Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Darling, je vous aime beaucoup

"Darling, je vous aime beaucoup" was a song which I associate with one of my favorite crooners ever, Nat King Cole.

I'd always assumed it was written for Nat in the 50's, but it turns out it was written for a cabaret singer named Hildegarde in the 30s.

Then, 50 years ago, Dean Martin, looking rather silly,  donned a beret and chomped a cigarette holder and produced this album, "French Style," which included "Darling" and a variety of other French-ish tunes.

My question is: why?  Was America's francophilia at such a fever pitch in the early 60's that any popular singer could cash in just by making a French album?

I've often pondered over the influence of francophilia in American culture and its ebbs and flows over the course of the decades.  From Dean to Soeur Sourire the Beatles' "Michelle, Ma Belle," to Morticia and Gomez to Freedom Fries to French Women Don't Get Fat.  It's a socio-cultural roller coaster ride.  I'm in it for the long haul.

How about you?

image via wikipedia

8 comments:

Polly-Vous Francais said...

In my mind, it's related to the current exhibit "Paris Seen By Hollywood" at the Hotel de Ville in Paris: America's mental image of France.

Fran├žois Roland said...

A roller coaster of love and hate? Well, as a French I always felt that a little but I’m not even sure I’d call it like that. Roller coasters suppose alternating of heights and low. And maybe I’d see more these contradictory feelings like co-habiting pretty much since ever, ... At least it’s how I feel it this way of the ocean, or of the Channel I may say because it appears to me as being more or less the same between French and English.

If I had to go a little deeper, maybe I would say this: It seems to me that there always was a mutual cultural fascination between American and French (as well as between English and French) and on the other hand there always was a political opposition. French are more politicized, and always had a larger range of political opinions in their parties. While, sincerely, the difference between Democrats and Republicans, or Labour and Tories, I never really could see it distinctively :)

Just to have fun, I propose two videos to illustrate some real blatant differences between American and French:

Bill Maher on France:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKS0yISz6xQ

George Carlin - We Like War:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDkhzHQO7jY

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Francois.

You also might want to check out the blog "Superfrenchie." He chronicled French-American relations for years.

jeu de voiture said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fran├žois Roland said...

I also suggest that you get rid of the spams only there to lead to some advertisements. Half of the six comments so far, actually are pure spam. I wonder if they found a way to unlock the "anti robot" or if they have just people paid to post such false message as "great post!" or "thanks for sharing!"?

Robin W said...

As one of your followers who is also an architect, I say just buy yourself a little horse paddock and build this thing from scratch! that is a simple little 3-box building that any decent (well, decent + traditional French) builder and a good stoneworker should be able to just put up without even drawings. will take a while for the plaster and roof to develop the lovely patina, but that's part of the fun.

although I'd say actually avoid the horse paddock - that looks a little muddy there. (what's it doing there? - who lives in the middle of a paddock?) maybe the owners would let you move it or take it apart to take somewhere else - on a little rise with some olive trees (like in front of the bergerie) would be better. I wonder what it originally was; looks like a little village train station......

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Robin, thanks for the great advice! And I think this was meant for the Tiny House post, but I appreciate the constructive help and I agree that it looks like a tiny train station.

auto devis said...

Gomez and Morticia and how she used French to woo him is legendary and of the funniest part of the Addams Family

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