes aniseed-flavored lollipops. Here’s a translation of a verse so you get the gist:
When the barley sugar
Flavored with anise
Sinks in Annie’s throat,
She is in heaven.
Annie’s aniseed. Think about that for a minute…
Christ, he’s good…
But here’s the thing: France Gall apparently had no idea that she was singing a song about oral sex and swallowing… seed.
When she performed the number on the television program seen in the clip below, she did so oblivious to what every other person present was thinking! It wasn’t until she was on tour in Tokyo that someone let the cat out of the bag. Gall was infuriated and greatly embarrassed by what she’d unwittingly taken part in. She felt betrayed by the adults around her and mocked like a naïve fool. She refused to leave her home for weeks afterwards and ultimately entirely stopped singing Gainsbourg’s songs that had made her so famous. For years afterwards her career suffered from her association with this scandal, even if “Les Sucettes” had been a big hit.
It’s interesting to note that Walt Disney himself wanted France Gall for a musical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, but the project was shelved with Uncle Walt’s death in 1966. Bernardo Bertolucci reportedly wanted her for the leading female role in his X-rated Last Tango in Paris opposite Marlon Brando. Can you imagine? No offense to the late Maria Schneider, but it’s too damned bad that didn’t happen!
Regarding “Les Sucettes” with a rare public comment from France Gall about the scandal it caused.
“Teenie Weenie Boppie,” about LSD and Mick Jagger on Dim Dam Dom.
More France Gall on Mod Cinema’s two DVD France Gall collection