Saturday, August 20, 2011

out of the blue

Something I listened to on the radio driving home from work yesterday must have been the nudge that dislodged an ancient memory.  There I was, minding my own business and obeying the speed limit (well, more or less) when a song popped into my head. Not just any song, mind you, but a song that I heard when I was 14 and enjoying an extended visit with cousins who lived in Lausanne,  Switzerland (above). I was there for six weeks (how nice for me!), so the song had, at most, that length of time to be heard and make an impression. It did. I bought the 45. Never mind that I didn't understand a word of it at the time. 

And then, there I was behind the wheel bursting into song. In french. I was actually able to recall most of the first verse by the time I got home, and I continued to sing it to myself in an effort to retrieve more of it.  I couldn't let it go. The record itself is long gone, the victim of a vinyl purge when my mother moved many years ago. I prayed that I would find it on YouTube. Ah, thank you, Internet for delivering to me Non, non, Rien n'a Change, by Les Poppys!

My first delight was that I could listen to it again and confirm the phrases that my memory offered up to me. The second, more surprising gift is the lyrics. The song came out in 1971. Sung by a boys choir, the appeal for peace is poignant. 

According to Wikipedia the record sold 1.2 million copies, was a number one hit in Holland and was in the Dutch Top 40 for 25 weeks. It's amazing what you can find on Wikipedia.

There are a number of videos of the song, one of which includes the English subtitles, but this one is less chaotic visually. I hope you find it as engaging as I did then, and do still.

 

Here are the words in English.

This is the story of a cease-fire I asked for
This is the story of a sun I had hoped for 

This is the story of a love I thought was alive 
This is the story of a beautiful day 
That as a small child I wished 
would be very happy for the whole planet
I wished, I hoped that peace would reign 
On this Christmas Eve 
But everything continued  
But everything continued
But everything continued
 
(Chorus 2 times) 
No, no, nothing has changed 
Everything, everything continued  
Hey! Hey!  
Hey! Hey!
 

Yet many people sang with us 
Many people got down on their knees  
To pray, yes pray 
To pray, yes pray 
But every day I watched TV  
and even on Christmas Eve 
Guns and cannons  
I cried, yes I cried 
I cried  
Who could explain to me ...
 

(Chorus)
I think about the child surrounded by soldiers  

I think of the child asking why  
All the time, yes all the time  
All the time, yes all the time 
I think of that 
But I shouldn't 
All these things do not concern me 
And yet, and yet 
I sing, I sing ...
 

(Chorus)

This is the story of a cease-fire I asked for
This is the story of a sun I had hoped for 

This is the story of a love I thought was alive 
This is the story of a beautiful day 
That as a small child I wished 
would be very happy for the whole planet
I wished, I hoped that peace would reign 
On this Christmas Eve 
But everything continued  
But everything continued
But everything continued

1 comment:

The Bug said...

I enjoyed that a lot. I was going to read the lyrics while the song played, but I was fascinated by the lead singer & the wardrobe. They were really good! And of course, the message of the song is pretty meaningful too.

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