A Yiddishe Mame by Charles Aznavour
A Yiddishe Mame (My Yiddishe Mama)
My Yiddishe Mome
Charles Aznavour (Armenian: born Shahnourh Varinag Aznavourian, May 22, 1924) is an Armenian-French singer, songwriter, actor and public activist. Besides being one of France’s most popular and enduring singers, he is also one of the most well-known singers in the world. He is known for his characteristic short figure and unique tenor voice; clear and ringing in its upper reaches, with gravely and soulful low notes. He has appeared in more than 60 movies, composed about 1000 songs (including 150 in English, 100 in Italian, 70 in Spanish, and 50 in German), and sold well over 100 million records.
Aznavour was born in Paris, the son of Armenian immigrants Michael Aznavourian and Knar Bagdasarian[. His artistic parents introduced him to the world of theatre at an early age.
He began to perform when he was nine and soon took the stage name Aznavour. His big break came when the singer Édith Piaf heard him sing and arranged to take him with her on tour in France and to the United States.
Often described as the “Frank Sinatra of France”, Aznavour sings mostly about love. He has written musicals and about a thousand songs, made more than one hundred records, and appeared in sixty movies, including Shoot the Piano Player, The Tin Drum and Ararat. Aznavour sings in many languages (French, English, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, Armenian, Portuguese), which has helped him perform at Carnegie Hall and other major venues around the world. He also recorded at least one song from the 18th century poet Sayat Nova, in Armenian. Que C’est Triste Venise, sung in French, Italian (Com’è Triste Venezia), Spanish (Venecia Sin Ti), English (How Sad Venice Can Be), and German (Venedig im Grau), is one of Aznavour’s most famous polylingual songs.
Since the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, Aznavour has been helping the country through his charity, Aznavour for Armenia. Together with his brother in-law and co-author Georges Garvarentz he writes the song “Pour toi Armenie”, which topped the charts for 13 weeks. There is a square named after him in central Yerevan on Abovian Street. In 1995 Charles Aznavour was appointed an Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Armenia to UNESCO. Aznavour is a member of the Armenia Fund International Board of Trustees. The organization has rendered more than $150 million in humanitarian aid and infrastructure development assistance to Armenia since 1992. Charles Aznavour was appointed as “Officier” (Officer) of the Légion d’honneur in 1997.
In 1998, Charles Aznavour was chosen as Entertainer of the Century by CNN and users of Time Online from around the globe. Aznavour was recognized as the century’s outstanding performer, with nearly 18% of the total vote, edging out Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. After Frank Sinatra’s death, Charles Aznavour is the last of these “Greats”.
Artists who have covered his songs range from Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby to Ray Charles and Liza Minnelli. Aznavour finished a tour of Portugal in February 2008.
Throughout the spring of 2008, Aznavour will tour South America, holding a multitude of concerts in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay.
La Yiddishe mama
Tendre force de la nature
La iddishe mamma
C`est de l`amour à l`état pur
Prête pour ses enfants
A faire bien des sacrifices
Veillant, bon an, mal an
Sur leurs chagrins, sur leurs caprices
Forte face aux drames
Mais Três faible avec ses petits
Dan l`eau ou les flammes
Pour eux elle jouerait sa vie
Ah mon dieu, qu`aurais-je fait de bien, dis-moi
Sans la chaleur, sans la forte foi en moi
Sans l`amour de ma yiddishe mamma