"....A propos of nothing, apart from the fact that it's also in French, here is a link to Francoise Hardy, to whom I listened a lot when I was in France this summer, showing my age.
-- from a reader
The ether was filled not with the song I expected, but with "la maison où j'ai grandi."
Yes, it takes me back, back to endless tabloid headlines about Johnny and Sylvie (http://johnny14.free.fr/jhsv1967.htm), and endless solemn discussions in Le Monde about l'enlèvement de Ben Barka, and an amazing, ultra-modern, glassy and glossy new place called Le Drugstore. You still needed to ask for a jeton au zinc; many bathrooms in cafes and bars were still determinedly à la turque. An occasional vespasienne could still stink to high heaven. American girls still spent Junior Years Abroad at Reid Hall on the rue de Chevreuse, one street over from the studio of Ossip Zadkine. You could buy an original print by Sonia Delaunay or Zao Wou-ki for next to nothing. When it came to English first editions, the bouquinistes had no idea what they had was worth. You could - and I did -- still send a girl a petit bleu, which whooshed in those underground pipes from one side of Paris to another in nothing flat. Raymond Aron, Jacques Ellul, and Vladimir Jankélévitch were all still alive, still helping people make sense of things. America had not yet entered Vietnam in a big way, and there was no need, as yet, to pretend to be a Canadian. Not everything, but a lot, was more or less right with the world.
The song I assumed -- wrongly -- you would be posting is one that I will now put up as a Musical Interlude, so you can listen here to Hardy, and others can hear the favorite song of a sixteen-year-old jeune fille, the kind who has been bien rangée from her earliest cartable-and-cahier period, right up to the period of melancholy adolescent longing for something, to which Françoise Hardy's songs appeared to give expression. Those years closed with a bang, when all bourgeois hell broke loose, or at least many thought it did. Nothing good came of 1968, and the years following. Standards went down. Schools worsened. The wrong authorities were being questioned. But mostly what happened was that one set of articles of faith were replaced by another. As a result of those new articles of faith, many French now find themselves mentally unprepared, and thus practically unable, to defend themselves and their state and the artifacts of Chamfort's "perfected civilisation" from its greatest threat since the Nazis goosestepped, eyes right, under the Arc de Triomphe. And much that makes France France, including the dictée and Delacroix and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, is and will remain under permanent siege.
No more dilations and divagations. Returning to our lambs, but certainly not for any conceivable Eid al-Fitr, here's that song, with the sound of its time, the mid-1960s, in France:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc4sL3wsYSY
"Douce France 28-Septembre 1964"
"dozy simpering French bint"? C'mon. From her videos, Francoise Hardy was a sweetheart. Or perhaps better: a stunner -- too beautiful to approach.
As a small child, I would have been in Paris at the time. My parents have the pictures to prove it. Now I have a memory, or at least an addendum.
Thank you for the interlude.
Yes. [Prunella Scales as Mrs. Fawlty] I know. I know.
Neither were you.
Apparently, you were never a sixteen-year-old French girl. Tant pis pour toi.
Good God. Even by the standards of French popular music, that is truly abysmal. I'd rather listen to Marcel Marceau any day.
Who is that simpering dozy French bint? She looks like a transsexual.