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Charles Aznavour released his first record in 1953Now 89, Aznavour is playing his first concert in London for 25 years on October 25. Myriam Gasser, French Pop Dream pianist and accordionist, selects her favourite Aznavour songs…

1 For me formidable

La barrière du language dans une relation amoureuse franco-anglophone.

Great French-English wordplay in swinging 1963 song about the language barrier in a French-English relationship

2 La Bohème (with English subtitles)

La vie des jeunes artistes a Montmartre, pauvres, affames, mais optimistes, amoureux et heureux.

Looking back from midlife with nostalgia at poor-but-happy early days as an artist in the lost world of Montmartre.

3 Je m’voyais deja (It will be my day)

L’histoire d’un garçon de province venu a Paris pour devenir artiste, qui est passe de deceptions en deceptions mais qui croit encore a la gloire prochaine.

The story of a provincial boy coming to Paris to make it as a singer, with dreams of success that always stays just around the corner… Hear the English version 

4 Un homo comes ils dissent (What makes a man a man)

Un garçon homosexuel qui vit avec sa mere et qui est artiste nu la nuit…

Epic poignancy in double-life tale of a nightclub drag artiste who lives at home with his mother. Covered in English by Liza Minnelli and Marc Almond (among others). Hear Aznavour’s English version

5 Hier encore (Yesterday when I was young)

Une chanson sur le temps qui defile, le temps que l’on pere a 20 ans et le temps qu’il reste après avoir perdu son temps.

Wistful reflection on the passage of time… Covered in English by Glenn Campbell, Dusty Springfield and many more. Hear Aznavour’s English version

6 Desormais (From now on)
Après la rupture, le constat de tout ce qui changera desormais dans la vie des amants desunis.

Reflections on a life-changing break-up…

7 Non je n’ai rien oublie (I haven’t forgotten a thing)

Il rencontre par hasard son premier amour et parle de leur histoire qui a ete empechee par un père qui voulait marier sa fille a un autre homme.

A chance encounter with his first love sets him to thinking of the past… Hear a version with English subtitles.

8 Emmenez-moi (Take me along)

Un pauvre prend le bateau qui va l’emmener vers le soleil, la ou la misère semble moins difficile a supporter.

Standing at the docks, dreaming of taking a boat to somewhere better. “I’m working with pride for my ticket to ride, where the sun shines for me” … Hear Aznavour’s English version

• songs chosen by Myriam Gasser, who plays piano and accordion for The French Pop Dream, whose first record, ‘Eurostar, the Musical’ is out now.

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