I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

France Gall/Mieko Hirota/Eiko Matsumoto -- Yume Miru Chanson Ningyo(夢見るシャンソン人形)

After writing the article for one of the more inspired choices for an anime ending theme, a cover of the late France Gall's "Le temps de la rentrée" for "Hisone to Masotan"(ひそねとまそたん), a commenter remarked that there was another song by Gall that had also made some traction in Japanese pop culture back in the day.

On hearing "Poupée de cire, poupée de son" (Wax Doll, Rag Doll), originally released in 1965, I realized that I had heard this back in Japan a number of times through TV commercials. The Japanese really love their yé-yé tunes. Writer and composer Serge Gainsbourg created the song and there is a detailed analysis of it on Wikipedia. In fact, music journalist Sylvie Simmons through her book "Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful of Gitanes" gave an interesting quotation here from Wiki:

(She) wrote that the song is about "the ironies and incongruities inherent in baby pop"—that "the songs young people turn to for help in their first attempts at discovering what life and love are about are sung by people too young and inexperienced themselves to be of much assistance, and condemned by their celebrity to be unlikely to soon find out."

I kinda wonder what Simmons would think of Japanese aidoru then. Moving on...

Perhaps within a smattering of months following the release of Gall's original, a Japanese cover was recorded in August of that year by Mieko Hirota(弘田三枝子). The title in Japanese is "Yume Miru Chanson Ningyo" (Dreaming Chanson Doll) with lyrics by Tokiko Iwatani(岩谷時子). There is quite a brassier edge to the arrangement.

An extensive list on the Japanese article for the song exists with all of the singers who have covered "Yume Miru Chanson Ningyo". This includes Eiko Matsumoto(松本英子)who did her version as a coupling song for her January 2003 single "Kotoshi no Fuyu"(今年の冬...This Winter). Nice boogie-woogie arrangement.

Although her name is not on that list, I found Hitomi Ishikawa's(石川ひとみ)gentler and folkier cover particularly nice as well. Not sure when she recorded her version.

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