"Boum" ! (French pronunciation: [bum], similar to the English "boom") is a popular song by the French singer/songwriter Charles Trenet which won him the Grand Prix du Disque. Its light, irreverent lyrics express a joie de vivre which suited the mood of the French public at the time of its release in 1938.
It includes depictions of the sounds made by various animals and also various onomatopoeia. It is maybe the first time a song makes such a use of onomatopoeia. The lyric to the refrain is:
|Quand notre coeur fait Boum!||When our heart goes "Boum!"|
|Tout avec lui dit Boum!||Everything says "Boum!" with it,|
|Et c'est l'amour||And it is love|
|Qui s'éveille.||Which wakes up.|
"Boum!" has also been recorded by other artists in an English translation. The song is also featured in Absolut Vodka's "In An Absolut World" television commercial campaign as well as a period song in the "France Falls" episode of The World At War. In that episode, the song is presented with a chorus of artillery and machine guns in the sequence on military life at the Maginot Line during the Phoney War, making the "boum" more like the English "boom" sound, a variant of "bang". Additionally, it was featured in the Jack Nicholson comedy Something's Gotta Give as well as Toto the Hero. Also recently[when?] it has been used by Renault in their latest string of advertising. In 1994 the song was covered by Belgian singer Maurane. "Boum" featured in the film A Good Year with Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard - it was sung in open air by Adrian Chevalier with a black and white screen backdrop.
The song is featured in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall, where it is played over loudspeakers on the island lair of Raoul Silva, the principal antagonist in the film. This is a joke referring to his love of explosions.
In Hergé's The Adventures of Tintin comic Land of Black Gold, Trenet's "Boum !" is transformed into a radio advertising jingle for a fictional roadside assistance company, "Simoun" ("Autocart" in the English editions).
|Original French||Translation||English adaptation|
|Quand vot' moteur fait Boum!||When your car goes "Boum!"||One day, your car goes "Boom"!|
|La dépanneuse Simoun||Simoun's breakdown repair||Don't just give up in gloom,|
|Viendra vers vous||Will be coming your way||Call Autocart|
|En vitesse.||Quickly.||To the rescue.|
- Yves Montand, Jeremy Leggatt, Patrick Rotman, Hervé Hamon (1992), You See, I Haven't Forgotten, New York: Knopf, p. 49, ISBN 978-0-679-41012-6
- Larry Portis (2004-01), French Frenzies: A Social History of Pop Music in France, Virtualbookworm Publishing, p. 94, ISBN 978-1-58939-547-3
- "Clip Maurane, Boum, vidĂŠo et Paroles de chanson". Jukebo.fr. Retrieved 2012-01-17.
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