Les sucettes

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"Les Sucettes"
Les sucettes Single.jpeg
Single by France Gall
ReleasedMarch 1966 (1966-03)
Format7" single
Songwriter(s)Serge Gainsbourg
Music video
"Les Sucettes" on YouTube

"Les Sucettes" ("Lollipops") is a French pop song written by Serge Gainsbourg and first recorded by France Gall in 1966. One of Gall's biggest hits, it was an unusually risqué song for its time, though in performing it she was unaware of the fact.


"Les Sucettes" is, on the surface, a yé-yé-style song about a girl named Annie who likes aniseed-flavoured lollipops; much of the lyrical content plays up the homonyms of "Annie" and "anis" (aniseed). But Gainsbourg's lyric also contains playful double meanings referring to oral sex, such as a line about barley sugar running down Annie's throat. The very noun for lollypop in French, "sucette", is the substantivised verb "sucer", sucking – so that the title and the refrain (Annie aime les sucettes) are far more evocative in French than in the English translation. The song also features a direct double entendre, stating that Annie has lollipops "pour quelques pennies" (for a few pennies), which can also be heard as "pour quelques pénis" (for a few penises).

Music video[edit]

A film clip for the song was directed by Jean-Christophe Averty for the TV show Au risque de vous plaire. It featured props playing on the sexual references, with lollipops that were somewhat phallic rather than the traditional circle shape, interspersed with cutaways of young women suggestively sucking on lollipops.[1]

Another video was filmed, featuring Gall herself in a schoolgirl uniform inside a house, singing the song.


Gall, aged 18, did not understand the double meaning of the song when she recorded it.[2] By Gall's account she did not realize until later why the filming of the clip attracted so many visitors to the set.[1]

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".[3] 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."[4] In a 2001 television interview, Gall said that she felt "betrayed by the adults around me."[1]

Gainsbourg called the song "the most daring song of the century" in an interview with the magazine Rock and Folk.[3]


Kim Kay version[edit]

"Les Sucettes"
Kim Kay - Les sucettes.jpg
Single by Kim Kay
from the album Hits!
Recorded2000 at Sterman & Cook Studio
Songwriter(s)Serge Gainsbourg
  • Phil Sterman
  • Lov Cook
Kim Kay singles chronology
"Ça plane pour moi"
"Les Sucettes"
"Open Your Heart"
Music video
"Les Sucettes" on YouTube

Another version of the song was by the Belgian Eurodance singer Kim Kay. It was released in 2000 on EMI as the fourth single and as well as the opening track from her greatest hits album, Hits! (2000). It is a Eurodance song that was written by Serge Gainsbourg and produced by Phil Sterman and Lov Cook.

Track listing[edit]

1."Les Sucettes"3:26
2."Lilali" (mellow mix)2:50


  1. ^ a b c The Story behind Les Sucettes on YouTube
  2. ^ France Gall biography at RFI Musique Archived 2004-02-06 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 June 2007.
  3. ^ a b Sylvie Simmons, Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful of Gitanes, ISBN 978-0-306-81183-8, page 44.
  4. ^ Gilles Verlant, Gainsbourg, quoted in Sylvie Simmons, Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful of Gitanes, ISBN 978-0-306-81183-8, page 44.

External links[edit]