Port of La Rochelle

Music Billy m'aime Alain Souchon (1983)
“On est tous à La Rochelle, sur le port” In the early 1980s, Alain Souchon set foot in the Charente-Maritime region of France, looking out over the horizon with his eyes on the United States, in a song that is a malicious critique of America's self-proclaimed omnipotence. One of the many hits from the album On avance.
Port of La Rochelle
Port of La Rochelle by William Scot. Wikimedia.

On est tous à La Rochelle, sur le port, montés sur des échelles pour voir l’Amérique du Nord.

Alain Souchon

Like many French artists, Alain Souchon has a close relationship with La Rochelle. He came to sing there several times, at the Francofolies or in one of the city’s concert halls, and chose to set his song Billy m’aime there in 1983. A piece in which he claims that a certain Billy likes him. The choice of this first name, which is very representative of American culture, is not a coincidence, as Alain Souchon intends to deal with the tense relations between the United States and Russia at the beginning of the 1980s, not without humour. The Cold War rages on as he puts these words to paper, poking fun at Europe’s situation, caught between the two superpowers as the tone rises.

Marked by a sometimes virulent, sometimes lighter verve, the piece takes place in La Rochelle, somewhere on the harbour, just off the coast of the American state of Maine. He then tells the story of how he and his friends climb ladders to try to see North America. Alain Souchon also discusses the fascination with Uncle Sam’s country, while the cinema maintains the legend of a strong nation whose culture never ceases to interest the French.


On avance, Alain Souchon’s sixth studio album, from which the track Billy m’aime is taken, has sold over 100,000 copies in France alone.

Vieux Port de La Rochelle

Regrouping several structures, the port of La Rochelle is an essential element of the economic network of Charente-Maritime.

The port of La Rochelle includes the autonomous port, the submarine base, created during the occupation, the fishing port of Chef de Baie and the marina. It is within this last one that are grouped the Old-Port, the port of Minimes and the Port-Neuf. The Old Port is undoubtedly the most touristic part, with its vestiges like the Chain Tower and the Saint-Nicolas Tower. Two monuments integrated into the city’s fortifications. The port has evolved considerably, without losing its identity. Every year, it attracts thousands of tourists as well as several cultural and sporting events.

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By Gilles Rolland

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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