…the entire universe goes “Boom!”

Outside the French-speaking world his most familiar song is “La Mer” written in 1943.  With more than 400-recorded versions, you may know it as “Beyond the Sea” (or perhaps as “Sailing”), which was a hit (with unrelated English lyrics) for Bobby Darin in the early-‘60s, and George Benson in the mid-‘80s.

Then there’s the popular song that he produced from Paul Verlaine’s “Chanson d’Automne” with a refrain that anyone who has read and/or seen the “The Longest Day” is sure to remember, “Blessent mon cœur d’une langueur monotone…” (“Wound my heart with a monotonous languor…”).  In early June 1944 this was the Allies’ signal to the French Resistance that the invasion of Normandy was underway.

Louis Charles Auguste Claude Trenet was born in 1913 in Narbonne, France, and although a wildly popular performer in his time and place, he is most famous today for his recordings from the late-‘30s through the mid-‘50s, an era when it was unusual for singers to write all their own material.  And write he did, refusing to record or perform any but his own songs. His catalogue features nearly 1,000 of them.

Charles Trenet generally wrote about love, or Paris, or nostalgia (or all three) using imagery that was whimsical, witty and sometimes surreal, combining the verbal nuances of a French song with the rhythms of American swing.

Today’s selection, a huge hit that reverberated with the darkening mood of the French public when it was released in 1938, simply bursts with “joie de vivre” … well, that and onomatopoeia. I include it with a tolerable translation… 

LISTEN TO TODAY’S SONG – Saturday 3 March


La pendule fait tic-tac-tic-tic  (The clock goes “Tic, Tac, Tic, Tic”)

Les oiseaux du lac pic-pac-pic-pic  (The birds of the lake sing Pic-Pac-Pic-Pic”)

Glou-glou-glou font tous les dindons  (“Glou-Glou-Glou” all the turkeys sing)

Et la jolie cloche ding-dang-dong  (And the lovely bells go “Ding-Dang-Dong”)

 Mais… boum!  (But… “Boom!”)

Quand notre coeur fait boum  (When our heart goes “Boom!”)

Tout avec lui dit boum  (Everything about it says “Boom!”)

Et c’est l’amour qui s’éveille  (And it’s love that has awakened)

Boum!  (“Boom!”)

Il chante “Love in Bloom”  (It sings “love in bloom”)

Au rythme de ce boum  (To the rhythm of this “Boom!”)

Qui redit boum à l’oreille  (Repeating “Boom” in our ear)

 Tout a changé depuis hier et la rue  (Everything has changed since yesterday)

A des yeux qui regardent aux fenêtres  (On the street eyes look out of the windows)

Y’a du lilas et y’a des mains tendues  (There are lilacs and there are open hands)

Sur la mer le soleil va paraître  (And over the ocean the sun is rising)

 Boum!  (“Boom!”)

L’astre du jour fait boum  (The stars today go “Boom!”)

Tout avec lui dit boum  (Everything about it says “Boom!”)

Quand notre coeur fait boum-boum  (When our hearts go “Boom, Boom!”)

 Le vent dans les bois fait hou-hou  (The wind in the wood moans “Whoooooo”)

La biche aux abois fait mê-ê-ê  (The lamb at bay go “Maaaaaaa”)

La vaisselle cassée fait fric-fric-frac  (A broken dish goes “Frick, Frick, Frack)

Et les pieds mouillés font flic-flic-flac  (And wet feet slip “Flip, Flip, Flap”)

Mais… boum!  (But… “Boom!”)

Quand notre coeur fait boum  (When our hearts go “Boom!”)

Tout avec lui dit boum  (Everything goes “Boom!”)

L’oiseau dit boum, c’est l’orage  (The bird says “Boom”…It’s a thunderstorm…Brrrrrrr)

 Boum!  (“Boom!”)

L’éclair qui, lui, fait boum  (The lightning that He makes goes “Boom!”)

Et le bon Dieu dit boum  (And the good Lord says “Boom!”)

Dans son fauteuil de nuages  (From his throne of clouds)

 Car mon amour est plus vif que l’éclair  (For this love is livelier than lightning)

Plus léger qu’un oiseau, qu’une abeille  (Lighter than a bird, than a bee)

Et s’il fait boum, s’il se met en colère  (And when it goes “Boom” with its passion)

Il entraîne avec lui des merveilles  (It carries us away with wonder)

 Boum!  (“Boom!”)

Le monde entier fait boum  (The whole world goes “Boom!”)

Tout avec lui dit boum  (The entire universe goes “Boom!”)

Quand notre coeur fait boum-boum  (Because my heart goes “Boom-Boom!”)

Boum, Boum!  (“Boom, Boom!”)

 Boum!  (“Boom!”)

Le monde entier fait boum  (The whole world goes “Boom!”)

Tout avec lui dit boum  (The entire universe goes “Boom!”)

Quand notre coeur fait boum-boum  (Because my heart goes “Boom-Boom!”)

Boum, Boum, Boum!  (“Boom, Boom, Boom!”)

 Boum, Boum!  (“Boom, Boom!”)

Je n’entends que Boum, Boum Boum!  (I hear only “Boom, Boom, Boom!”)

Ça fait toujours Boum Boum, Boum!  (It always goes “Boom, Boom, Boom!”)

“Brrrrrrr Boooooom!”

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