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    Le Temps de Cerises Various Artists French & English Subtitles

    Thelma Thelma Blitz

    by Thelma Thelma Blitz

    Le Temps des Cerises" is one of the most widely covered and long-living songs in the French language, yet it seems not to have been heard by the English speaking world . It began as simple, sentimental love song, words written in 1866 by Jean Baptiste-Clement, then was set to music in 1868 by Antoine Renard. In spring of 1871 it took on a whole new meaning: between March 18 and May 28 of that year, the Paris Commune emerged, a rare moment in history when the workers governed themselves in their own interests. Songwriter Clement was revolutionary, even fought in the Commune's final battle during the "Semaine Sanglante" (Bloody Week). Clement dedicated the song to heroic ambulance nurse, Louise Michel, also known as "the red virgin of Montmartre." It was then that the red of cherries came to symbolize the blood that was shed and red drapes of communism or socialism, "les belles" could be heard as "balles," canon balls, of course, to be avoided. Love itself would be redefined as revolutionary love for people, love of freedom, equality and fraternity. In this video I have included a number of artists starting from the 1930's with Jean Lumière. Other artists in order of appearance after Lumière: Deljehier, Colettte Rénard, Ariane Ravier, Yves Montand, Gina Fumaillon, Joan Baez , Zizi Jeanmarie, Bobbejean Schoepen & Geike Arnaert, Charles Trenet, and last, in 2008,140 years after the creation of the song, the hard rock band Noir Desir. Thanks to philipchek of YouTube and Paris for background info, history lessons, links and help with translation. Thanks to Marie Brown of Paris and New York for first singing this song to me.