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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.