Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Video Monday

Well, it used to be Monday, but since I can’t post from work anymore this slides until I get home and have some time here to make these things up. I have always liked old black and white movies, being partial to the Busby Berekely grand musicals from the early 30’s and the William Powell/Myrna Loy Thin Man ones from the mid 30’s. But I also like foreign flicks too, especially if they are the background for later American movie lines.

One of the most famous French singers from the 30’s and 40’s was Edith Piaf, well known for her ballads and quavering voice. Born in 1915, she stayed in Paris during the German occupation, she performed for German officers but was reportedly also working for the French resistance. When she died in 1963 her Paris funeral was one of the largest in French history, supposedly bringing traffic in Paris to a standstill. One of the most famous songs is La Vie en Rose, from a 1946 movie clip:

The song was recorded by many famous American jazz artists, including Louis Armstrong and Celine Dion (well, she does live in Vegas). Here’s Louie’s version, with some of the lyrics in English:

Another of Edith’s famous songs is Milord. Sung here on the Ed Sullivan show in 1959 during one of her eight appearences:

The background tune should be recognizable, again recorded a great many times by many others, and the chorus was used by piano players as a symbolic French song for years.

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