The Baudelaire Song Project, an AHRC-funded project (2015-2019) led by Prof. Helen Abbott at the University of Birmingham, has collated all song settings ever of the verse and prose poems of nineteenth-century French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867). We have built a pioneering digital dataset which brings together for the first time both pop music and classical music settings of Baudelaire's poetry, totalling 200+ poem texts and thousands of songs in 40 different musical styles and 25 languages. Through our digital approach, we have produced rich, comparative data across the whole dataset, meaning we can answer questions such as: What are the performance trends in singing Baudelaire's poems? Which poems are never or rarely set to music, and why? How do composers and songwriters handle the challenges of setting French verse metre? Are there certain types of musical genres which are more suited to Baudelaire's poetry than others?

The database is intended for musicians looking for song ideas, for researchers interested in relations between poetry and music, for French teachers looking for new material to work on, and for anyone interested in French poetry and music. The database can be searched by poem titles, song titles, and composers but also by year of composition, musical styles and languages in the Advanced Search.

  • You can access the full database here and see how many songs have been collected.
  • To access data visualisation tools and see how some composers set the poems to music, click here.
  • You can also listen to numerous songs via our playlists on Spotify: Classical Music and Pop/Rock Music.
  • The database is updated regularly. Drop us a line if you encounter any problems or if you know songs we have not listed: on info@baudelairesong.org, or via Twitter @BaudelaireProj.