Popular music

The Romance

«Louis-Philippe, who was criticized for his bourgeois tastes, liked nothing better than the romance, a musical form that was no less bourgeois for being fashionable in the intimate salons of affluent Parisian society. The uninterrupted success of the romance extended from the end of the Ancien Régime in 1789 to the monarchy established by the July Revolution of 1830, and professionals and amateurs (among them Queen Hortense) wrote them by the thousands. With simple, pleasant, even naive melodies, accompanied by piano or harp, the melodies of the romance were set to couplets and short refrains usually expressing the torments of love. The romance corresponds to a certain extent to today's popular song. Indeed, it touched alI levels of society , including the fashionable women of the aristocracy or bourgeoisie, who were delighted to be able to shine in their salons without too much effort. A wonderfully intimate art, the romance was also extremely accessible, easily learned by adolescents, and a good introduction to music even for relatively uneducated families. The celebrated 'Plaisir d'amour' (Love's Pleasure) by Martini remains one of the flowers of this art, and those close to Louis-Philippe recognized it as one of the pieces the royal famiIy never tired of hearing.» Patrick Barbier. Opera in Paris, 1800-1850: A Lively History. Portland, Oregon:Amadeus Press, 1995 [1987], p. 18-19.

 

«Plaisir d’amour»

Words by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755-1794)

Music by Jean-Paul Martini (1706-1784)

To hear this Romance:
http://w1.neuronnexion.fr/~goninet/salon.htm

Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment,

Chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie. 

J’ai tout quitté pour l’ingrate Sylvie,   

Elle me quitte et prend un autre amant.      

Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment,   

Chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.  

Tant que cette eau coulera doucement  

Vers ce ruisseau qui borde la prairie,  

Je t’aimerai, me répétait Sylvie…   

L’eau coule encore, elle a changé pourtant!   

Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment, 

Chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.    

The pleasure of love lasts but a moment,              

Disappointment in love lasts a lifetime.     

I left everything for the ungrateful Sylvie,          

She then leaves me for another.        

The pleasure of love lasts but a moment,  

Disappointment in love lasts a lifetime.         

As long as this water flows gently         

Towards this stream which runs alongside the prairie,

I will love you, repeated Sylvie…         

Though the water still flows, she has changed. 

The pleasure of love lasts but a moment,            

Disappointment in love lasts a lifetime.

                   

«Le temps des cerises» (1867)

Words by Jean-Baptiste Clément (1837-1903)

Music by Antoine Renard

To hear this Romance: home.sol.no/~vals/commune4.html

Quand nous en serons au temps des cerises

Et gai rossignol et merle moqueur

Seront tous en fête

Les belles auront la folie en tête

Et les amoureux du soleil au cœur

Quand nous chanterons le temps des cerises

Sifflera bien mieux le merle moqueur

Mais il est bien court le temps des cerises           

Où l’on s’en va deux cueillir en rêvant

Des pendants d’oreilles

Cerises d’amour aux robes pareilles

Tombant sous la feuille en gouttes de sang           

Mais il est bien court le temps des cerises           

Pendants de corail qu’on cueille en rêvant 

Quand vous en serez au temps des cerises           

Si vous avez peur des chagrins d’amour

Évitez les belles

Moi qui ne crains pas les peines cruelles

Je ne vivrai pas sans souffrir un jour

Quand vous en serez au temps des cerises

Vous aurez aussi des chagrins d’amour

J’aimerai toujours le temps des cerises

C’est de ce temps-là que je garde au cœur

Une plaie ouverte

Et Dame Fortune, en m’étant offerte

Ne saura jamais calmer ma douleur

J’aimerai toujours le temps des cerises

Et le souvenir que je garde au cœur 

 

When cherry time comes

And the gay nightingale and mockingbird

Are in a festive mood

Pretty girls will think foolish thoughts

And lovers hearts will be filled with sunshine

When we sing of cherry time

The mockingbird will whistle all the better

But cherry time is very brief

That time when two by two we dreamily pick

Dangling earrings

Love cherries with similar flesh

Dangling under leaves like drops of blood

But cherry time is very brief

Like red earrings we dreamily pick

When you find yourself in cherry time

If you are afraid of being disappointed in love

Avoid pretty girls

I who am not afraid of cruel sorrows

Will not live without suffering one day

When you find yourself in cherry time

You will also have disappointments

I will always love cherry time

A time from which dates my heart’s

Open wound

And even Dame Fortune

Could not calm my sorrow

I will always love cherry time

And the memories I cherish in my heart

 

                                                           

 

Édith Piaf (1915-1963)

piafvieenrose.jpg

                        Photo : CD Cover

 

«La vie en rose» (1949)

Words and music by Édith Piaf

To hear «La vie en rose»: www.geocities.com/Paris/Palais/8910

Des yeux qui font baisser les miens

Un rire qui se perd sur sa bouche

Voilà le portrait sans retouche

De l’homme auquel j’appartiens

Quand il me prend dans ses bras

Qu’il me parle tout bas

Je vois la vie en rose

Il me dit des mots d’amour

Des mots de tous les jours

Et ça me fait quelque chose

Il est entré dans mon cœur

Une part de bonheur

Dont je connais la cause

Et lui pour moi

Moi pour lui dans la vie.

Il me l’a dit, l’a juré pour la vie

Et dès que je l’aperçois

 Alors je sens en moi

Le cœur qui bat

Des nuits d’amour à plus finir

Un grand bonheur qui prend sa place           

Des ennuis, des chagrins s’effacent                   

Heureux heureux à en mourir

Quand il me prend dans ses bras

Qu’il me parle tout bas

Je vois la vie en rose

Il me dit des mots d’amour

Des mots de tous les jours

Et ça me fait quelque chose

Il est entré dans mon cœur

Une part de bonheur

Dont je connais la cause

C’est toi pour moi

Moi pour toi, dans la vie

Tu me l’as dit, m’as juré pour la vie

Et dès que je t’aperçois

Alors je sens en moi

Le cœur qui bat

Eyes that cause mine to lower          

A laugh that loses itself on his mouth

Here is an untouched up picture

Of the man to whom I belong

When he takes me in his arms          

And speaks softly to me

I see life through rose coloured glasses

He tells me words of love                

Everyday words

And it does something to me

Into my heart has come

A measure of happiness

Whose cause I know

He for me

And I for he in this life.

This is what he told me, swore to

And as soon as I see him

I feel within me

My beating heart

Endless nights of love

Flooded by great happiness

Cares and sorrows disappear

Happiness to die for

When he takes me in his arms

And speaks softly to me

I see life through rose coloured glasses

He tells me words of love

Everyday words

And it does something to me

Into my heart has come

A measure of happiness

Whose cause I know

It’s you for me

I for you in this life

That is what you told me, swore to

And as soon as I see you

I feel within me

My beating heart

 

edithpiaf.jpg

«Milord» (1953)

Words by Georges Moustaki, Music by Madeleine Monnot

To hear «Milord»: www.geocities.com/Paris/Palais/8910

Allez, venez, Milord

Vous asseoir à ma table

Il fait si froid dehors

Ici c’est confortable

Laissez-vous faire Milord

Et prenez bien vos aises

Vos peines sur mon cœur

Et vos pieds sur une chaise

Je vous connais, Milord

Vous ne m’avez jamais vue

Je ne suis qu’une fille du port

Une ombre de la rue

Pourtant je vous ai frôlé

Quand vous passiez hier

Vous n’étiez pas peu fier, dame

Le ciel vous comblait

Votre foulard de soie

Flottant sur votre épaule

Vous aviez le beau rôle

On aurait dit le roi

Vous marchiez en vainqueur

Au bras d’une demoiselle

Mon Dieu qu’elle était belle

J’en ai froid dans le cœur

Refrain.

Dire qu’il suffit parfois

Qu’il y ait un navire

Pour que tout se déchire

Quand le navire s’en va

Qu’il emmène avec lui

La douce aux yeux si tendres

Qui n’a pas su comprendre

Qu’elle a brisé votre vie

L’amour ça fait pleurer

Comme quoi l’existence

Ça vous donne toutes les chances

Pour les reprendre après

Allez, venez Milord

Vous avez l’air d’un môme

Laissez-vous faire, Milord

Venez dans mon royaume

Je soigne les remords

Regardez moi, Milord

Vous ne m’avez jamais vue

Mais vous pleurez, Milord

Ça, je ne l’aurais jamais cru

Eh, mais, voyons, Milord

Mais, souriez-moi Milord

Mieux que ça

Un petit effort

Voilà, c’est simple                                    

Allez, riez, Milord

Allez, chantez Milord

Mais oui, dansez Milord

Come, come, Milord

And sit at my table

It is so cold outside

And so comfortable here

Let yourself go, Milord

Make yourself comfortable

Put your sorrows on my heart

And your feet on a chair

I know you, Milord

Though you have never seen me

I’m only a sailor’s girl

A shadowy figure in the streets

Yet, I brushed against you

When you walked by, yesterday

My but you were proud

Heaven had given you everything

With your silk scarf

Floating on your shoulder

You were playing a wonderful part

You looked like the King

You walked like a conqueror

On the arm of a young woman

God ! She was so beautiful

It gives me a chill

 

All it takes, sometimes

Is the arrival of a ship

For everything to fall apart

When the ship leaves 

Taking on board

The beautiful tender-eyed girl

Who didn’t understand

That she was ruining your life

Love makes one cry

And life

Gives you all the chances

Just to take them back

Come, come, Milord

You look like a little boy

Just let yourself go, Milord

Come into my kingdon

I heal remorse

Look at me, Milord

You have never seen me

But you are crying, Milord

That I would never have believed

Come, come, now, Milord

Smile, now, Milord

Better than that

Make a little effort

There, it’s easy

Now, laugh, Milord

Now, sing, Milord

Yes, now dance, Milord

 

 

Piaf.jpg

«Je ne regrette rien» (1956)

Words by C. Dumont , Music by M. Vaucaire

To hear «Je ne regrette rien»: www.geocities.com/Paris/Palais/8910

Non, rien de rien

Non, je ne regrette rien

Ni le bien qu’on m’a fait

Ni le mal, tout ça m’est bien égal

Non, rien de rien

Non, je ne regrette rien

C’est payé, balayé, oublié

Je me fous du passé

Avec mes souvenirs

J’ai allumé le feu

Mes chagrins, mes plaisirs

Je n’ai plus besoin d’eux

Balayé les amours

Avec leurs trémolos

Balayé pour toujours

Je repars à zéro

Non, rien de rien

Non, je ne regrette rien

Ni le bien, qu’on m’a fait,

Ni le mal, tout ça m’est bien égal

Non, rien de rien

Non, je ne regrette rien

Car ma vie, car mes joies

Aujourd’hui,

Ça commence avec toi

No, nothing at all

No, I don’t regret anything

Neither the good

Nor the bad, it’s all the same

No, nothing at all

No, I don’t regret anything

It is paid for, swept away, forgotten

I care nothing for the past

With my memories

I lit a fire

My sorrows, my joys

I don’t need them any longer

Swept away, my loves

With their quivering voices

Swept away forever

I am starting from scratch

No, nothing at all

No, I don’t regret anything

Neither the good, nor the bac

It’s all the same

No, nothing at all

No, I don’t regret anything

For my life, for my joys

From now on

They start with you

 

                                   

                                   

THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS

Edelman, Amy Holman. The Little Black Dress. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.

            The first little black dress is most often attributed to Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, appearing via a simple illustration in the May 1926 issue of American Vogue. The dress, meant to be worn during the day and personalized by its wearer, encouraged comparisons to Ford’s shiny black standardized motor car. Both were sleek and represented a concept available to the masses. Vogue magazine predicted the little black dress would “become the sort of uniform for all women of taste.” (14)

            As women became more important, their clothing was less so. That a little black dress gave a woman room to define herself set it apart from the overly done costumes that came before. It took a combination of factors—including the right time, the right design, and the right black dress—to create an immediate classic. (16, 18)

            Although other [little black dresses] existed before [Chanel’s], hers is the one by which they are defined. Richard Martin, curator of the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute, thinks that Chanel is most often credited with the creation of the little black dress because it’s so easy to assimilate its characteristics into her philosophy of style. In 1923, Chanel told Harper’s Bazaar that “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” To her, modesty was the chicest was of proclaiming one’s superiority. She wanted to get rid of everything that put women at the mercy of convention, that got in their way, that slowed them down. The little black dress was not merely another design for Chanel. It was part of a larger idea […]. (19-20)

            Legendary French singer Édith Piaf, nicknamed the “little black sparrow”, wore little black dresses for much the same reasons Georgia O’Keefe did [to achieve a look of maximum elegance with a minimum of time and money]. Hubert de Givenchy thinks that they helped her fully express her emotions and talent. In Piaf, Margaret Crosland says of her style that, “her looks reflected no conventional glamour, but whenever she sang she grew beautiful… She did not dance or reveal million-dollar legs, she could hardly have been a rival to the queen of the Folies-Bergère, preferring a plain black dress to ostrich plumes and strass.” Piaf first sang in public in 1935 and wore black because, living in poverty on the street, she had no other clothing. Crosland further notes of Piaf than, “There was more to her style than the mere possession of a voice, [she had] a theatrical presence which in its way was anti-theatre, anti-glamour. Her style was her own.” That style included performing, for most of her career, in simple, little black dresses. (133)

           

Link to a Piaf documentary, in English. Various interviews.

Clips from songs.

http://soundprint.org/documentaries/more_info/piaf.phtml

 To listen to the music you can dowload