By Shereen Masoud-Jointe, Account Executive (Europe)
It’s the “universal language”— so yes, sometimes music may give us the (false) confidence that we can belt out a tune in an unknown tongue and get it at least almost right. When I was a kid, I was sure that I was being true to the Arabic lyrics of one of my favorite songs when I sang, “I swear I love you, you’re a donkey.” In actuality, the words were, “I swear, I love you with all my heart.” Go figure.
The newest playlist additions provide a lot of opportunities to embarrass ourselves, depending on our grasps of various languages.
82. He veux — Zaz
83. Donna — Joan Baez
84. 明日 (Tomorrow) — Ayaka Hirahara (available on YouTube)
85. Horurock — Myo
86. El Ron Zacapa — BohemianVoodoo
87. Saturn — Sleeping at Last
88. Most People Are Good — Luke Bryan
89. La Vie En Rose — Edith Piaf
Managing Director for HA APAC Caroline Hsu recalls her time as an overachieving college student, which coincided with her first (and presumably last) performance of a famous French song:
I first encountered this song when I was taking French in my university days in Seattle, Washington. Being the goody-two shoes that I was, I embarked on learning this song for extra credit. Speaking French was one thing, and singing was another. I don’t know what possessed me to think that I could do both at the same time. Regardless, I practiced, practiced and practiced.
By the time performance day came around, I was feeling pretty confident. However, the minute I stepped “on stage” to sing to the audience of one (aka my French teacher), my hands got clammy, my throat started closing up, and I started to feel faint. It was the longest two minutes of my life. After stumbling through the song, my French teacher felt sorry for me and did end up giving me the extra credit.
Needless to say, this song has been memorable to me ever since. My ears perk up every time I hear it in a store, mall, movie, etc., through the decades.
Since being in lockdown at home, I’ve especially enjoyed listening to this song with a cup of coffee or a glass of vino. It transports me back to a time when we could all still travel!
There have been many renditions of it throughout the years, including by Lisa Ono, Andrea Bocelli, and the most recent version by Lady Gaga — but Edith Piaf’s version is a true classic to me.
As always, you can follow along on our Spotify playlist.