Petit hommage à Juliette Greco et Serge Gainsbourg

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Petit hommage à Juliette Greco et Serge Gainsbourg

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RIP Juliette Gréco

Juliette Gréco, the singing muse of bohemian postwar Paris who became the grande dame of chanson française and an internationally known actress, died on Wednesday at her home near Saint-Tropez. She was 93.

Her family announced the death in a statement sent to the news agency Agence France-Presse.

Juliette Greco with Miles Davis

For almost seven decades, Ms. Gréco was a loyal practitioner of the musical tradition known as chanson française, a specific storytelling genre of popular music. The songs are “like little plays,” she told The New York Times in 1999, adding: “They’re typically French. We’re a people who express our love in songs, our anger in songs, even our revolution in songs.”

She was the darling of critics, as well as of the intellectuals whose world she inhabited. Ms. Gréco’s ultimate rave review came from a friend, the Existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, who said simply, “Gréco has a million poems in her voice.”

Her signature hits included “Sous le Ciel de Paris” (“Under Paris Skies”), “Les Feuilles Mortes” (which English speakers know as “Autumn Leaves”), “Déshabillez-Moi” (“Undress Me”), “Jolie Môme” (“Pretty Kid”) and “Je Suis Comme Je Suis” (“I Am What I Am”). -Source: NY Times

Chanson du Jour: “Sous le ciel de Paris”

Sous le ciel de Paris
S’envole une chanson
Hum hum
Elle est née d’aujourd’hui
Dans le cœur d’un garçon
Sous le ciel de Paris
Marchent des amoureux
Hum hum
Leur bonheur se construit
Sur un air fait pour euxSous le pont de Bercy
Un philosophe assis
Deux musiciens, quelques badauds
Puis les gens par milliers
Sous le ciel de Paris
Jusqu’au soir vont chanter
Hum hum
L’hymne d’un peuple épris
De sa vieille citéPrès de Notre Dame
Parfois couve un drame
Oui mais à Paname
Tout peut s’arranger
Quelques rayons
Du ciel d’été
D’un marinier
L’espoir fleurit
Au ciel de ParisSous le ciel de Paris
Coule un fleuve joyeux
Hum hum
Il endort dans la nuit
Les clochards et les gueux
Sous le ciel de Paris
Les oiseaux du Bon Dieu
Hum hum
Viennent du monde entier
Pour bavarder entre eux

English Translation

Under the Paris sky
A song takes flight
It was born today
In the heart of a boy

Under the Paris sky
Lovers walk
Their happiness is built
On a tune made for them

Under Bercy bridge
A philosopher sits
Two musicians, some onlookers
Then thousands of people

Under the Paris sky
They’ll sing until dusk
The hymn of people in love
With this old city

Near Notre Dame
Sometimes drama broods
But at Paname
Everything comes together

Rays from the summer sky
A sailor’s accordion
Hope blooms
In Paris’ sky

And the Paris sky
Has a secret of its own
For twenty year’s he’s been in love
With our Saint Louis island
When she smiles at him
He dresses in blue

When it rains on Paris
It’s because he’s unhappy
When he grows jealous
Of her millions of lovers

He comes down on us
With his flashing thunder
But the Paris sky
Isn’t cruel for long

To ask our forgiveness
He offers up a rainbow

A tour in the footsteps of famous African-Americans in Paris


PARIS (AP) – The great African-American writers James Baldwin and Richard Wright began their feud over Wright’s novel “Native Son,” at Cafe Les Deux Magots. Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis held hands with his white girlfriend, French actress Juliette Greco, while strolling along the Seine after hanging out with Picasso. Entertainer Josephine Baker became a megastar at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. Some travelers to Paris seek selfies with the Eiffel Tower, go to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre or stroll to the Arc de Triomphe. But you can create a different type of itinerary exploring African-American connections to the City of Light [ . . . ]

Read More: A tour in the footsteps of famous African-Americans in Paris