In this week’s podcast episode of The Earful Tower, I recommended listening to Charles Aznavour if you want to improve your French.
But who is Charles Aznavour?
He’s an Armenian/French singer who released 1,200 songs in nine languages. He’s one of the best-selling artists of all time, was “discovered” by Edith Piaf, and when Bob Dylan saw him live in London in the sixties, Dylan said “he just blew my brains out”.
When Aznavour died in 2018, he was honoured with a state funeral at Les Invalides in Paris, and President Macron said was “one of France’s faces”. He added that Aznavour “made our life sweeter, our tears less bitter”. His coffin was carried away to perhaps my favourite song of all, Emmenez-Moi, sung by the military choir. Watch the clip below but beware: It’s quite a sad and moving moment.
Back to the podcast episode. While offering 13 tricks to speaking better French, I suggested people quote from the Aznavour song For Me Formidable (which is half in English, half in French, and full of wordplay).
Then someone emailed and asked: What are some other good Aznavour songs?
Well never fear, I made a Spotify playlist with my favourite ten songs from the great man. All of these songs have a particularly special meaning for me, and you’ve very likely to find them as background music on my Instagram stories. (Hope you’re following)
Take a listen, and let me know what I missed in the comments below.
The List: Ten Great Aznavour Songs
Lastly, for Patreon members, this week we released a special list of our favourite French songs. Unlock it, and 238 other members-only posts, by signing up here.
Here’s the podcast episode, btw. Please hit follow!
PS: While I’m a huge fan of Aznavour, I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person. I would have loved to have interviewed him for the podcast, but the closest I ever got was his wax statue at the Musée Grévin (below)!