Hello people, I’m back. It’s been longer than expected. I was held up in the UK due to the recent strikes in France, and then I had some work to do. Imagine! Yippee!
Anyway, here I am back in France, and listening to French radio (ChérieFM -they’re online, in case you’re interested). One song they often play is S.O.S. d’un Terrien en détresse and I have become addicted to it. They play several versions, but the version they most often play is by Grégory Lemarchal. Lemarchal (is it just me, or does he look a lot like Peter Pan?) was the Will Young of his day. In 2004 he won Star Academy, the French equivalent of Pop Idol, but died three years later of cystic fibrosis (la mucoviscidose en français).
Today I heard another great version, sung in English by someone whose voice had the strength and range of an opera singer. I’ve spent quite a while looking, but I haven’t yet managed to find out who it is. Never mind, the search set off a lightbulb in my head.
What kind of music do I like?
I never know what to say when people ask me what kind of music I like. It’s not much better if they ask me which bands I like. I’m so much at a loss, I’ve taken to saying I don’t like music. Which isn’t really true. But now, thanks to the mysterious opera singer, I know where the problem lies.
The thing is, I don’t like any particular bands, singers or genre of music. I can’t say I love jazz or Oasis’s music. But I do love some of their songs. And that’s what counts. The songs. Some songs speak to me, regardless of who records them, or in what genre. S.O.S. d’un Terrien en détresse is a great example. In my hunt for the English-opera version, I’ve had to listen to a multitude of others. And I’ve discovered that no matter how awful the arrangement, or how poor the singer, the song always moves me.
So, next time you want to talk to me about music, please don’t ask which bands I like or if I’m a fan of house music. You won’t get an answer. Instead, ask what my favourite songs are.
And here, just for me, is the fabulous S.O.S. d’un Terrien en détresse, sung by Grégory Lemarchal.
P.S. Another one that springs to mind is Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime. I once made the mistake of buying an entire Korgis album on the strength of this song, only to find out that everything else the Korgis have ever done is crap.