One more opportunity for me to brag about my little French village Pélussin where I relocated from Seattle last Fall… even though there are less than 4,000 inhabitants here, there is so much culture it is just incredible!
If you follow my French Truly Facebook page you’ve heard about:
1- The local theater Ciné Pilat presenting classic movies and documentaries as part of their Ciné Collection events, very much like my French Truly Salons with a presentation before the movie, and after the movie we all gather around local food and wine!
2- The fabulous Hall Blues Club in front of the gorgeous medieval Château de Virieu
3- The plays, the last one being about the life of Helen Keller by La Comédie de Saint Etienne. The actors were brillant and the room was packed with not only adults but also children. And of course I cried almost the whole time!
4- The recurring Moulinage des Rivières art exhibitions in an old silk factory that a bunch of local artists and artisans are in the process of buying to use as workshops!
And I could keep going… BUT I want to get the core of today’s blog post: Jacques Prévert
Mon village Pélussin decided to celebrate one of France’s favorite 20th century poet who died just a little over 40 years ago in 1977. Every single French child from my generation had to learn at least one of Jacques Prévert’s poem at school. He is remembered for being on the weaks’ side…
Here’s a part of the selection the library put together as Prévert’s month!
He also wrote dialogs for fabulous classic French movies and if you haven’t seen them yet, go for it! Here’s a small selection I recommend:
The 3rd one on the picture, LE JOUR SE LÈVE, is the movie le Ciné Pilat de Pélussin chose to show us again because who doesn’t love to revisit classics? I spent a marvelous evening with plenty of Pélussinois enjoying a presentation by a retired theater director who presented the life & legacy of Prévert before the movie, and after the movie we all gathered to eat and drink and talk about our impressions. By the time we were done it was midnight!
Last week-end, the local library attached to the theater invited Lionel Jamon who acted out some of Prévert’s poetry. Honestly, I had no idea what that was going to be like… acting out poetry? But I’m curious, I love Prévert, and I trust my beloved library so I went and it was AMAZING! I so wish I could have made a video of him acting to show you, I know you would have loved him too!
So, as you can see, I had a Prévert kind of month!
Going back to our title Thought it was a Sinatra song? Think again.
Well yes I guess I didn’t mention that Jacques Prévert also wrote songs!
Do you love Frank Sinatra’s Autumn Leaves (of course you do how could you not?) I’m sure you’ve already guessed but the original song is French! Prévert wrote the lyrics and Joseph Kosma wrote the music.
I thought you’d like to hear the original plus it’s nice and slow so perfect for your French learning experience! Once you know the song by heart, you’ll also know a French poem by heart, and let’s face it that’s pretty cool!
Les feuilles mortes (the dead leaves) is the original title and was sang mostly by Yves Montand & Juliette Gréco, the 2 very beautiful & sexy beings below!
So I’m adding videos of both singers for you to enjoy and maybe compare! Let me know which one you like the best and why! French lyrics and English translation are below the videos so keep scrolling and you’ll find them.
First Yves Montand:
Then Juliette Gréco:
Les feuilles mortes by Jacques Prévert (lyrics) & Joseph Kosma (music)
Oh je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes – Oh how I wish you could remember
Des jours heureux où nous étions amis – The joyful days when we were friends
En ce temps-là la vie était plus belle – In those days life was more beautiful
Et le soleil plus brûlant qu’aujourd’hui – And the sun hotter than today
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle – There are so many dead leaves (a shovel load)
Tu vois, je n’ai pas oublié… – You see, I haven’t forgotten…
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle – There are so many dead leaves
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi – Same for memories and regrets
Et le vent du nord les emporte – And the north wind takes them
Dans la nuit froide de l’oubli – Into the cold night of oblivion
Tu vois, je n’ai pas oublié – You see, I haven’t forgotten
La chanson que tu me chantais – The song you used to sing me
C’est une chanson qui nous ressemble – It is a song that resembles us
Toi, tu m’aimais et je t’aimais – You used to love me and I used to love you
Nous vivions tous les deux ensemble – We lived together, you & me
Toi qui m’aimais, moi qui t’aimais – You loving me, me loving you
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s’aiment – But life separates lovers
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit – Very slowly, noiselessly
Et la mer efface sur le sable – And the sea erases on the sand
Les pas des amants désunis – The separated lovers’ footprints