[Extremely French voice] “Dallas.”

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Attitude” is a lifestyle as well as the name of the French music legend Johnny Hallyday’s 1985 album and title track. But, it turns out, Hallyday wasn’t the only bad boy laying down cool American tunes en Français around the same time.

In line with the rich tradition of creating French songs for intros to dubbed versions of American television shows, Dallas got its own and—unlike the American version—the song was a dark anthem for the city. The lyrics as translated by Paula Bosse of Flashback Dallas:

Dallas, your ruthless world,
Dallas, where might is right,
Dallas, and under your relentless sun,
Dallas, only death is feared.

Dallas, home of the oil dollar,
Dallas, you do not know pity;
Dallas, the revolver is your idol,
Dallas, you cling to the past.

Dallas, woe to him who does not understand,
Dallas, one day he will lose his life.
Dallas, your ruthless world,
Dallas, where might is right.

This gift of a song, which was titled, obviously, “Dallas,” comes from the mind of composer Jean Renard (who, unsurprisingly, also worked with Hallyday many times). But it was performed by a band called Dallas.

It was a huge hit! Dallas ended up performing “Dallas” (apparently their one and only song) in matching Dallas uniforms on TV multiple times.

Renard also composed the French-only song for another TV show named after a U.S. city, Santa Barbara. This writer may still be processing the trauma of hearing his mom spontaneously belt out,Santa Barbara, je ne sais pas! over the years.

H/t Julia Barton

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