A city of my youth on my first unescorted travels where I honed my schoolboy French, and later refined it in an early romance.
A city of boulevards, grandes maisons with courtyards protected by elderly concierges, grand museums and art galleries, second hand book stalls along the left bank of the Seine, street cafés where lazy times could be passed over a coffee and croissant.
It’s all a long time ago now, but taste sensations remain, along with memories of meandering through Montmartre, of gazing at the gargoyles high up on Notre Dame, of visits to Versailles and other châteaux, and of pondering the exhibits in the newly opened to the world Pompidou Centre.
That was then. Cities the world over have grown: my own, London, would most likely be largely unfamiliar to me after a generation away. I’ve seen immense changes here in Jakarta, and I suspect that Paris would not match my nostalgia.
One factor all three cities have in common is that blinkered religious fanatics have killed civilians indiscriminately in bomb outrages. As one of my lapel badges once proclaimed, I’m an unashamed idealist, and have been ever since I became literate, able to think for myself and discovered that (my) words were more powerful than any sword.
My compilation of songs is by way of a tribute to the positivity on display in Paris, to share an empathy for those injured and bereaved, and a recognition of the righteous anger coupled with the refusal to be cowed by cowards.
01. Eartha Kitt – Under The Bridges Of Paris
02. Cleo Laine – April In Paris
03. Joni Mitchell – Free Man In Paris
04. Françoise Hardy – Tous Les Garçons et Les Filles
05. Kevin Ayres – Puis je?
06. Marianne Faithfull – Complainte de la Seine
07. Mark Isham – Paris la Nuit…Selavy
08. Jonathan Richman – Give Paris One More Chance
09. Ducks DeLuxe – Paris 9
10. Moondog – Paris