Ah, the precious 20 years! Last Wednesday, in his televised speech, the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron said, I quote, that “It’s hard to be 20 in 2020”.
No one disputes it. Simply, one can wonder if being 20 years old is not hard all the time, in each generation. We remember that in 1932, Paul Nizan wrote, in his novel Aden Arabia : “I was twenty. I won’t let anyone say this is the best age in life.”
However, there is in our collective memory a kind of passion of the 20 years and Charles Aznavour expresses it well in Her youth, a song recorded in 1957 – he was 33, then, but he would later reveal that he had written this song years earlier, at 26.
In the second episode of These songs that make the news airing this weekend, you hear excerpts from:
Charles Aznavour, Her youth, 1957
Francis Lalanne, I’m twenty years old, 1979
Françoiz Breut, The life ahead, 2005
Jehan Jonas, It’s that you’re twenty years old, 1973
Charles Aznavour, It, 1955
Charles Aznavour, We never know, 1956
Charles Aznavour, Whenever I love 1964
Charles Aznavour, Yesterday again, 1964
Charles Aznavour, It was enough for you that I love you, 1964
Charles Aznavour, Bohemian, 1965
Charles Aznavour, The Palace of our chimeras, 1966
Charles Aznavour, What have we done when we were twenty ?, 2000
You can also follow the news of this column on Twitter.
Remember: during the summer of 2019, La Playlist de Françoise Hardy was a journey through the musical baggage of an author, composer and performer considered to be the arbiter of the elegance of pop in France.
In July and August 2017, we spent Un été en Souchon, during which Alain Souchon guided us on a tasty walk through a lifetime of love for song.
All summer 2016, in the company of Vincent Delerm, we wandered around in The love song playlist, truant exploration of popular heritage. You can also extend the delicacies of this summer column with the Lover’s Dictionary of French Song, co-published by Plon and franceinfo.