caroline de la mode

Victime De La Mode
MC Solaar
Victime De La Mode

Translation:

Clap, first take, Panoramic shot
A camera moves, close-up on Dominique
Alone in front of the mirror, she checks her body

Then yells “a few more efforts” mechanically
All diets have been tested
All the attempts have been complete failures
But she perseveres and in order to pleasure her man
Dominique has decided to follow the norm
She stacks on, magazines
In which she thinks she’ll find the best solution
Maso, assaulting her curves

[Chorus]

She was busy cutting money
Cause she got her butt stung
A fashion victim, such is her codename
A fashion victim, such is her codename

Lights on, scene 2, The ace of trifle suggests
A brand new deal, and here’s the cause:
“So many efforts for what result ?
She loses cash instead of weight”
Dominique answers fast and quickly she explains
She wants to become the same as those creatures in the music videos
There goes the small pretty girls
They follow a model who makes their head swirl
From London, Washington, Kingston, Sharengton or Carcassonne
When the phone rings, she always answer that

[Chorus]

So, as a conclusion
With the logical analysis of this situation
The diet, jogging, or liposuction are to be tested but watch out

Let’s hope that you’ve understand
The very clear bases of this code of morality:

Gaining or losing a few kilos
What matters is to feel good in its body
My tactic attacks any ethic with tact
Dominique, don’t panic
Listen to this funky beat
The quest for image leaves her in stress

[Chorus]



The Artist: MC Solaar is a french parisian rapper and is commonly known as France’s first popular rapper when his debut album Qui sème le vent récolte le tempo came out in the early 90s. Through this decade, his lyrics have become more politically conscious and his complex pun-filled writing established him as one of France’s most respected songwriters.

The song: Showing the era where Solaar wrote his first hits such as Caroline and Bouge de là, Victime de la mode talks about, in a light tone, the misadventures of a woman named Dominique who tries to lose weight in order to match society’s standards of beauty, and most of the song serves as a lesson about how everybody should enjoy themselves, no matter what size they are. Of course, french-to-english translations are never perfect, especially when Solaar’s strong use of alliterations is involved.

In order to illustrate a narrative in the song, Solaar uses cinematographic terms to describe Dominique’s everyday routine. The chorus’ pun She was busy cutting money cause she got her butt stung actually has alliterations of P and QU in the original lyrics: Elle était occupée à couper du pécule car on lui piquait les fesses. Pécule is slang for money but you can mishear it as Pécu which translates to slang for Toilet Paper and thus can be connected to Fesses which means butt.

The Ace of Trifle mentioned in the second verse is one of Solaar’s nicknames (and is also one of the many card references which can be found in his first songs) . Once again, there is a heavy use of alliteration in the original lyrics: the line Dominique answers fast and quickly she explains/She wants to become the same as those beauty figures in the music videos translates to Dominiqueplique et très vite m’explique/ qu’elle veut être la réplique d’une créature de clip. Another thing to note is the mentioning of London, Washington, Kingston, Sharengton and Carcassonne. While the three former cities are known across the world, Sharengton is an anglicized version of Charenton, a parisian area from which Solaar is from, while Carcassonne is a city located in the rural parts of France. Out of those five cities, only London is known for being a landmark for fashion trends, which shows how Solaar is uninformed/uninterested in fashion (and also shows how he doesn’t care about Dominique’s figure) and also how he desperately tries to name cities ending with ON.

Finally, the third verse is the morale of the story. Even though Solaar tells a straightforward “Love yourself at any size” message, he specifies that weight loss methods are still acceptable, as long as it doesn’t drive you into a maniac lifestyle. For the third time, Solaar employs alliterations (of A, I, T and QU) with the ninth line (Ma tactique attaque toute éthique avec tact/ Dominique, pas de paniquecoute bien ce funky beat) but it’s mostly for the sake of Solaar showing off his poetry skills without caring about the narrative of the song. It also raises the question: did Solaar know a woman named Dominique or did he pick this name for the sake of more alliterations ? To finish off the song, Solaar namedrops Jimmy Jay, his producer, who made a very easygoing funky instrumental for this track.

Covers: The song has been covered twice. Once by the band Tryo, which strives more to the reggae style they’re known for, and another time by Kumisolo who turns the whole song into a quirky electropop ballad with more emphasis on the body-positive message.