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Last week I became reacquainted with an old friend, the French songwriter/singer Georges Brassens, when I found my old vinyl recordings of him which I purchased in France in the 1960's. He sang his wry, ironic, but very moving songs about ordinary life (or what used to be) in France clearly, intelligibly, and in an unhurried manner, perfect for an American college student spending a summer with a French family, which I was in 1961. My French "brother" Guy introduced me to Brassens, who, I learned from a website dedicated to him, died in 1981 at the age of sixty.
I tried to download some Brassens songs from iTunes, but discovered that the French iTunes Music Store had his recordings, but the US store did not. The trouble was that you have to have a French mailing address and a French credit card to download music from the French iTunes store. I then decided, although I could have bought Brassens CD's over the Internet more economically, that I wanted to transfer my vinyl recordings to my laptop, and thence to my iPod. After shelling out money for a new hardware/software package, I had to find my old vinyl Brassens records, which was harder than I thought because I have zillions if old vinyl records, and I had to paw through a lot of them to find Georges.
But last week I got it all together, and two especially beloved songs are now on my iPod: La Marche Nuptiale, about his parents' rained-out wedding (the bride photo in the above montage was from my nephew's rained-out wedding), and Au Bois de Mon Coeur, about his "copains" (buddies, pals, good old boys): "Every time I die, they faithfully follow my burial." That's very Brassens. There's a great park in Paris named after him, which I visited a few years ago, in a part of the Left Bank that's still not overrun with tourists, and is still very French, which, IMHO is not the case with much of the rest of Paris. As Brassens sang, "When there is no more wine in my barrel, they're not afraid to drink my water."
Amazon Search for: Georges Brassens.
Copyright ©2004, 2005, 2006 Jonathan David Leavitt