Found among the gems on the wonderful Arte Radio site: a clip entitled “Chirac disco” which, in the typical fashion of the Arte team, mixes some (in)famous snippets of the French president’s speeches with, well, you could call it music. For the bit alone where he says “overdose” (of foreigners, by the way) it would be worth it. (Flash and HTML access, leading directly to the clip; a Creative Commons licensed mp3 is available for download here.)

Still, the riddle of that awful, late 70s style disco music needs solving. Here is a rough translation of the lyrics: We have in our country / The power to change our life / For everybody, Jacques Chirac / Now for president / France needs a man / Of courage and determination / For everybody, Jacques Chirac / etc. pp.

Cringeworthy doesn’t begin to describe it.

The history of the song is documented here. About in the middle of the page, there is an write-up in French and a download link for the mp3 file of the original “Votons Jacques Chirac” single. The song really is what it sound like: a musical campaign ad#[1] — from M. Chirac’s unsuccessful 1981 presidential bid against the (also right-wing) incumbent Giscard d’Estaign (who, of course, lost, too). “Unsuccessful” is a relative term, though, as Chirac obtained 18% of the first-round vote, i.e. only 1.7 percentage points less#[2] than when he was reelected in 2002.

Some of us might be a bit disappointed that this attempt to seduce the young voters didn’t resurface then.

[1]: To be distributed on vinyl among his supporters, of course, not played over the airwaves. France is thankfully nearly free of TV and radio campaign ads. [2]: “Fewer” doesn’t work for me here.

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