25 August 2008

Piaf Mood

I'm exhausted today. Everything aches and I can barely type.
My mood can best be described as nostalgic. I caught myself singing songs in the shower. Familiar songs.

Do you have songs that you naturally turn to when you are feeling drained and when your psyche is wasted? Songs that are not even your favourite songs but whose lyrics you thoroughly enjoy singing? I've heard of music therapy so perhaps there are some tunes that my brain intrinsically seeks to soothe me when things go a little awry up there. In Planet Laura. I wonder if there is a music psychologist that can explain my choice of songs to me.

So now the rundown. The songs are mostly in French. There are songs that I learnt as a child while being raised in a mostly French household with a mother and several aunts who were proud fans of Edith Piaf.

Due to its popularity in the English speaking world, you'll probably think of the ubiquitous "Noooon, rien de rien....Nooooon, je ne regrette rien..." I suppose that would be befitting and would suggest self-introspection and nostalgia. Wouldn't it? If you're thinking about that one then you're wrong. I'm much more complex than that. (Although oblique is more the word.)

I could have picked so many Edith Piaf songs for my twisted brain to latch onto and sing in the shower when I'm down. I love the majority of her work. She's a great artiste. "Tu me fais tourner la tête... Mon manège à moi c'est toi", I love that song. Or "La Foule", that would probably be my favourite along with "La Goualante du Pauvre Jean".

Oh, and "Ah Ça Ira Ça Ira Ça Ira, les aristocrates à la lanterne..."
I like that one too except that we had Vietnamese royalty in the house and my grandmother would get all indignant about me calling for their execution... It didn't make a difference when I explained that this song was merely referring to French aristocrats, she was still pursing her lips at me. So I ended up not singing this one too frequently!!

Anyway, I've dragged this for long enough. I sing "Milord" and "L'homme à la moto". I'm very good at it. It's easy because the lyrics are so visually evocative and they fit my mood. I feel every part of them and as a result, my voice sounds great. It even acquires that distinctive nasal quality. I could do the street urchin thing, believe me I could. And it feels so right singing those lyrics. Why, I don't know. But they speak to me. When I sing "Milord", it's as though I've worked in a cabaret all my life and I know this man only too well. I know his story. I also feel as if I know (or knew) this man from "L'homme à la moto". I'm sure there are lame English translations out there if you care to Google them. If not I'll add a translation later on this blog.

I mentioned they were mostly French songs. One of them isn't. One of them is an annoying English song that I can't seem to get out of my head and that's been the case, ever since I was in high school.
Here it comes: "Rain drops are falling on my head..." What's worse is that I don't even know the full lyrics!! I stand under the shower, with the jet in my absent minded face and I'm singing like an idiot: "But there's one thiiing, I know...bla bla bla...crying's not for me...bla bla bla...because I'm freeeee, nothing's worrying meee!!!!"
I mean seriously, WTF!!!

Endearing, really.

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