Cote Violon, Cote Banjo

Joe Dassin and kitten

Joe Dassin and kitten


I really admire the genius of Serge Gainsbourg and in will most certainly be the topic of one of my future post. Jacques Brel was a tragic figure and amazing performer. But my all time favorite, the songs I want to hear when I am feeling blue are Joe Dassin’s songs. For many reasons. I used to listen to them again and again when I was a child and those were happy moments in a mist of not so happy ones. I was in love with him when I was between 6 and 8.
Joe Dassin et maryse massiera

Joe Dassin et maryse massiera

He was charming and had great hair. Him and his wife Maryse Massiera were friends of my parents . I remember him sticking up to me when my father was forbidding me to eat a piece of candy. I remember their many persian cats.
Joe Dassin and Maryse Massiera with their persans

Joe Dassin and Maryse Massiera with their persans


After all these years I think that Joe Dassin was a role model to me. His father the famous movie director Jules Dassin decided to move from New York to Paris to escape Mc Carthyism when he was a child. Joe stayed in France but always kept a strong connection to the US. He sang a lot of adaptations of American pop songs in French. Two songs made a big impression on me. “L’Amerique”. “Mes Amis je dois m’en aller, je n’ai plus qu’a jeter mes cles, car elle m’attend depuis que je suis ne, l’Amerique”. “Friends I have to leave, I’ll just throw my keys because she has been waiting for me since I was born, America.” See the similarities :). And my favorite song of all time is Cote Violon, Cote Banjo. This one is struggling to figure out what he loves best France or the US. I just love the banjo on the song and the lyrics. Here it is in a duet with Annie Cordy (lovely lady with whom I played kazoo on the Olympia scene).

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