Michèle Torr’s hit Emmène-Moi Danser Ce Soir has become shorthand for middle-age angst. This tale of a couple who have stopped finding the time for each other struck a chord with France’s record-buying public when it was released in 1978.
It sold some 3 million copies – and remains popular today. In recent years it has been used to great effect in the film Potiche and elsewhere.
Torr was just right to sing it. She wasn’t in her first flush of youth when the song was issued.
In fact, it came as part of a comeback. She had enjoyed success in the 1960s as one of France’s yé-yé girls, scoring a sizeable hit in 1964 with her second single, Dans Mes Bras Oublie ta Peine.
However, she hadn’t enjoyed quite the same success as contemporaries such as France Gall, Françoise Hardy, Sheila or Sylvie Vartan. Despite recording great material written by the likes of Serge Gainsbourg and Petula Clark, she remained an also-ran.
Even following France Gall’s winning footsteps onto the Eurovision stage in 1966 for Luxembourg didn’t reverse her fortunes.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that she really came into her own, with songs such as Discomotion, J’Aime and Emmène-Moi Danser Ce Soir. In the latter, she implores her husband to leave his armchair, his newspaper, his cigarettes and the television to one side and take her dancing.
“She implores her husband to leave his newspaper, his cigarettes and the television and take her dancing”
“I have the impression that you no longer see anything in me other than the mother of your children,” she sobs. “I don’t ask you to give me flowers every day, but to make a gesture of love every now and again.”
Sadly, and surprisingly, no footage appears to exist of Michèle singing the track back then, so we will have to make do with a much later performance.
Rest assured that the song touched a chord in the 1970s – and continues to do so now. Like Michèle herself, it is something of a French evergreen.