Monday, August 28, 2017

[Update] Famous Ephebophile: Serge Gainsbourg


French songwriter, poet, artist, actor and director Serge Gainsbourg's famous age-discrepant relationship with Jane Birkin doesn't fit the strict definition of ephebophilia (Jane only looked like she was eighteen.), but their eighteen-year age difference is close enough to warrant a honorable mention. However, in 1966 Serge wrote “Les Sucettes [Enlgish: Lollipops]” for eighteen-year-old blonde songstress France Gall. 

The song is about Anna, a young girl who was in paradise every time that “stick slides down her throat”. Gall emphatically claimed, even after shooting the video, that she didn't know that the song, which on the surface appeared to be a children's song, was about oral sex. However, the very phallic, approximately twelve inch, lollipop that she sucked on in the video should have been a clear clue as to the meaning of the song. Unsurprisingly, “Les Sucettes” was Gall's biggest hit.




In 1971 Serge released the ephebophilia themed French concept album, Histoire de Melody Nelson. The theme of the album explores an affair between Gainsbourg and nymphet Melody Nelson. The song “Melody” reveals that they met after Gainsbourg accidentally knocked Melody off her bike with his Rolls Royce. As Gainsbourg exited his “Silver Ghost from the nineteen hundreds” he noticed that “Melody Nelson has red hair\And it’s her natural colour.” and he noticed “Her skirt pulled over her white Knickers.” 

“Ballade de Melody Nelson” informs that Melody is fifteen-years-old: “Fourteen autumns\And fifteen summers”. Gainsbourg describes her as “such a delicious child.” 

It is implied in “Hotel Particulier” that Gainsbourg and Melody made love in room forty-four, the Cleopatra room, of the private hotel: 'While above us a mirror reflects our image\Slowly I embrace Melody.' 

The album concludes with “Cargo Culte” and the conclusion of their age-discrepant relationship with Gainsbourg hoping for a miracle: 'That would bring me Melody back\Juvenile girl veered off the disastrous attraction.'

The February 2010 French edition of Rolling Stone ranked Histoire de Melody Nelson the 4th finest French language rock recording of all time.

In 1985 “Lemon Incest” was released on the Gainsbourg's album Love on the Beat. The duet, which was written by Gainsbourg, was performed with Charlotte, his twelve-year-old daughter. The song was controversial, because it contained lyrics with ephebophile and teleiophile themes and was accused of promoting and (incorrectly) pedophilia. And it did not help that in the music video the father and daughter frolicked in bed while Gainsbourg was topless and Charlotte was in panties. Despite its controversial aspects the song reached number 2 on the French charts.



But it was approximately fourteen-year-old Charlotte who was topless in Charlotte for Ever (1986) when her father caressed her in bed. Charlotte was topless in a few scenes in the film that her father wrote and directed. (It's worth noting thirteen-year-old Charlotte appeared topless in Claude Miller's L'effrontée (1985) as well.)


Serge Gainsbourg wrote the screenplay for Stan the Flasher (1990) in seven days in Paris' Hotel Raphael. In the film, which Gainsbourg directed as well, Stan Goldberg, an English teacher, attempts to seduce Natacha, his English tutee. Natacha rejects her English teacher's aggressive advances (e.g., a hand under her skirt and down her blouse). But in the end, she appears to be intrigued by his flashes. 

Stan the Flasher (1990)