Goodbye, Mr. Aznavour (b. 1924, d. 2018)

I only recently heard that Charles Aznavour passed away a few days ago, from a follower, in fact.

I have a pretty diverse taste in music that can change with the wind: one week it’ll be CCR, the next, the Sex Pistols, the next, Vivaldi. Right now, in fact, I’m on a complete Twenty Øne Piløts bender, to be perfectly honest.

That said, ever since a few years ago, when I first heard Charles Aznavour crooning La Bohemé on an old, scratchy YouTube video I had only chosen to watch that day for research (it was for a post about world music on an old blog), I’ve always had a soft spot for the quiet, gentle man known as ‘The Frank Sinatra of France’ (although to my knowledge I believe he was part Armenian). He tried to learn as many languages as possible, to better share his music with the world, wrote and contributed to over 1000 songs, and donated heavily to charity. If anything, Frank Sinatra sometimes seems more like the Charles Aznavour of the U.S.!

Aznavour was someone I’ve always wanted to meet, yet I am not too sad at his passing. Yes, the world can no longer benefit from his presence here, but I know that someone with a heart like his is in a good place, still singing. 🙂

Let’s take a moment to listen to his favorite song, and mine, about a painter remembering his old love during the Bohemian period of 1800’s France, and how they were happier when they were poor but together, trading poems for food in small cafes when they could not pay. Note the way he mimes what he sings about, so he is painting with an invisible brush throughout.

There are several translations in English from the original French, many of his own, but this is the version I prefer.

Goodbye, Mr. Aznavour, and thank you for your time with us here.


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