Chanson du Jour: “I Love Paris”

Cole Porter lyrics & music

Every time I look down on this timeless town

Whether blue or gray be her skies

Whether loud be her cheers, or whether soft be her tears

More and more do I realize that…

I love Paris in the spring time

I love Paris in the fall

I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles

I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles

I love Paris every moment

Every moment of the year

I love Paris, why oh why do I love Paris

Because my love is here

You say potato, I say pomme de terre

As I listen more to French singers performing songs they’ve translated from English, I’m becoming fascinated by the inherent complexities of that process. Even in a proper translation, a song’s rhyme and poetic qualities may suffer.

Cole Porter

In a poor translation, a song’s meaning can be completely lost. “It’s like searching for the best path through the forest which must satisfy several conflicting criteria,” says Russian translator Stanislov Korotyginit,  “It must be the shortest path, the nicest and the safest. And you have to meet the wolf on the way.”

Continue reading “You say potato, I say pomme de terre”