French music is frequently linked with classical composers like Claude Debussy and Georges Bizet. Paris has a long history of music, art, and performance, so it’s no wonder many French-language artists began their careers here.

Explore the popular French piano songs

Knowing about popular French songs can also increase your overall interest in French. This guide will explore the 5 biggest French piano hits with information regarding the respective composers. So, let’s get started!

5 popular French piano songs

Before we get into the details of these five amazing French piano songs, we would like to give you some insights into learning the French language. To speak French fluently, you must explore the learning resources that work best for you. Getting immersed in French content is a potential way to improve overall language skills.

Listening to these amazing French piano songs will definitely increase your interest in this romantic language, motivating you to explore more!

Envole-moi by Jean-Jacques Goldman

Jean-Jacques Goldman was a famous French singer and songwriter in the 1980s. He penned and sang numerous memorable popular French songs, becoming a legend for several generations of admirers. He has consistently elected France’s favorite celebrity due to his humility, charity, and, of course, his music.

Envole-moi is the first tune of his third solo album, Positif, released in 1984. In an interview with Goldman in 2003, he detailed the subject behind the song, which is about a young boy pleading for aid to escape from his toxic environment and into a better one by any means necessary.

La Vie En Rose by Edith Piaf

Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose” is among the best and most popular French songs ever. Marianne Michel, a friend of Piaf’s, encouraged her to create the song while they were sitting on a cafe patio in 1945; this led Piaf to write the first notes and words on a small piece of paper.

Piaf, who was in a relationship with Yves Montand then, offered him the song’s original version, a rough draft with French faults. Marianne Michel tidied it up, and Henri Contet, Edith Piaf’s favorite writer, worked on it and gave her the finished version as a birthday present. She released it as a single in 1947.

Use songs to learn about French culture

Avant toi by Slimane & Vitaa

Vitaa and Slimane met as judges on The Voice Belgique in 2018. Before this, they were solo artists. Vitaa rose to prominence after collaborating on a 2006 single with French rapper Diam’s, and Slimane won The Voice France in 2016. Slimane adores the French language. Hence, as many contemporary French pop singers do, he frequently sings French popular songs rather than English ones.

In 2018, the duo decided to try a joint business and started releasing music together. In 2019, they released their album VersuS. One of the songs on this CD is Avant toi, a lovely piano love ballad. The song video was shot in Paris, with the vocalists strolling through the City of Light to find one another. Sadly, the team was short-lived: in 2021, they announced their separation to pursue single careers.

La grenade by Clara Luciani

Clara Luciani is a more recent star of popular French songs, but despite being only 30 years old, she has released numerous amazing hits. She was born in the south of France, in Aix-en-Provence, and after attending university in the ancient town, she started singing in several bands. 

Her breakthrough occurred in 2017 when she released her debut EP, Monstre d’amour. After receiving great reviews and feedback, she recorded her first album, Sainte-Victoire, inspired by the famed Sainte-Victoire mountain range in Aix-en-Provence.

Enjoy French piano compositions

Que je t’aime by Johnny Hallyday

Johnny Hallyday’s death in 2017 sparked an outpouring of mourning in France, where he was one of the most popular performers. Over his nearly 60-year career, he recorded over 1000 songs, including some French versions of English hits. His talent rested in his performance abilities, as he frequently sold out large musical venues such as the Stade de France, which can seat 80,000 people. He was France’s biggest rock star, frequently called the ‘French Elvis’.

Que je t’aime is one of Hallyday’s most popular and best French songs ever. Jean Renard wrote the song in 1969, while Gilles Thibaut wrote the lyrics. Hallyday was seeking a new hit to prepare for his gig at Le Palais des Sports, and this song definitely met the bill.

The song begins with a thrilling piano theme composed of semi-quavers that serve as both melody and accompaniment, making it ideal for practicing finger balancing.

These are some amazing French piano songs to listen to and enjoy. If you are a French student who wants to learn French pronunciation, there are several learning strategies. At italki, you can get the best French tutor online who will make you understand various language concepts at a gradual pace.

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Frequently asked questions

What makes French piano music unique?

French piano music is known for its impressionistic and expressive qualities, often evoking imagery and emotions through nuanced melodies and harmonies.

Are there any beginner-friendly French piano songs?

Some beginner-friendly French piano songs include Erik Satie’s “Gymnopédie No. 1” and “Gymnopédie No. 3,” known for their simple yet beautiful melodies.

Which French piano songs are perfect for a romantic evening?

For a romantic evening, consider playing Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” or Erik Satie’s “Gymnopédie No. 1,” both known for their soothing and romantic melodies.

What is the history behind French piano music?

French piano music has a rich history dating back to the 19th century, with composers like Chopin and Liszt influencing later French composers to create technically challenging and emotionally expressive music.


French piano music offers a rich tapestry of melodies, harmonies, and emotions that have captivated audiences for centuries. Whether you’re a beginner looking for simple yet beautiful pieces or an experienced pianist seeking to explore new compositions, French piano music has something to offer for every listener. Its timeless appeal and expressive nature continue to make it a beloved genre in classical music.

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