On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Henri Salvador – Dans mon île (1958)
We’re taking a rare break from the US today and making our way south across the Atlantic to French Guiana in South America. Our artist today was both a comedian as well as a singer. His name is Henri Salvador and he began his musical career by playing guitar for other singers before taking up vocals himself. For this list, the chosen song from his catalogue is Dans mon île which translates as In My Island.
As you may have guessed by now, my limited grasp of other languages meant I had to seek out a translation for this particular song. Dans mon île sees Salvador singing about an island paradise, a magical place he shares with one other person. They don’t do a great deal there other than enjoy each other’s company. There is mention of sunbathing, warm embraces beneath palm trees and Salvador talks of the Adam and Eve game. Make of that what you will. It sounds like Salvador never wants this love on a distant island to ever end.
This one is a piece of history from what I have read. Apparently the song found its way into Brazil and proved influential in helping Antonio Carlo Jobim develop the bossanova style of Brazilian music. Not a bad legacy. As for the song itself, Dans mon île is a pleasant and idyllic number, the sort of romance many of us would like to partake of from time to time, I’m sure.
Favourite songs so far:
Elmore James – Dust My Broom (1952)
Little Richard – Tutti Frutti (1955)
Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill (1956)
Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line (1956)
The Louvin Brothers – The Knoxville Girl (1956)
Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (1958)
Cliff Richard & The Drifters – Move It (1958)
Ritchie Valens – La Bamba (1958)
Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues (1958)