La bave du crapaud n’atteint pas la blanche colombe

French composer and conductor Michel Colombier was born on May 23, 1939. He was an incredibly diverse musician who was as fascinated by Gregorian chants as he was by jazz. He composed advertising jingles, music for modern dance and over 100 motion pictures.

Petula Clark introduced him to Herb Alpert, which led to an album entitled Wings, hailed as a fusion of rock and classical music, which was nominated for three Emmy’s.  His film scores were as diverse as How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Against All Odds, and Purple Rain. He worked with Charles Aznavour, Serge Gainsbourg, Barbara Streisand, and Quincy Jones. He died on November 14, 2004 at the age of 65 after a long battle with cancer.

Today’s proverb, la bave du crapaud n’atteint pas la blanche colombe (lah bahve due crapoe nahtehn pah lah blahnsh columb) means “the spit of the toad doesn’t reach the white dove.” It’s the equivalent of our expression “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” The word colombe means dove and a colombier is a dove keeper. I like the thought of his songs being like birds that he released for the world’s enjoyment.

Michel Colombier

About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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