"Conservatism, not Radicalism, threatens the free exchange of ideas, intellectual tolerance, and the life of the mind in Academia." - Herbert Shapiro
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
sam enderby•5 days ago An entertaining piece but I am wondering about a couple of things in the article. One, just how old was Mr. Moustaki when he visited Henry Miller in Brooklyn? I would have thought Mr. Miller left Brooklyn a long, long time ago, before Mr. Moustaki was even born. Miller often wrote about his Brooklyn days and if memory serves when he returned to America after living in Paris during the '30's it wasn't to Brooklyn he returned but to California. Second, and this is kind of weird but is that a photograph of Albert Speer on the bookshelf behind Mr. Moustaki?
Maybe its being unemployed for over two years that makes these foolish leaps into the BlogoSphere a sort of therapy
Oil On Canvas "PIAF" by JACQUELINE JOLLES
for me, a Kilroy moment if you will at my advancing age rather like a mid-life or later-in-life crisis Grafitti etched in the ether. This GeorgeMoustaki by the way wrote the lyrics for the famous EdithPiaf song, Milord, which was a big hit fifty years ago - I remember it being played a lot at the New York World's Fair in '64 particularly around the area where they sold those Belgium Waffles - and of course it still remains a real hand-clapper at assorted old-age and retirement entertainments. Curious the subject matter but nevertheless a catchy tune. I don't think many Amercian fans remember the lyric but the melody does linger. Anyway, these interplays do amuse me and probably cause my addressees to think me a little meshugga. The subject was featured in "The Tablet" -again ( see the Anna Breslaw riff a few blogs back). Although he did not write the article it was nice of Mr. Jakubowicz to respond. He probably thought now why would anybody want a photo of Albert Speer on their shelf. Who is this nut who thinks Serge is Speer? I think its interesting that a woman, Marguerite Monnot, wrote the music and Moustakis the words if only because of the suggestiveness, shall we say, of the theme. Still in all a fine tune. As a matter of fact as I was watching some of Mrs.Romney's speech last night I couldn't get the damn tune out of my head - it may be unfair (to say the least) but I often look upon candidate's wives as props, someone who more likely than not is pulled out of the shadows and thrust in the glare of the media spotlight because of some nebulous political propriety.
"Je qu'une ombre de la rue (I'm just a shadow of the street)."
But Mrs. R seemed up to the challenge announcing at the onset, " I cannot wait to see what we are going to all do together. This isgoing to be so exciting."
The music starts off a little jaunty, "Allez venez, Milord, vous asseoir a ma table ( Come along, Milord, sit at my table)".
There's something that sounds like an accordian or is that a concertina? Drumsticks beating time on the sidewalk? She will speak of Love. "I want to talk to you frommy heart about our hearts," she smiles to the delegates.
A piano faintly floats in behind the beat softly, insistent. "Et prenez bien vos aises vos peines sur mon coeur (and make yourself at ease your troubles on my heart)."
There may be horns quietly following. "Tonight," she starts to sing, "I want totalk to you about Love. I want to talk to you about the deep and abiding Love I have for a man I met at adance many years ago."
The voice stronger now, growing emphatic, melodious. "Lamour, ca fait pleurer comme quoi l'existence les chances pour les reprendre apres (Love makes one cry and Life gives you all your chances to take them back)."
She is singing passionately now, a hard throaty alto-like stress to the words, "I am not sure if men really understand this, but I don't think there is a woman in Amercia who really expects her life to be easy."
Yes, she sang this at the Republican Convention and it will be the only honestly heartfelt words spoken to the party that if elected would do everything they can to bring those words to fruition !
Back to the verse, quick, before the words sink in and they move you back to the shadows. "Laissez-vous faire, Milord, venez dans mon royaume (Relax, Milord, come into my kingdom)."
The piano is loud now each singular note a proclamation and the La's will start any second. "Mitt," the voice soaring now," would be the first to tell you that he is the most fortunate man in the world.
"Vous aviez le beau role on avrait dit le roi vous marchiez en vainqueur ( You were so beautiful, you could have been mistaken for a king, you were walking victoriously)."
There is some rhythmic clapping in the distance, the drum beats louder, the accordion ascends. She will promise that her man will not fail. "Je chante les milords (I sing about Milords)."
And now everyone :LA, LA, LA, LA MILORD, LA, LA......
Georges Moustaki, Poetic French Singer, Dies at 79
Roland Witschel/European Pressphoto Agency
Georges Moustaki, shown performing in 1983 with the singer Marta Contreras, was known for his melancholy ballads.
By MAÏA de la BAUME
Published: May 25, 2013
PARIS — Georges Moustaki, a singer and songwriter who wrote Édith Piaf’s hit song “Milord” and won wide popularity in France for his poetic lyrics and melancholy ballads, died on Thursday in Nice, France. He was 79. His death was confirmed by his longtime agent, Marie-Ange Mirande, who said that Mr. Moustaki had had emphysema. His death prompted an outpouring of emotional tributes. The French president, François Hollande, called him a “hugely talented artist whose popular and committed songs have marked generations of French people.” Mr. Moustaki, instantly recognizable by his bushy beard and long white hair, belonged to the generation of French singers — including Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg, Léo Ferré and Georges Brassens — who composed many of their own songs, writing lyrics with a poetic sensibility. Mr. Moustaki started his career as a songwriter, composing about 300 songs for some of the most popular singers in France, including Ms. Piaf, Yves Montand and Serge Reggiani. “Milord,” his first hit, told the story of a “girl from the harbor” who falls in love with an elegant Englishman. Mr. Moustaki wrote it for Ms. Piaf, and the two became lovers, though she was more than 20 years his senior. It was later interpreted by Bobby Darin and Cher. Mr. Moustaki made his name as a singer in 1969 with “Le Métèque” — a pejorative word for foreigner — in which he described himself as a “wandering Jew” and a “Greek shepherd.” He wrote and performed many other songs, including “Ma Liberté” and “Ma Solitude.”Mr. Moustaki, whose real name was Giuseppe Mustacchi, was born on May 3, 1934, in Alexandria, Egypt, where his parents, both of Greek origin, had emigrated. His father, Nessim, ran a bookstore that drew visitors from across the Middle East. Mr. Moustaki first performed as a pianist and singer in Brussels and Paris, but his career took off after he met Mr. Brassens, who became his mentor, and fell in with singers of the Left Bank, including Mr. Brel and Juliette Gréco. Mr. Moustaki’s songwriting career peaked in the 1960s and ’70s with songs like “Sarah,” performed by Mr. Reggiani, and “La Dame Brune” (“The Lady With Brown Hair”), written for the singer Barbara (Monique Serf). He later pursued a solo career, giving concerts in Africa, Japan and the United States, including at Carnegie Hall in the early 1970s. He performed in Italian, Portuguese, Arabic and Greek and grew passionate about Brazilian music. After a 50-year career, Mr. Moustaki recorded his last album in 2008 and announced a year later that he could no longer sing because of his emphysema. He is survived by a daughter, Pia. His philosophy was reflected in his 1973 song “Declaration”: “I declare a permanent state of happiness and the right of everyone to every privilege. I say that suffering is a sacrilege when there are roses and white bread for everyone.”
Singer-songwriter Georges Moustaki, who wrote some 300 songs for
France's most popular singers, including Édith Piaf and Yves Montand,
was born in Alexandria, Egypt on this date in 1934. His parents were
Greek Jews from Corfu who spoke many languages and owned the Cité du
livre, an outstanding bookstore in Alexandria. He became a Paris
nightclub performer in his late teens and became a songwriter for Piaf
in the late 1950s. She was nineteen years his senior, and their love
affair became a scandal-sheet obsession. As a performer, Moustaki sang
in French, Italian, English, Greek, Portuguese, Arabic, and Spanish. In
1969, he wrote "Le Métèque" (a pejorative word for a Mediterranean
immigrant), in which he described himself as a "wandering Jew" and a
"Greek shepherd." After other singers and the record companies rejected
it, Moustaki recorded it himself and produced a hit that was the number
one song in France for six weeks. "A small, subliminal settling of
scores," he observed, "became the hymn of anti-racism and the right to
be different, the cry of revolt of all minorities." Moustaki toured the
world as a performer. He died of emphysema at the age of 1979 and was
buried in Paris's Père Lachaise Cemetery just yards from the grave of
Edith Piaf. To see him performing, click here and scroll down.
his admirers, his persona suggested a borderless utopia of freedom,
brotherhood, and harmony... with a gentle, wistful sense of romance
mixed in." --Billboard magazine