My World Is Blue

“Blue, blue, my world is blue …” English lyrics to “L’Amour Est Bleu/Love is Blue”

These lyrics echoed through my head as I walked through my garden this weekend, surrounded by clouds of blue forget-me-nots, tall wands of Camassia quamash (a native wild hyacinth) and the shorter spires of English bluebells and purple Ajuga. The garden is in its bluest moment, in bright contrast to the golden leaves of Spireas and hostas and the fresh green foliage of the woods. My world is truly blue.

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Perhaps you remember the song “Love is Blue” written by Andre Popp  –  “the only number-one hit by a French artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 in America.” (Wikipedia)    Made famous as an easy listening instrumental hit by French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat in 1968, it was more recently featured in “The Blue and the Gray” episode of The Simpsons in February, 2011. The song was first introduced through the Eurovision Song Contest in 1967 where it placed fourth. Here is charming footage of Greek singer Vicky Leandros singing “L’Amour Est Bleu” in the original television program that launched the song.

As someone who is attentive to both color and the elements of nature, I find it fascinating that the original French lyrics written by Pierre Cour compare the pain and beauty of love to both colors (blue and grey) AND elements (water and wind) while the English version by Brian Blackburn focuses only on colors (blue, grey, red, green, and black).  Here are the original French lyrics with English translation and here are the English lyrics written by Blackburn.

In addition to the original French pop song and its instrumental version by Mauriat, it has been recorded in an instrumental rock version by Jeff Beck, and a soul version by the Dells. Here’s my favorite French version by Claudine Longet but the one that really knocks my musical socks off is the soul version by The Dells. They sang a medley of I Can Sing a Rainbow/Love is Blue that still gives me goosebumps for its power and passion – an incredible vocal group, The Dells take this song to a new level.

And finally, a video of Paul Mauriat (1925-2006) conducting his instrumental version of “Love is Blue.”

Blue, blue, my world is blue.

37 thoughts on “My World Is Blue

  1. Oh my gosh, what fabulous yard you have! It is a true sanctuary–ideal for contemplation. Love the slide show of the plants, with the contrasting colors and textures and moods. I can only imagine how fresh it smells ~

  2. Don’t you just love the Dell’s rainbow version! One of my favorites.

    I planted my small garden this weekend and thought of you. It is an orgasm of color. Reds, yellows, purples, blues, oranges, blush, salmon, and pinks with a couple of hybrids that are actually a pale purple with a yellow fringe. As I was putting in the last urn of purple and hot pink wave petunias, a cardinal perched on top of the lattace of the red Mandavillas and gave me a shout-out chirp as if to say, “welcome back, I’ve been waiting for this celebration–let’s boogy!”

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden and the “mini-music” education. It’s always such a joy!

  3. Beautiful garden – and I imagine the colors are ahead of schedule! Hopefully that means more time to enjoy them.

    Meanwhile, love the different version of the same song – a creative way to fit the images. Oh yes – a check mark for the Dells version as my fav.

    • Thanks, Frank! Yes, we are still a few weeks early for bloom, normally this post would be called “the blues of May!” I did have fun researching all the versions of the song, I knew of the Mauriat version of course but didn’t know the history of the sung version, nor the difference in lyrics. And the Dells! I remember this one and totally love it – when that solo voice comes in wailing “blue, blue, my world is blue” I flip out. I thought you might like it too 🙂

  4. Ah Madam, vous avez choissir cette chansons a propos! My French is terrbile. This song brought back..childhood memories. I learned to sing it when I learning to speak French in public school. Learning French is a requirement for a few years in Canada.

    By sheer coincidence, my partner will be flying out to France tomorrow to do some cycling. In Provence area. I just emailed him the clip to play at the airport… 😀

    • Jean, I even understood your French comment! (2 years of high school French) Oh, I’m so glad you liked the post. I still owe you a public thanks for the Versatile Award – I haven’t forgotten! It is good to hear from you. Cycling in Provence – sounds heavenly!

      • Alas, I have to work. He took early retirement. But we were in France in 2010 for 2 days by cycling 100 kms. from southern Germany to Strausborg. They have their French version of sauerkraut, while the cuisine in Karlsruhe, Freiburg area has more delicate, refined pastries with French influence. My partner comes from that part of Germany and his mother really did have pastry chef skills: I tasted alot of her elecgant tortes, etc.

        Ah, I had take French twice at university in order to get my English literature degree: it was a requirement to take a foreign language. So learning French..several times over in a lifetime. And forgetting lots of it. I also recognized Leandros’ Les Fleurs de Temps song also. I tend to associate that tune with more of drinking, folk song…and didn’t know the title until tonight. Thanks for leading me there …eventually. 🙂

  5. Lovely garden. I remember the hit record of “love is blue” but can’t remember who it was by, I suppose it must have been Paul Mauriat. Lovely tune, as was the song “I can sing a rainbow”; probably the version of the latter I liked the most, also from the 60s, was sung by Cilla Black.

    • Thanks for commenting, Christov. Mauriat had the big hit in the 60’s; it is always the one I think of first. I forgot about Cilla Black; she did have a big hit with “I Can Sing Rainbow” but I always think of her as singing “Alfie.” Thanks for reminding me of her!

  6. Its wonderful to see your garden in it’s spring mode. I looked through your recent posts while listening to Trees of Righteousness once again. Very good combination for an early morning browse 🙂 I have not idea where you find the time to teach, compose, garden AND blog. Maybe you don’t need to sleep.

    • Glad you enjoyed the morning browse, Ehpem! I try to stagger my time; most of the composing and gardening takes place in the summer when I’m not teaching. Blogging is new for me, but as long as I keep it to one post a week, I seem to be able to keep up. This is actually the hardest part of the year, when I’m busiest at school but the garden is calling my name 🙂

      • I’m imagining you as super organised – and I like the way you have organised things – being able to be a musician and gardener, and make a living that leaves room for the others. I say this as the parent of an emerging musician who would go hungry without the retail job and is seeking a balance betwen earning a living and performing/creating.

        Another week or so, and school will be over!

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