a Cycle of Flower Songs (10 – Aznavour)

Flowers are not natural — they are imaginary, and that is why they feel so gratifyingly real.  They do not exist as such but they provide a well-tempered vocabulary of affections that grow between us and those we grandly love.  We see it in this simple tune which does not belong to any particular composer, arranger, lyricist, singer, or illustrator but to all of them, and to all lovers and friends, as its flower floats gently in ponds of peace and passion.

As I tell my “other self”:  Daskale, the natural peonies that flood the Arboretum every spring are justly famous but their beauty is short-lived.  The truly perennial peonies, the ones that always blossom and stay fresh, speak in verses and notes:  They are those that welcomed Artemis, Daphne, and me when we moved to town to start a new life, and those that bid you farewell when you left town, also to start a new life.

May 20, 2015

Petite fleur     (original version 1952, lyrics added in 1959)

J’ai caché
Mieux que partout ailleurs
Au jardin de mon cœur
Une petite fleur

Cette fleur
Plus jolie qu’un bouquet
Elle garde en secret
Tous mes rêves d’enfant
Et l’amour de mes parents
Et tous ces clairs matins
Faits d’heureux souvenirs lointains

Quand la vie
Par moment me trahit
Tu restes mon bonheur
Petite fleur

Sur mes vingt ans
Que je m’arrête un moment
Pour respirer
Ce parfum que j’ai tant aimé

Dans mon cœur
Tu fleuriras toujours
Au grand jardin d’amour
Petite fleur

Prends ce présent
Que j’ai toujours gardé
Même à vingt ans
Je ne l’avais jamais donné

N’aies pas peur
Cueillie au fond d’un cœur
Une petite fleur
Jamais ne meurt.

Little Flower

I have hidden
Better than anywhere else
In the garden of my heart
A little flower

This flower
Prettier than a bouquet
It secretly keeps
All my childish dreams
And the love of my parents
And all these clear mornings
Made of happy distant memories

When life
At times betrays me
You remain my happiness
Little flower

If I could
Recall my twenties for a moment
To breath
This perfume that I loved so much

In my heart
You will always bloom
In the grand garden of love
Little flower

Take this gift
That I always kept
Even when I was twenty
I have never given it away

Don’t be afraid
Plucked from the bottom of one’s heart
A little flower
Never dies

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