French Songs

Three of my favorite French songs are Mon Gentil Pecheur  as sung by Nana Mouskouri and L’Hymne a l’amour  as sung by Mireille Mathieu and Non, je ne regretter rienas sung by Edith Piaf.

Mon Gentil Pecheur  sung by Nana Mouskouri with Le Groupe Les Atheniens

L’Hymne à l’amour  sung by Mireille Mathieu

Non, je ne regretter rien sung by Edith Piaf

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Pouran in Iran

When I was in Iran in 1967, I learned the words to a very old poem. Goli Jaan, that was put to music and sung by Pouran. Evidently the poem was very dear to Iranian people because when I would recite a few lines of the poem, it would melt the heart of any Iranian person I was talking to. Here I give you GOLI JAAN sung by the popular Iranian singing star, Pouran.

According to Wikipedia: “The name of the singer Pouran evokes fond memories for the generation who lived in Iran during the three decades before the Islamic Revolution. Born in 1934, she started her singing career at the age of eighteen. Radio had just found its way into people’s homes, and it enjoyed the advantage of reaching millions of listeners all over the country. With its primary emphasis being on music, it became the main vehicle for singers and musicians to achieve fame and popularity. Pouran was in America visiting her children when the Revolution broke out in Iran. She stayed there many years before returning to Iran, where she faced many problems and finally died of breast cancer at the age of 56.”

GOLI JAAN sung by Pouran

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Shirley Bassey in Singapore

When I was at the InterContinental Hotel in Singapore in 1965, Shirley Bassey was appearing at the Goodwood Park Hotel in Singapore, where I saw her perform. She had a remarkable stage presence.

Her voice was magnificent and I loved the songs she sang.  Although Shirley Bassey was not well known in the USA (except for the song Goldfinger), she was popular in Europe and Asia. Here I give you three of my favorite Shirley Bassey songs:

I WHO HAVE NOTHING sung by Shirley Bassey

IF YOU GO AWAY  sung by Shirley Bassey

YESTERDAY WHEN I WAS YOUNG   sung by Shirley Bassey

Find “I (Who Have Nothing)” and “If You Go Away” on Shirley Bassey’s album, Diamond Collection

Or check out “Yesterday When I was Young” and more great songs on the album, Something by Shirley Bassey

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Argentina Music

Baritone Carlos Gardel was the soul of Argentine Tango music. He died in 1935 but the tango lives on. My favorite song sung by Carlos Gardel is Yira Yira. Below is a tango being danced on a street in Buenos Aires. Below that is a Tango Milonga, which is a faster dance and not quite as dramatic as the tango.

YIRA YIRA sung by Carlos Gardel

Tango. Em Caminito, Argentina

Tango Milonga in Buenos Aires

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Ecuador Music: Vasija de Barro

Gail Howard in EcuadorIn 1961, from the pueblo of Tiputini in the Ecuadorian jungle, my sister Terry and I hired a Jivaro Indian crew with a canoe to take us down the Rio Napo to Nuevo Roca Fuerte at the Peruvian border. The canoe was a long hollowed-out tree. One man stood at the back of the canoe, using a long pole to navigate and to test the depth of the shallow water, which was golden from the mud. Three men paddled it with paddles that were short and wide like Japanese fans.  (Read the story at Ecuador Travel Adventures.)

Along the way, we were joined by a very pregnant Ecuadorian woman. As we floated along, she hummed a song. We loved the haunting melody. She taught us the words to Vasija de Barro.

“Yo quiero que a mi me enterran, Como a mis antepasados; En el vientre obscuro y fresco, De una vasija de barro. Cuando la vida se pierden, Tras de una cortina de anos, Vive en la flor del tiempo, Amores y desengano.”

Loosely translated it means: “I want to be buried like my ancestors in the dark and fresh belly of a clay pot. When life is lost beyond a curtain of years, loves and disillusion live in the flower of time.”

VASIJA DE BARRO by the Dúo Benitez Valencia

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