MIAM

MIAM

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Ame Câline and other French tunes


I don't know where my love of music comes from but if I were to guess I'd say from my mother.  During my childhood she often played her classical LPs at the weekend while cooking the Sunday roast and during the week the radio (or wireless as it was back then) was always on in the background, Mum singing along to it.  So when my clock radio woke me at 0400 recently, playing this tune I instantly recognized it even though I'd not heard it for decades.






I had no idea who recorded it so googled it and was surprised to discover that although this cover is by Raymond LeFevre it was written and originally recorded (as Ame Câline) by Michel Polnareff, a huge star in France but unknown here in the UK.

 When I'm at home during the day the radio is usually on, it's the same when I'm at my holiday home in France, as soon as I arrive I tune in to my favourite station... Nostalgie.  This has led me to discover French music and made me wonder why it's not played more in the UK.  You're probably thinking that it's obvious, most of us cannot understand it!  But in France, the radio stations play music from plenty of Anglophone countries, do the françaises understand all English lyrics...of course not! And let's be honest here, who understands all lyrics anyway... even if they are in your own language?  I'm certainly guilty of singing my own 'alternative' versions.

Most of us of a certain age will remember French singers of the sixties and seventies... back then they were played on UK radio stations, probably because they also recorded in English.

Sacha Distel was so dreamy!


Maurice Chevalier thanked heaven for little girls

Aznavour's ballad She is one of my favourite tunes.


Monsieur Bécaud gave us all Love and Understanding


while pogoing Plastic Bertrand told us it was OK for him, although actually he's Belgian...but he sang in French.

In the eighties it was Joe Le Taxi that we heard about in Vanessa Paradis' breathy voice




But recently, I can only recall one French artist being played on UK radio...Christine & The Queens. 
Perhaps you know different?




As I cross the channel several times a year now I'm getting more and more familiar with the big names in music.  Two French music legends, Johnny Hallyday and France Gall passed away recently after being stalwarts of the French charts for decades.


Early in her career, France Gall represented France in the Eurovision Song Contest.


  Shortly after her performance she was dumped by her boyfriend Claude François, another massive star of the time but then bravely returned to the stage to perform her winning song once more.   Claude François wrote Comme D'Habitude about his relationship with Gall which was later recorded as My Way by Frank Sinatra.


  A favourite of mine are Indochine, their sound very redolent of the era, the eighties.
I like to turn up the volume and prance around the van to this one, with a glass in my hand naturellement!


Do you listen to music in another language?  I'd love to know.































































    

   


  









15 comments:

  1. What an interesting post! Lots of things to explore - and I will!
    I know (and like) Serge Gainsbourg and Christine and the Queens who won me over with their performance at 2016's soggy Glastonbury.
    That Plastic Bertrand single is in my record collection somewhere. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Serve Gainsbourg wrote the lyrics to one of France Gall's early hits Les Sucettes. She later said she was too young to understand the double entendre and never sang it again. The video is hilarious!

      Delete
  2. I love this post, Fiona! I think French music is being played a bit more in Belgium, as after all we do have a French-speaking part. Back in the 60s and well into the 70s, the number of French songs in the charts here were quite incredible. We have a Charles Aznavour record we often play, an old one from way back which we found in a charity shop. Great stuff. I do love "She" as well, it's such a beautiful song, but generally I prefer his older stuff. The same goes for Gilbert Becaud. I have inherited an old 45 from my Dad, which has my all time favourite Becaud song on it, called Alleluia. We even played this song on my Dad's funeral. And although they're worlds apart, I'm quite partial to Charles Trenet and Jacques Dutronc as well. Oh, and I'm quite chuffed you included my fellow country man Plastic Bertrand, I pogoed quite a lot to his Ca Plane Pour Moi back in the day. And now I've got an earworm ;-) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. So pleased to hear that you liked this post Ann. Like Vix and yourself, Ça plane pour moi was in my record collection too. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gosh. I'd forgotten about some of these artistes!

    I like Christine and the Queens and I listen to quite a lot of African music; especially from Mali so there's a lot of French being sung as well various African mother tongues...

    Hope your weekend is going well.
    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Malian music sounds very exotic Vronni. Are you going to your van again anytime soon? xxx

      Delete
  5. I also really like French songs. We have a CD with some favourites on! It is my husband and I's ambition to learn all of Brigitte Bardot's Moi Je Joue by heart! That one you shared is fab!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Moi Je Joue is the epitome of a French song of that era. (I can't remember which advert uses it on telly?) I'm so pleased that you liked this post Kezzie and that you and your husband appreciate French music.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely musical journey Fiona, familiar with some of the artists, but not all, and really interesting about 'My Way' - didn't know that. Love 'She', one of my favourites too, and definitely be tuning into Nostalgie this summer! Such a great tip. Would love to listen to Indochine, but am sitting in a supermarket cafe waiting for Sam to finish his exam.. Will play it when I'm home :) xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes tune in to Nostalgie, you'll love it, they play lots of Indochine. Hope Sam's exam went well, my niece just started A levels. 🤐 xxx

      Delete
  8. I enjoyed this, I love French tunes. My favorite just now is Zaz, do you know her? Especially her covers of the Edith Piaf classics, she has a great voice.
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amalia. I just googled Zaz as I'm not familiar with her...you're right, she has a great voice.xx

      Delete
  9. Laurent Voulzy and Alain Souchon--I'm listening to them in my car the past week. And I can't find my Voulzy "Belem" CD. I have no idea where I put it. But--you had me at my lustful Michel Polnareff. I love his voice so much. Here's a bit of my husband's family trivia. His aunt, Daniele De Lorme and her husband Yves Robert had a house that they christened La Moulin (my spelling sucks) and Charles Aznavour was a regular weekend guest. They were great friends.
    My favorite radio station is also Nostalgie. I LOVE French POP music!! This was a great post Fiona. Have a blast in France. Hit up Fnac for music!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathe,so pleased you enjoyed thos post. Is there anybody Bonaparte's family didn't know? They sound so terribly chic and glamorous. I'm in France right now and FNAC is on my 'to do' list. Xxx

      Delete

Please drop me a line if you've time!