Mercoledi Musicale

My friend Dr Spo was mentioning that he would like to explore Christmas music beyond the usual carols and tin-pan alley anthems to the Yuletide season.  And there is a wealth of undiscovered seasonal music out there, it is just a matter of finding it. I was fortunate that I was introduced to the Christmas music of so many cultures and eras by people like Bob Kerr, Clyde Gilmour, and Jurgen Gothe on the old CBC.  I have often bemoaned the passing of programming like theirs on the “new” CBC particularly over the holiday season.

However Saturday morning as we listen to Radio Canada (the national French broadcaster known in our household as Radio Falala) I was introduced to a Christmas song from a much loved if unexpected performer: Edith Piaf.  Being Piaf it is not a song that is filled with silver bells, sleeping infants or softly falling snow but speaks of those without hope in the season of  hope.

Rather than a literal translation (there are argot idioms that would not make sense) I offer my translation that I hope captures the spirit of the lyrics.

Hey little guy, where are you going
Running barefoot like that?
“I’m running after Paradise
Because they say it’s Christmas!”
The Christmas of the streets
is snow and wind.
A wind so bitter
It makes the children cry.

The bright lights and happiness
Are behind windows.
They aren’t for you and me
They are for others.
My small one, enjoy it all
But at a distance.
Look, only look
Make sure you don’t touch anything.
The Christmas of the streets
Is the cold of winter reflected
In the wide eyed longing of the street kids.

With their mugs pressed against the windows
They hunch their shoulders like frightened cats.
They are huddled like a child Jesus
That his Blessed Mother had lost.
The Christmas of the streets
is snow and wind.
A wind so bitter
It makes the children cry.

They move on empty-handed and still searching
Searching for a bright shining star.
My little one if you find that star
Use it to warm your small frozen fingers
The Christmas of the streets
Means living under a sleeping star
That never reaches earth.

On this day in 1921:  the last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London, England.

Author: Willym

A senior with the heart of a young'un

3 thoughts on “Mercoledi Musicale”

  1. I miss the old CBC radio too. I love Piaf and enjoyed this Christmas song — yes, “typical” Piaf! Yesterday I saw the new remake of “A Star is Born” and while I love Lady Gaga to bits, she absolutely murdered “La Vie en Rose.” It was painful.

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