Endless Loop: La Chanson de Slogan

sloganHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“La Chanson de Slogan” by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin

I’m in some thick, wooded area, pushing brush and branches from my face as I carefully make my way towards the sound. I’m not sure where I am. I’ve never been here before. The woods feel far away and exotic, but eventually I come to a clearing, and I peer into the valley below. I locate the music. There are many hooded figures, naked revelers, pagan imagery, dancing, and a mist or fog that covers everything, creating a mystical aura to the scene. I’m noticed…and I’m welcome…but as soothing the music is, as calming as the participants make me, the hairs on the back of my neck still stand on end, as if in anticipation of…something.

I make my way into some old chateau in a European countryside. Dusk has brought the moon with it, and everything glows. Inside the ballroom, it’s the same as the meadow, but with wigs and masks. Someone somewhere plays a harpsichord. I step into the surreal, drink the potion, and feel the hairs on my neck again.

“La Chanson de Slogan” by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, taken from the soundtrack to the 1969 French film Slogan, is not about any of these things. In actuality, it’s a duet where the woman tells a man how vile he is, while he insists that she still loves him. But it’s in French, so I’m not really all that concerned with what it means, but how it makes me feel. And it makes me feel like I’ve stepped in to some decadent party or ritual, like witnessing some freaky occult sex act, but not being asked to leave. It makes me feel like I’m about to trip. The haunting harpsichord layered on top of the jazzy, psychedelic strings feels ghostly and surreal, all the while the rhythm section plays a funky, break-filled beat. Jane Birkin’s cooing siren’s call and Gainsbourg’s smoky, seductive whisper complete this psychosexual atmosphere.

And it’s intoxicating.

Seriously, “La Chanson de Slogan” plays like a drug in my head. I can’t escape it, and I’ll find myself craving a fix at any given moment.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

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