Over the course of my French learning adventure, I’ve found that I progress much faster in assimilating new vocabulary and grammar when I immerse myself in, and surround myself by, content that interests me.

That includes reading stuff in French that I’m passionate about anyway, watching interesting Ted Talks and other videos — and of course, listening to music.

One of my favorite groups to listen to these days is Colocks — a talented reggae / roots / dub group from France. Not only do I dig the music and message, but I’m gleaning a whole lot of handy vocab in the process :)

Below is their song Toujours Plus, with lyrics in French, an English translation, and some vocab notes for some of the words and phrases that were initially unfamiliar to me.

Support this great group by buying their music and merch, and enjoy!

Parce qu’on n’est jamais satisfait
on veut toujours, toujours…

On veut diriger, on veut s’accaparer
On veut contrôler, conquérir le monde entier
On veut dicter nos lois mais pas être celui qui va trinquer
On veut profiter des autres sans trop se faire griller
On veut protéger ses biens mais pas les partager
(On veut) se mettre à l’abri mais pas couvrir ceux qui sont tombés
On veut tout ça et en plus on voudrait garder le sourire

Because we’re never satisfied
we always want more..

We want to direct, we want to monopolize
We want to control, conquer the whole world
We want to dictate our laws but not be the one who is going to suffer the consequences
We want to take advantage of others without getting caught
We want to protect our stuff but not share it
(We want) to take shelter but not to cover those who have fallen
We want all this and more we would like to keep smiling

s’accaparer => to monopolize. This verb is not normally a pronominal, but apparently is often used that way (perhaps more commonly in Quebec, Belgium, etc)

trinquer => usually means to drink to, clink glasses, or toast, but colloquially, can mean suffer / suffer the consequences or even something like take it in the neck.

profiter des autres => take advantage of others

se faire griller => griller itself means to grill or barbecue, but se faire griller can mean to get caught / get busted. Ex: Je me suis fait griller alors que je volais de la marchandise. (I got busted while I was stealing stuff)

ses biens => your goods or property. So, your “stuff”

se mettre à l’abri => take shelter

On veut prendre mais pas donner
On n’est jamais satisfait
Car on veut toujours plus - Toujours plus
On veut prendre mais pas donner
On n’est jamais satisfait
Car on veut toujours, toujours - Toujours plus

On veut prendre mais pas donner
on veut toujours, toujours…

We want to take but not give
We’re never satisfied
Because we always want more - Always more
We want to take but not give
We’re never satisfied
Because we always want, always - Always more

We want to take but not give
We always want, always …

Plus de fric, plus de crédits, plus de comptes bancaires
Plus de caddies qui débordent quand d’autres bouffent de la terre
Plus de territoires, de pétrole dans nos citernes
Plus de …

Plus d’immeubles qui dégueulent mais n’hébergent qu’une personne
Plus de palais pour les princes, de palaces pour nos idoles
Plus de bijoux pour ces dames qui ne savent pas d’ou vient la came
Plus on a, moins on donne


More moolah, more credit, more bank accounts
More shopping carts overflowing when others eat from the ground
More territories, oil in our tanks
More of…

More buildings that spew but only lodge one person
More palaces for princes, palaces for our idols
More jewelry for these ladies who don’t know where the shit came from
The more we have, the less we give


fric => slang for money; we’d say “dough” or moolah”

caddies => cart, or shopping cart. This can also mean a golf cart or someone who carries your clubs while golfing :)

bouffer => familiar term for to eat, stuff down, pig out, or gobble down

citernes => tanks, like for holding oil

dégueuler => to puke or spew

la came => slang for a “fix” or “hit” of drugs, or just some “shit”. Le junkie cherche sa came.

On veut tellement de choses qu’on ne sait plus vraiment
Où sont passées les leçons reçues étant enfant
Faut croire que donner sans reprendre ne marche qu’un temps
Pour celui qui voit les choses en grand
Nos caprices ont pris le dessus sur nos manières
Ce qu’il se passe ailleurs on n’en a rien à faire
Le mieux a pris en otage le nécessaire
Mais seules resteront nos prières


Oh! On est jamais satisfait
On veut toujours, toujours, toujours
On veut ! On veut prendre mais pas donner.

We want so many things that we really do not know
Where are the lessons received as a child
We must believe that giving without expecting anything only works a while
For those who see the big picture
Our whims have taken over our manners
What’s going on elsewhere we do not care
The best took hostage of the essentials
But only our prayers will remain


Oh! We’re never satisfied
We want always…
We want ! We want to take but not give.

donner sans reprendre => giving without expecting anything (lit., taking anything back)

voir les choses en grand => “see the big picture”

prendre le dessus => get the upper hand

on n’en a rien à faire => we don’t care about it

prendre en otage => take hostage