Les Sucettes (Lollipops)
The story of a not so innocent song
"Les Sucettes" ("Lollipops") is a French pop song written by Serge Gainsbourg and recorded by France Gall in 1966. One of Gall's biggest hits, it was an unusually risqué song for its time, but in performing it she was unaware of the fact.
"Les Sucettes" was, on the surface, a pleasant children's song about a girl who likes aniseed-flavoured lollipops. But Gainsbourg's lyric was full of playful double meanings referring to oral sex, which Gall, aged 18, simply did not understand.
She was filmed singing "Les Sucettes" for television programs, with actions and props playing on the sexual references. By Gall's account she did not realize until later why the filming attracted so many visitors to the set.
She was extremely upset upon finally learning the truth about the song's double meaning--"mortified, hiding herself away for weeks, refusing to face anyone".
Gall said that she had sung Gainsbourg's songs "with an innocence of which I'm proud. I was pained to then learn that he had turned the situation to his advantage, mocking me."In a 2001 television interview, Gall said that she felt "betrayed by the adults around me."
Despite its commercial success, "Les Sucettes" led to the breakup of the successful partnership between Gainsbourg and Gall and caused Gall, throughout her later life, to turn her back on the Gainsbourg period and most of the songs he wrote for her, which included her Eurovision Song Contest 1965 hit, Poupée de cire, poupée de son.
However, much of the humor lay in the fact that the song was sung, unknowingly, by a young innocent girl and Gainsbourg took a different view: "It's the most daring song of the century," he claimed in an interview in the magazine Rock and Folk.