Serge Gainsbourg – 20 ans déja [3]

My favourite Serge Gainsbourg song (though that changes once in a while) is about another song – Les feuilles mortes (Autumn Leaves). Serge’s song is called La chanson de Prévert (Prévert’s Song) – lyrics by Jacques Prévert with music by Joseph Kosma. Here are the French lyrics, with the English translation by Alex Chabot.

Oh je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes
Cette chanson était la tienne
C’était ta préférée
Je crois
Qu’elle est de Prévert et
Kosma

Avec d’autres bien sûr je m’abandonne
Mais leur chanson est monotone
Et peu à peu je m’in-
Diffère

A cela il n’est rien
A faire
Peut-on jamais savoir par où commence
Et quand finit l’indifférence

Passe l’automne vienne
l’hiver
Et que la chanson de
Prévert

Cette chanson, LES FEUILLES MORTES
S’efface de mon souvenir
Et ce jour là
Mes amours mortes
En auront fini de mourir

Oh how I’d like you to remember
This song was yours
It was your favorite
I believe
It’s by Prévert and
Kosma

With others of course I give up
But their song is monotonous
And little by little I lose in-
terest

For that there isn’t anything
To do
Can you ever know where the beginning
And end of indifference is

The autumn passes and brings
Winter
And nothing but Prévert’s
Song

That song, DEAD LEAVES
Wipes itself from my memory
And on that day
My dead loves
Will have finished dying

Dinner this evening

The studio I’m renting is on Rue Saint-Sabin. it’s very residential with some offices. The only restaurant on the street is Amici Miei, an Italian restaurant that specializes in pizza. Every evening, when I walk by, there are about a dozen people waiting to get into a stuffed-to-the-gills room – I can never get in. This evening there was no one waiting outside, so I went in, and amazingly, there was a table available. The ambience is wonderful – bustling, but not too noisy, with delicious aromas (am I mixing my senses here?) emanating from the kitchen. I had the Carpaccio de pesce spada e melone (espadon et melon / swordfish with melon) as antipasti and Linguine alle vongole (palourdes / clam). It was all delicious, particularly the linguine. A 25cl carafe of red rounds everything off perfectly. it is well reviewed on the web.

Save at lunch with a sandwich, splurge at dinner.

Later I met up with my very good friend François and his god-daughter Ivana for a beer. Imagine having a Guinness in Corsican bistrot called Hall 1900.

The Burlington Sock Wall at Galeries Lafayette

Serving socks for over twenty years. All the big department stores have these walls. I used to buy my Burlingtons from La Samaritaine, which sadly closed in 2005 – the buildings were declared unsafe – they were declared historic monuments in 1990.

The Burlington sock wall at Galeries Lafayette

(Click this image I took at Galeries Lafayette for a high-res version and let me know which ones you’d like!)

My favourite pavement…

Rue Montorgeuil is a fantastic market street with cheese shops, bakeries, fish stores, wine shops, produce and flower shops. It’s a very hip neighbourhood. There’s a Starbucks that I hope the smart people avoid comme la peste. The area has my favourite pavement. Small, square stones are arranged in a wavy pattern – the streets are dark, the sidewalks are light.

Street walking

Dark

Light

The pavement (Taken in 2006)
Market street scene

Market street scene

Visiting Bart

Bart is a gentle, generous 55 year old Dutchman that has been visiting La Roche for 45 years. His house is isolated from the rest of the hamlet. He bought it a few years ago and has restored it on his own. He has no electricity but has a spring that provides excellent, healthy water. Everything has to be hauled up via a rocky path on the mountain, including the cast iron stoves!

Bart Huis

Faux-vintage interior scenes

Bart Huis interior