[Photo] Monique

Paris Lite - The Songs

Gerard (words & music: Monique & Jones)

Ever felt angry about injustice? I opened the London Times one day and read a news item about Paris. Gerard Depardieu had been too busy to learn the lines of a new play he was booked to appear in. He didn’t have time to remember his stage moves either. His solution? A tiny speaker in each ear, one to tell him what to say next and the other tell him what to do.

I thought, that’s brilliant. Like newsreaders who can listen and speak at the same time. Was he congratulated? Was he hell! He was pilloried. I was incensed.

Let’s hope he didn’t mean it when he announced his resignation a few months later. His restaurant is doing well though: see my links page

So I wrote this song to ride to his rescue. Read the full story behind the song: Gerard – the injustice.

Read an extract of the lyrics from 'Gerard'.

Paris Metro (words & music: Monique & Jones)

This song is a dig at Parisian political correctness, some time in the future.

Good time girl (words & music: Monique & Jones)

Ever walked down the Rue St Denis? When I studied in Paris the girls were there then. Now, it’s the same place but different girls. Maybe the men are the same, although perhaps they would be too old for it by now! Then again, maybe not.

And yet each of these girls started life as a fresh, innocent child. So how did they get there? Are they happy? We assume they are not happy, but who are we to judge. But if they are not happy, why didn’t they turn back?

So we wrote a jaunty tune for a goodtime girl in the rain. In the studio we asked Jerome to play a trumpet section, really plaintive, sad. Like the Salvation Army band on a cold, wet night.

Read an extract of the lyrics from 'Good time girl'.

He made Paris move for me (words & music: Monique & Jones)

Ever tried to get laid in Paris? Ernest Hemingway did a lot apparently, but I was too young. I read “For whom the Bell Tolls”. That expression “He made the earth move” (I know the book’s set in Spain, but I’m allowed some flights of fancy!) . He must have left progeny in Paris, so perhaps his spirit lived on, making Paris move for someone even now. Maybe me. Add my discovery of England’s Jake Thakery and a wonderful song called Isobelle Made Love Upon National Monuments. This song is the result. My favourite line is “He made Paris move for me, in the stalls of the Opera Bastille”. I was never sure if it was during the show.

Read an extract of the lyrics from 'He made Paris move for me'.

Companero (words & music: Natalie Luciani)

Anyone who has seen my shows over the last few years knows that I have a passion for Corsican music. No, I am not from Corsica. But their music is extraordinary. Gregorian chant, Celtic influences, Arabic microtones and lots of rhythm. I have included just one Corsican song on this album.

Le Grand Café (words & music: Monique & Jones)

If you walk down the Boulevard des Capucine you will know that this song is for real. This restaurant exists (see www.legrandcafe.com) It really is a palace, with beautiful décor and great service, it is open 24 hours a day and serves the most wonderful seafood.

Pissed on Pastis (words & music: Monique & Jones)

I am sure you have all drunk a little Pastis? In a Provencal café overlooking the village square, with the men playing boule under the plain trees? Idyllic. But, have you ever drunk too much Pastis? Ever woken up and thought “What did I do?” Maybe even “Who did I do it with?” My management would like to point out that no animals were maltreated in the recording of this song.

Read an extract of the lyrics from 'Pissed on Pastis'.

Espace non fumeur (words & music: Monique & Jones)

Ever tried to eat in a French restaurant? Ever tried to breathe air in a French restaurant? You can’t do both.If you ask for the obligatory “Espace non fumeur” you are lucky to get a table by the lavatory.

Perhaps the French need a little American political correctness. On the other hand, maybe not …

Read an extract of the lyrics from 'Espace non fumeur'.

Je vous en prie (words & music: Monique & Jones)

Ever tried to get served in a shop in France in the 15 minutes before lunchtime? Then this one is for you.

Read more about the story behind the song: “As rude as each other”.

Boum (words & music: Charles Trenet)

Boum done as a reggae?

Waltz in four (words & music: Monique & Jones)

A little knowledge of Ionesco and his plays of the absurd will be a good start for this song.

Fifteen years (words & music: Monique & Jones)

Ever wished you could kill your partner? Go on, admit it. Just once. Every one has. This is a serious song then.

J’ai ta main dans ma main (words & music : Charles Trenet)

A Trenet classic which we have arranged in a light swing to echo Django Reinhart.

A little fish and a little bird

(Un petit poisson, un petit oiseau) (Riviere & Bourgeois, English text: Monique & Jones)

This rather sweet song was a great hit for Juliette Gréco.