French Debutants

Convenor:   Barbara Phillips   Phone: 01633 763884

Meetings:   Wednesdays, 2.15 - 3.45
Text book:   Façon de Parler I (4th Edition)

Les Debutants

Once again, Les Debs have surprised me! They shouldn't have, as we have been together for quite a few years now, and I really should know better by now.

We were studying a bit of French culture, in fact a biography of Charles Aznavour, which led on to his friendship with Edith Piaf, and the help she had given him over the years. Of course we then went on to listen to some music, including Piaf's "Milord". You probably remember it, here's the beginning:

Allez, venez, Milord
Vous asseoir à ma table
Il fait si froid, dehors
Ici c'est confortable.

Laissez-vous faire, Milord
Et prenez bien vos aises
Vos peines sur mon cœur
Et vos pieds sur une chaise
Je vous connais, Milord
Vous n'm'avez jamais vue
Je ne suis qu'une fille du port
Qu'une ombre de la rue...
Pourtant j'vous ai frôlé
Quand vous passiez hier
Vous n'étiez pas peu fier
Dame! Le ciel vous comblait
Come along, Milord
Sit at my table;
It is so cold, outside,
Here it's comfortable.

Relax, Milord
And make yourself at ease,
Put your troubles on my heart
And your feet on a chair
I know you, Milord,
You've never seen me,
I'm just a girl from the docks,
Just a shadow of the street...
Yet, I brushed past you,
While you were passing yesterday,
You were so proud,
Heck! Heaven made you perfect

Thanks to Google for the words and translation, (although we did a better job in class!)

I asked the group to come up with a background story, in French, naturally. Who was the Milord, who the girl he was with last night, why did they part, etc. There were nine in the group that day, and they came up with ten different versions. (Having heard the first couple, one group member declared his/hers to be not good enough and wanted to do it again.) Some named the people involved, some said they were brother and sister, he was seeing her off on a cruise to get her away from the son of the landlord, another that her family were separating them (put your own interpretation on that) all sorts of brilliant ideas. They really had a good go at it.

The range of ideas was wide, but the winner was the suggestion that she was a soulless flirt called Estelle, with diamond-hard eyes as cold as her heart, and she was running away to become queen of the pirates.

I want to say a big thank-you to the Debutants for their enthusiasm, and the joy they give me every Wednesday afternoon. If you would like to join us, all you need is a sense of humour and the basics of French; we will make you very welcome.

Missing from the photo are: Alison, Angela, Paula and of course me, as I took the photo.

Barbara Phillips
May 2016

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