Sunday, 15 March 2009

Jacques Brel

In the last blog I mentioned Jacques Brel. Let me tell you a little more about him. He was a very well known singer in France who died in 1978, and although he is not very well known in this country, he has had a big influence in France and some English singers have sung his songs.

His songs are full of emotion and for a prime example take a look at him singing Amsterdam. You can find some videos that give you translations of his lyrics as well as allowing you to see him on stage, but the thing to notice is the passion in his singing. If a tiny fraction of his émotion is passed on to you then you are well on your way to finding the motivation to learn French. This song influenced David Bowie to sing an English version. Ne me quitte pas may be his most famous song which was translated into English, not as 'don't leave me' but as 'if you go away'.

Les bouquinistes are the stalls along the banks of the Seine where you can buy books or souvenirs. You will also find plenty of posters and many of them are Jacques Brel posters. Brel was a really influential French singer and it is well worth listening to his songs.

A bientôt

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