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Obit: Charles Trenet (1913-2001)-and his songs

Related threads:
(origins) Origins: 'LA MER' (TRENET) + 'COUCOU) (17)
Help: Any Francophone Trenet/Piaf fans? (56)


Fiolar 19 Feb 01 - 07:35 AM
Steve Parkes 19 Feb 01 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,bosco 19 Feb 01 - 08:20 AM
Sarah the flute 19 Feb 01 - 08:33 AM
Fiolar 19 Feb 01 - 10:09 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Feb 01 - 02:17 PM
Steve Parkes 20 Feb 01 - 03:15 AM
Mrrzy 20 Feb 01 - 10:01 AM
Mrrzy 20 Feb 01 - 10:10 AM
Joe Offer 18 Feb 21 - 12:32 AM
Monique 18 Feb 21 - 03:15 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 18 Feb 21 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,John MacKenzie 18 Feb 21 - 01:22 PM
Thompson 20 Feb 21 - 06:18 AM
Monique 20 Feb 21 - 07:26 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 20 Feb 21 - 10:28 AM
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Subject: OBIT: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: Fiolar
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 07:35 AM

The death has been reported of the French singer and song writer Charles Trenet. He will probably be best remembered for the song "La Mer" of which some 4,000 recorded versions have been made. Adieu, mon ami.


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Subject: RE: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 08:04 AM

What a shame. I didn't even know he was still alive; do you know how old he was? I've always enjoyed his songs, on the rare occasions I ever heard them on the BBC, and my Francophile bro. treated me to a cd last birthday; since then I've been working out what the words of the songs mean. La mer is one of my Desert Island Discs.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: GUEST,bosco
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 08:20 AM

Thanks fiolar for your thought about Charles "le fou chantant". I'm french and to day all my youth come back in my memory. The songs of Monsieur TRENET are pure cheerfulness! Sorry for my poor english!

Douce France, cher pays de mon enfance...

Merci Monsieur Trenet


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Subject: RE: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 08:33 AM

How sad. I too received his double CD as a christmas present from francophile friends.


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Subject: RE: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: Fiolar
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 10:09 AM

He was born on May 18th 1913.


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Subject: RE: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 02:17 PM

La mer was just one of many, and by no means the best. Here is a page with links to the lyrics of lots of his songs. (And if you follow it through, this gets you to lots of other songs of other chansonniers.)

The thing about the best French Chansons, they never seem to translate well - the English versions are pale shadows. Even if you don't understand a word of the French, the songs have far more meaning and power in the original.


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Subject: RE: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 03:15 AM

D'accord!!


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Subject: RE: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 10:01 AM

But the reverse isn't necessarily true. I have a superb version by Les Compagnons de la Chanson of 1) Ghost Riders in the Sky/Cavaliers du Ciel, and 2) Hava Nagila, which when I ran the French by my Israeli cousin was found to be an excellent rendition. The trick is not to attempt to translate each line, but take the image the verse gives you, and write a verse to match that image. Mais je vais apprendre les paroles de feu M. le fou chantant, I like him a lot. Paix aît son âme.


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Subject: RE: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 10:10 AM

As usual, I learn something new here! I looked at the words to Boum, and now I know what les Dupondt were parodying in L'Or Noir! What a howl! Also, I didn't know he wrote Mes Jeunes Années, which I also have by les C de la C.


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Subject: ADD: Douce France: (Charles Trenet)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 12:32 AM

Douce France - Charles Trenet (1942)

Il revient à ma mémoire,
Des souvenirs familiers
Je revois ma blouse noire,
Lorsque j'étais écolier
Sur le chemin de l'école,
Je chantais à pleine voix
Des romances sans paroles,
Vieilles chansons d'autrefois

Douce France, cher pays de mon enfance
Bercée de tendre insouciance
Je t'ai gardée dans mon cœur!
Mon village, au clocher, aux maisons sages
Où les enfants de mon âge
Ont partagé mon bonheur.
Oui je t'aime, et je te donne ce poème
Oui je t'aime, dans la joie ou la douleur
Douce France, cher pays de mon enfance
Bercée de tant d'insouciance
Je t'ai gardée dans mon cœur!

J'ai connu des paysages
Et des soleils merveilleux
Au cours de lointains voyages
Tout là-bas sous d'autres cieux
Mais combien je leur préfère
Mon ciel bleu, mon horizon
Ma petit' route et ma rivière
Ma prairie et ma maison.

*** Traduction - Gentle France ***

Familiar memories come back to me
I see my black smock,
When I was a schoolboy
On the way to school,
I sang whole-heartedly
Old romances without words,
Old songs of yesterday.

Chorus:
Gentle France, dear country of my childhood
Lulled in carefree tenderness
I kept you in my heart!
My village, its stipple, its conventional houses,
Where children my age,
Shared into my happiness.
Yes, I love you, and I give you this poem!
Yes, I love you, in joy and in pain.
Gentle France, dear country of my childhood
Lulled in carefree tenderness
I kept you in my heart!

I have discovered landscapes
And marvelous suns
During faraway travels
Way over there under new skies
But I prefer so much
My blue sky, my horizon
My little road and my river
My prairie and my home.

1963 live rendition - another live rendition (much later)


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Subject: RE: 2001 OBIT: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: Monique
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 03:15 AM

On Wiki's French entry about the song, "Douce France" (Lyrics: Charles Trenet, Music: Charles Trenet et Léo Chauliac, © - 1943 - Salabert) is said to have been inspired by The Song of Roland...
"...The count Rollanz, beneath a pine he sits;
Turning his eyes towards Spain, he begins
Remembering so many divers things:
So many lands where he went conquering,
And France the Douce, the heroes of his kin,
And Charlemagne, his lord who nourished him...."

... though "France the Douce" (La douce France) is often mentioned in the epic poem.

You can find the lyrics of all Charles Trenet's songs on Le portail des amis de Charles Trenet (in French only).


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Subject: RE: 2001 OBIT: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 04:52 AM

In the 1980s, while living in Dover, I and friends often did daytrips to Boulogne, playing music in cafes in the old town. We played all sorts of music, and one of our number did a fine job of French songs, with piano box.

'Boum' and 'J'attendrai' were two of them- maybe the locals liked his 'Gravesend accent on French songs, but they used to go down well with the locals !
   Thank you Charles Trenet.....


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Subject: RE: 2001 OBIT: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: GUEST,John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 01:22 PM

Indeed, a song of my childhood too. Journey on Charles,
La Mer, and Le Fiacre by Jean Sablon, were the only two French songs I knew, when I were a young lad.


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Subject: RE: 2001 OBIT: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: Thompson
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 06:18 AM

And Le Fiacre should have good strong folkie links, since the carriage of that name (originally used around the vegetable markets of Paris, which were also so named) was called after St Fiachra, an Irish saint who taught vegetable gardening as well as Christianity as he wandered Europe.


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Subject: RE: 2001 OBIT: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: Monique
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 07:26 AM

Indeed! "fiacre" (coach) etymology: "From the name of Saint Fiacre, patron saint of gardeners, whose effigy was found in the 17th century on the sign of a hotel in rue St-Antoine in Paris, which had become a coach/carriage rental house." Btw, my dad grew for years pole beans called "St Fiacre".


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Subject: RE: 2001 OBIT: Charles Trenet - RIP
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 10:28 AM

Que reste-t-il de nos amours
Que reste-t-il de ces beaux jours
Une photo, vieille photo
De ma jeunesse


As I age this song comes to me often!

Mick


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