Location: The RER Blue Train from CDG Airport to Central Paris
Song: Paris (Aeroplane Remix) ft. Au Revoir Simone by Flight Facilities
Sitting on trains, like leaving restaurants without paying, seems to be something people in movies do all the time anyway. Listening to the lyrics, ‘One day we’re gonna live in Paris, I promise’ whilst traveling into Paris both adds to your anticipation of the city and provides a sense of achievement; you’ve made it! Other suitable songs include ‘We Should Go To France’ by Urban Cone and ‘Paris’ by Elton John.
Location: La Promenade Plantée
Song: I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris by Morrissey
Listen to Morrissey pledge to embrace Paris whilst circling the city on this above-the-ground walk and you can understand how he loves ‘stone and steel’ in the first place. The beautiful scenery will provide assuage and conviction to anyone who came to Paris escaping troubles of the heart.
Location: The Avenue des Champs Elysées
Song: Les Champs Elysees by Joe Dassin
Whether in the sun or in the rain, at noon or at midnight, this song is guaranteed to add some feel-good, serendipitous feels to a walk down the famous tree-lined boulevard. Utilise the full power of the song by playing it over a portable music device while moving down the street arm-in-arm with friends/ anyone wearing a panama hat.
Location: Henri Toulouse Section, Musée D’Orsay
Song: Lady Marmalade by Christina Aguilera, Little Kim, Mya, Pink
This song adds a vibrant dimension to viewings of Toulouse’s Moulin Rouge pictures. Listening to the track in a gallery has the added advantage of allowing you to nod along seriously as if it’s an audio-guide, rather than the Pop-Princess miracle it is. The Moulin Rouge would be another good place to listen to this track, and of course those who can afford it can (-can!).
Location: Any Paris Metro during Rush-Hour
Song: I love Paris by Ella Fitzgerald
Sometimes rather than making life like a movie, music’s needed just to make life bearable. Hearing that Fitzgerald loves Paris when it drizzles and when it sizzles should, at least, prevent you from strongly disliking Paris during an unpleasant peak-hour metro game of human Tetris.
Location: Rue Montorgueil
Song: Parlez-Vous Français by Art vs Science
‘Champs Elysées is a busy street,’ indeed! But so is the pretty paved street Rue Montorgueil, and listening to this song whilst walking down it will make the variety of sights and smells found along it seem all the more exciting. Just try not to sing along, or else risk strange looks/ people undressing.
Location: The Eiffel Tower
Song: Bonjour, Paris! by Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn and Kay Thompson
This song actually mentions numerous Parisian places, but you can see nearly all of them from the Eiffel Tower. Thinking ‘there’s something missing’ is a common experience for visitors to the landmark, as they’ll search the Paris skyline for the tower before remembering that they’re standing on it. After saying Bonjour to Paris, you can allow Paris to welcome them with this song from Anastasia.
Song: Free Man in Paris by Sufjan Stevens (Joni Mitchell cover)
In this beautiful song, a man reflects about how the best days of his life were in Paris, where he was ‘unfettered and alive.’ To deepen your appreciation of the city and the time you get to spend in it, you should listen to this song on the steps of the Sacré-Cœur, which looks out over Paris. From here, it’s easy to get from ‘Café to cabaret’ and live the experiences the man in the song misses so much.