December 03, 2007

Je t'aime... moi non plus (I love neither)

OVER the weekend, I read Vanity Fair's piece on the late Serge Gainsbourg, a French songwriter/singer (and actor and director) who was adored in his native country for the purity of his songs, the loveliness of his spirit, and his gorgeous women...notably Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin (who designed and inspired the Hermés Birkin bag).

While I knew of BB and Birkin, I really haven't heard of Gainsbourg until I read the VF story which included interviews of his daughter, actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, as well as Misses Birkin and BB. Gainsbourg passed away in 1991, and his house had remained shuttered to the public until Charlotte allowed VF access to it. The story is an interesting read and piqued my curiousity further about the man. I've already downloaded his "Best of" 2-CD torrent and am enjoying his songs, despite not understanding a word of French. (But then songs of love cut across all languages don't they?)

Anyway, here's a video of Gainsbourg and Birkin's love song Je t' non plus which became controversial because of Birkin's ummm, whisperings. It was subsequently banned by the BBC, journalists called it lewd, and the Vatican even issued a statement denouncing it. If you listen to it, it actually sounds tame by today's standards. It was first recorded by Gainsbourg and Ms. BB, but when they broke up, Ms. BB asked him not to release the song as a single. He instead recorded it with Birkin when they hooked up. Btw, this song inspired the Donna Summer hit...Love to love you baby. Yeah disco!


If only making love was all we ever did.

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