Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?

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French pronunciation

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir) ? (French pronunciation: ​[vule vu kuʃe avɛk mwa (sə swaʁ)] , "Do you [formal] want to sleep with me (tonight)?") is a French phrase that has become well known in the English-speaking world through the song "Lady Marmalade".

Origins and usage[edit]

In literature[edit]

Use of the phrase in print in the English-speaking world can be traced to the early 20th century.

American author John Dos Passos' 1920 novel Three Soldiers features the Americanized version, "Voulay vous couchay aveck moy?"

A poem by E. E. Cummings published in 1922 and known by its first line "little ladies more" contains the phrase "voulez vous coucher avec moi?" twice.

The phrase also appears in Tennessee Williams' 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire.

In media[edit]

In 1973 the Hungarian-Italian pornstar-turned-politician Ilona Staller (Cicciolina) achieved fame with a radio show called "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?" on Radio Luna.

In music[edit]

The amorous question is first posed at the very end of the Big Three Trio tune "Get Up Those Stairs, Madamoiselle" (Bullet 274 - (1947)). The Big Three Trio was blues musician Willie Dixon's first musical outfit

The phrase is perhaps best known from the 1974 song "Lady Marmalade," first popularized by the group Labelle and lead singer Patti LaBelle. In 1997, the song was covered by All Saints. In 2001, singers Christina Aguilera, Mýa, Pink, and rappers Lil' Kim and Missy Elliott did a remake of the song for the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack.

In 1979 ABBA released an album called Voulez-Vous, with a track of the same name.

In 1983 country singers David Frizzell and Shelly West recorded a country music song called "Cajun Invitation" which contains the line.

In either 1989 or 1998 the phrase was used by German Euro disco group Bad Boys Blue in their song "Hungry For Love".

In 1993 jazz rap group Digable Planets used the phrase in their song "Swoon Units".

In 1994 Belgian DJ Alain Deproost, also known as Daddy K, recorded a Eurodance song called "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi".

In 1994 the Mexican band Café Tacuba used the phrase in the song "El baile y el salón".

In 1996 the phrase was used in The Whitlams song "Love is Everywhere" from the album Eternal Nightcap.

In 1997 the phrase was used 13 times by Peter-Paul Pigmans (3 Steps Ahead) in the song "It's Delicious" from the album Most Wanted and Mad.

In 2006 Christina Aguilera used the phrase a second time in her song "Nasty Naughty Boy" from the second CD part of her album Back to Basics. The same year the band Aquarium used the phrase in a similar song from their album Carefree Russian Tramp.

In 2007 it was part of a remix of Swizz Beatz's song "It's Me Bitches".

In 2011 and 2013 rapper Logic used this phrase in his song "All I Do" in the albums Young Sinatra and Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever.

In 2012 Christina Aguilera used the phrase a third time in her song "Around the World" from her album Lotus. The same year rapper Mickey Avalon used the phrase in his song "Mr. Brownstone" from his album Loaded.

In 2013 Serbian singer Ana Nikolic used the phrase as title of the song from her album Milion Dolara.

In television[edit]

In 1993 the British soap opera Coronation Street featured a memorable humorous moment when Ken Barlow teaches French to ditzy blonde Raquel Watts:

Raquel: "I met a French man in Corfu who taught me how to say isn't it a lovely day today."
Ken: "Right, let's put a sentence together. I want you to say to me in French 'Hello Ken. My name is Raquel. Isn't it a lovely day today?"
Raquel: "Ooh, clever. Right, here goes. 'Bonjour Ken. Je m'appelle Raquel. Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir ?"[1]

In the 2006 tenth season episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft" from the animated series South Park, Cartman is persuading one of the boys, Clyde, to join the World of Warcraft to help take down a stronger player by asking Clyde if he could go back in time and stop Hitler, would he do it (except Cartman wouldn't because he admired him). When Clyde insists on giving up, Cartman mentions that when Hitler rose to power, the people that gave up were the French; he then taunts Clyde by asking if he's French and saying, "voulez-vous coucher avec moi, Clyde?"

In the show Friends, Monica goes on a double date as Phoebe's date has a friend, and the former dates a man fluent in French. She asks him, "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?" not knowing what it means. He responds, "This is embarrassing," and then explains what it means, embarrassing Monica in turn.

In the 1990 episode "Love at First Fight" of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Aunt Vivian tells Will and Carlton a young girl is coming for dinner named Kayla Samuels who is a scholarship student and president of her high school French club among other academic achievements. When she enters Will takes her hand in an attempt to charm and asks; "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?" And so the scene cuts to the intro.

In the show Degrassi: The Next Generation, Zoe dares Winston to ask Alli "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?". He immediately clarifies that it was a dare.

In the show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jake Peralta asks this question not knowing what it means, to Captain Holt before the Captains visit to France to see Kevin. Holt, being fluent in French translates the true meaning to Peralta

In the show Gilmore Girls, Lorelai Gilmore scandalizes her parents by quoting this line to their visiting friends as a demonstration of how little French she knows in comparison to her teenage daughter.(S03E09 - "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving"). The man's younger wife recognizes the line as a quote from "Lady Marmalade," being a fan of the "chanson du pop," then enjoying renewed popularity after its inclusion in Moulin Rouge.


  1. ^ Richardson, Anne (3 December 2010). "Corrie's Best Characters: No 6 - Raquel Watts". AOL Television. AOL. Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2011.