Saturday, 2 May 2009

French Armenian singer Charles Aznavour says he wrote "the first song about homosexuality" - WOW!

Speaking to The New York Times, French Armenian singer Charles Aznavour says he wrote "the first song about homosexuality":

"Mr. Aznavour’s work might be described as a European bourgeois edifice resistant to outside influences. But within that structure no subject is off limits. Mr. Aznavour mentioned writing “the first song about homosexuality,” “Comme Ils Disent” (known here as “What Makes a Man a Man”). In the age of gay marriage, it may seem quaint but it is still affecting. All kinds of awful things happen to the couples in his psychological eviscerations of long-term relationships. Nasty games are played, lovers come and go, and eventually desire itself evaporates."

Below is a video of English version of the song, as well as lyrics.

My mum and I we live alone
A great apartment is our home
In Fairhome Towers
I have to keep me company
Two dogs, a cat, a parakeet
Some plants and flowers
I help my mother with the chores
I wash, she dries, I do the floors
We work together
I shop and cook and sow a bit
Though mum does too I must admit
I do it better
At night I work in a strange bar
Impersonating every star
I'm quite deceiving
The customers come in with doubt
And wonder what I'm all about
But leave believing
I do a very special show
Where I am nude from head to toe
After stripteasing
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

At 3 o'clock or so I meet
With friends to have a bite to eat
And conversation
We love to empty out our hearts
With every subject from the arts
To liberation
We love to pull apart someone
And spread some gossip just for fun
Or start a rumour
We let our hair down, so to speak
And mock ourselves with tongue-in-cheek
And inside humour
So many times we have to pay
For having fun and being gay
It's not amusing
There's always those that spoil our games
By finding fault and calling names
Always accusing
They draw attention to themselves
At the expense of someone else
It's so confusing
Yet they make fun of how I talk
And imitate the way I walk
Tell me if you can
What makes a man a man

My masquerade comes to an end
And I go home to bed again
Alone and friendless
I close my eyes, I think of him
I fantasise what might have been
My dreams are endless
We love each other but it seems
The love is only in my dreams
It's so one sided
But in this life I must confess
The search for love and hapiness
Is unrequited
I ask myself what I have got
Of what I am and what I'm not
What have I given
The answers come from those who make
The rules that some of us must break
Just to keep living
I know my life is not a crime
I'm just a victim of my time
I stand defenceless
Nobody has the right to be
The judge of what is right for me
Tell me if you can
What makes a man a man

*Thanks to A.W. for the link to NYT article.


nostalgic old git said...

always loved this song - first heard it in the 70's and bought the LP 'aznavour sings aznavour - vol. 2' on the strength of it. although it's quite a sad song, it reminds me of happier times in my teens (pre-aids days!) when life was more fun and less worrying than today.

artmika said...

Charles Aznavour rocks Royal Albert Hall in London and tells the audience the story of his gay themed song

artmika said...

Charles Aznavour's “Comme Ils Disent" feature in Divas show, Las Vegas