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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's musical homage to Charles Trenet - in Italian

Perhaps you remember France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, confirming last December that she would be going back into the recording studio this year to prepare her fourth album.

Well she's reportedly doing just that and everyone has been rather tight-lipped about which songs could be included on the album and who, among France's songwriters, might lend a hand or better still a song, for Bruni-Sarkozy to interpret.

Now though word has trickled out that one of the tracks that could figure on the album is a remake of Charles Trenet's 1943 song "Douce France" but sung in Italian to become of course "Dolce Francia".

Screenshot from LCI news report

It's no done deal though that it'll make the final cut.

"The album will feature songs in French and others in Italian but at this stage we don't know whether this particular one will be included," Bruni-Sarkozy's agent told Agence France Presse.

"I've heard an unreleased preliminary version and it's a good interpretation."

The regional daily Midi Libre has an extract on its site for everyone to judge for themselves how well (or not) they think France's first lady has covered the original.

And the timing of the sneak preview couldn't be better as February 19 marks the tenth anniversary of Trenet's death.

Trenet was a French singer-songwriter whose most famous hits date from the 1930s to the mid-1950s but who continued recording until he died in 2001 and, although he might be considered to be from another era, remains something of a national treasure as far as the French are concerned.

He was described shortly before his death by Radio France Internationale as "one of the last of the legendary French chanson stars" and one who would "inevitably go down in history as the man who wrote the unforgettable 'Le Mer'" a song whose lyrics he claimed to have written in a matter of minutes while on a train and one which was has apparently been covered by more than 400 artists in many languages to become "one of the most famous French songs of all time."

As if to underline Trenet's enduring popularity a poll conducted on behalf of the regional daily Midi Libre reveals that even a decade after his death 60 per cent of those questioned say they liked his songs with the most popular one being "Douce France".

A simple search will pull up any number of English translations of the lyrics, but maybe you should just sit back and enjoy the original in French from the man himself - crackles and hisses included.


Anonymous said...

Never heard of Charles Trenet but I like his songs and his voice, which reminds me of Frank Sinatra "The Voice"

Anonymous said...

Sounds nothing like Frank Sinatra you tard.

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