Born Shahnour Vaghinag Aznavourian in 1924, Aznavour was the son of two Armenian immigrants who arrived in France after fleeing the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. At the peak of his career, the press would call him “a French pop deity”, and as recently as 1998 CNN would name him “Entertainer of the Century.” His crisp voice and nostalgic lyrics make him perfect for those evenings when all you want is to be left alone. These are five of his most iconic songs that you should listen. So, get those tissues out, decompress and, why not, allow yourself to be vulnerable and cry in the dark.
A love song for the ages, full of unrequited love, passion, and longing…
“She may be the reason I survive
The why and where for I’m alive
The one I’ll care for through the rough
And rainy years
Me I’ll take her laughter and her tears
And make them all my souvenirs
For where she goes I got to be
The meaning of my life is
2) What Makes A Man
Controversial at the time, this song tells the story of a gay man, his complicated relationship with his mother, and his life at the clubs of the Parisian scene, impersonating the female stars of the time.
“I do a very special show
Where I am nude from head to toe
Each night the men look so surprised
I change my sex before their eyes
Tell me if you can
What makes a man a man.”
3) Sur Ma Vie
The 1955 hit that would take him to the top of the charts in France is all about never ending love and betrayal.
“Over my life
I swore that my heart
would never beat
for another heart.
And everything is lost,
and it won’t beat again
but it cries now/ over my broken heart.”
4) How Sad Venice Can Be
This song, which he recorded in five different languages, will take you to the melancholic canals of the Italian City and make you long for that love we all have lost.
“How sad Venice can be,
it’s too lonely to bare,
when you have lost the love
that you discovered there”.
5) Apres l’amour
Although he was most famous for his songs about forbidden and lost love, he also sang a few racy and blush-inducing verses. After Love was banned in a few countries, including France, for it’s graphic depiction of post-sex bliss.
when our bodies relax,
when we are out of breath
we remain laying down
you and me, naked
happy, in silence.”
Here are some other posts you should check out:
20 Songs That Show Why Country Music Is The Best To Get Over Heartbreak
Why My Sad Music Playlist Helped Me Move On After You Broke My Heart
The Way Caetano Loves: 10 Love Songs For a Perfect Date