From the squalor of the streets of Paris to the glamour of the world wide stage, 50 years after her death the great diva of la chanson française lives on. Edith Piaf is remembered and revered as much for her exceptional voice as for her extraordinary life which is the stuff of fiction. In today’s show we look at the French singer’s legacy.
Georges Moustaki (born Giuseppe Mustacchi) gave France some of its best-loved music, writing over 300 songs for some of the most popular singers, including Edith Piaf, who popularized his composition Milord.
As a young musician, Georges Brassens took Moustaki under his wing, introducing him to artists and intellectuals hanging out in the cafes around Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Moustaki eventually adopted the first name of the only musician he called “master.”
Moustaki wrote Le Métèque in 1969, and it was his first breakthrough hit.
Françoise Hardy doesn’t actually sing on this – as the YouTube title might suggest. Yet I would say her presence adds a certain je ne sais quoi.
Chanson Du Jour 10/28/2016: “Dans Ma Rue” performed by Zaz
This is not only a great home-studio performance by Zaz, but comes with a Serbian lyric translation (a bonus for the many Serbs who visit my blog.)
In English, the songs begins:
I live in the corner of old MontmartreMy father comes home sozzled every nightAnd to feed the four of usMy poor mother works in the wash-houseWhen I’m sick, I lean out the windowI watch outsiders pass byWhen the sun comes outThings appear that scare me a little
So – life isn’t easy for the young girl in this song. I wish her father would take a break from getting sozzled and instead take his daughter out to visit the Zoo, buy her an ice cream cone (deux boule!) at Berthillion’s Glacier on Ile St Louis, and then pick out a pretty new dress at La Marelle.
However, my guess is that Dad will just get sozzled again.
In this video, Zaz displays some impressive chanson chops, and I really like her piano accompaniment (the young man’s name is not listed, so let’s call him “Yaz”). Yaz not only tickles the ivories with a nice feel for Les Blues, but at the end of the song, he tends to the video recording streaming to the MacBook sitting atop the piano. Merde! These hotshot multi-taskers are costing us jobs in the video production business. Hey Zaz and Yaz, walk a mile dans ma rue!
“Dans Ma Rue” was made famous by the great Edith Piaf in 1946. The song was composed by Michel Emer (June 19, 1906 – November 23, 1984)
Chanson Du Jour 10/19/2016: “Jezebel” by Edith Piaf
In the États–Unis d’Amérique, Frankie Laine had a great hit with this in 1951. The Everly Brothers also recorded it, as did Prague’s legendary Waldemar Matuška.
I love Piaf’s version – recorded the same year as Frankie’s hit.
Jezebel – the Biblical woman who was a murderer, prostitute and enemy of God – reportedly preferred the version of her song that Desi Arnaz sang in the I Love Lucy episode, “Lucy Is Jealous of Girl Singer.” True! Pas de merde! Continue reading “Chanson Du Jour: “Jezebel””