03 February 2011

Paris, Stay The Same

(Listen to 'Paris, Stay The Same' from The Love Parade, by Maurice Chevalier on HMV, 1930)

I would say it's an utmost pleasure to receive an item won on eBay just in time before the new year holiday, during which the post service is not available.

I won one more bid on eBay several days ago for a gramophone record of a French actor, singer and popular vaudeville entertainer, Maurice Chevalier, singing 'Paris, Stay The Same' from the film The Love Parade. It arrived the day before the Chinese New Year's Eve.

Maurice was captivated in the front during national service as a POW for two years in the prison camp in Germany, where he studied English. With his enormous charm and charisma, Maurice made himself a star with American audiences after he arrived in Hollywood.

It's our impression that the French can't be asked to speak English (no offence to French readers, but it's true); however, there was once a great French stage artist who developed a successful career in Hollywood and even was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his roles in the film The Love Parade.

I once lived in Scotland for five years, where I sang in the Church of the Holy Rude Choir, Stirling City Choira and Stirling and Bridge of Allan Operatic Society, and therefore I understand, as a non-native speaker, it is quite a back-breaking and mind-grinding task to elbow one’s way on the crowded stage in a foreign land.

I truly adore Maurice Chevalier.

This bilingual song was one of the most captivating and enduring tunes from The Love Parade. Below are the lyrics for those who would like to know what the song is about.

You'll never miss me when I'm gone, Paris
But I know that I'll miss you.
You took a lot of pains in teaching me,
Why must we say "Adieu"?

I've seen your mild days,
And some of your wild days,
Down where the Seine flows,
And where the Champagne flows,
You taught me all that a kiss could be
Paris, your ladies were good enough for me,

I've met brunettes, here,
And little brisettes, here
I've lost my station,
And my reputation,
If I've been happy then you're to blame...
Oh, Paris--please stay the same!

Paris je t'aime,
je t'aime, je t'aime
Avec ivresse,
Comme une maîtresse !
Tu m'oublieras bien vite et pourtant
Mon cœur est tout chaviré en te quittant !

Je peux te dire
qu'avec ton sourire
Tu m'as pris l'âme
Ainsi qu'une femme
Tout en moi est à toi pour toujours
Paris, je t'aime et comment ! - d'amour !

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