The song's sentiments seem to be the guiding principle behind a 1950 publication that I found today called, simply, "The Frenchman". The book consists of 48 pages of questions and answers with a French actor called Fernandel - not a fascinating concept in itself, but made more appealing by the fact that Fernandel's answers are limited to body language.
Here are a few examples:
"We Americans are very much against sin. How about you, Monsieur?"
"What would you rather give up - women or garlic?"
What is it about the French? In any other country, a strange nose, bad teeth and a generally odd face would be considered a handicap. However, in France it's all part of the je ne sais quois, the joi de vivre and the honi soir qui mal y pense. It's one of many things I admire about France.
But before I launch into a homage (or should that be hommage) to the French and their rich artistic and culinary heritage, I'd like to ask Fernandel two questions:
- Why is Kevin now one of the most popular baby names in France?
- Why are the French taking more antidepressants than any other nation in Europe?
*Triva fact - Fernandel is mentioned by Camus in L'Etranger, when Meursault and Marie watch him in a film.