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UN HOMMAGE A CHARLES TRENET
I have been in love with "La Mer", possibly the most recognizable French tune (with the
exception of "La Marseillaise"), for most of my life.
It was written by Charles Trenet, un chanteur extraordinairre. And though Bobby
Darin recorded the melody, his "Beyond the Sea", while wonderful in its production and
orchestal arrangement, bears little resemblance to the lyrics of Monsieur Trenet.
To a non-French-speaking American, a category into which I definitely fall, the
words are very French-sounding. Not knowing the words in French, it had
occurred to me to write my own version in that language, using the words and phrases
I already know, or those I remember from Mrs Lemaster's French class in eighth
grade, during those times when I was also taking French lessons from Candy Jordan.
With any luck, Candy's an old granny by now, and Mrs Lemaster has gone to that
big French class in the sky. But the rules of writing this faux-French song would be
that the song itself did not have to make sense, only that the words must sound very
French and be those that an American would recognize, without necessarily knowing
what they mean. This would prove to be more difficult than it sounds.
I have some Francophone American and English friends in Paris, and this song
will most assuredly seem stupid, or perhaps merely sophomoric, to them.
This is not my problem. They can deal with their tragic supercilious smugness on
their own blogs.
Here are my words to "La Mer", with apologies to Monsieur Trenet, Mrs Lemaster,
50 or 60 million Frenchmen, and especially Candy. Never was a girl so aptly named...:
Music by Charles Trenet
French lyrics for les Americaines by
Arrondissement, et chien,
cherchez la femme
Mangeons gateau dans le bateau
Mais je ne connais
Ou est ma tante
Donnez mon chat, ma cher,
et mon chapeau
La concierge dits "quel beau cadeau!"
Je m'appelle Pierre, et c'est mon table
est chardonnay ne pas
pardonnez-moi, la vache qui rit
defense de fumer avec ton oncle
Gendarmerie, toute suite Merci beaucoup
Comment allez-vous? Eh, bien, et tu?
Et ta maquillage
Est sur la table
WRITE YOUR OWN BAD FRENCH VERSION OF LA MER AND WIN BIG!
FIRST PRIZE: HANG OUT FOR A DAY WITH PANAMA!
SECOND PRIZE: HANG OUT FOR TWO DAYS WITH PANAMA!