I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Les Feuilles Mortes

Most people I know say autumn is their favorite season in New York. The air is crisp and clean but you can still get by with just a light coat, putting off the hats and gloves and scarves as long as possible. There are new plays, new movies, new books; the pace picks up after the long sluggishness of summer. The city is beautiful and walking is a pleasure.

But of course, what's brisk now will be downright freezing in a few weeks, the days are short and still getting shorter, and the leaves explode in those brilliant colors because they're dying. This is only an interlude before the dark and drear of winter, so there's a sadness underneath it all, a sense of loss, of looking back, and the occasional urge to wallow in something sentimental over a cup of tea.

This song is the best autumnal pleasure I know, and provides a terrific soundtrack for wallowing. Forget Autumn Leaves -- go back to the original Jacques Prévert lyrics and listen to Yves Montand sing Les Feuilles Mortes.
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment,
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable
Les pas des amants désunis.
Roughly translated:
But life separates those who love each other
Softly, without a sound
And the sea erases from the sand
The footprints of the divided lovers.

Proving that rue and melancholy, like so much else, just sound better in French.

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