French singer and song writer Francis Cabrel was born on November 23, 2953. He is one of my favorite French musicians, and I think his best song is the award-winning “Je t’aimais, je t’aime, je t’aimerai” (sjuh temeh, sjuh tem, sjuh tem-er-ay), which means “I loved you, I love you, I will love you,” a song he wrote for his adopted daughter. I love its bluesy, folksy sound and it’s a great way to review verb tenses with my students.
Cabrel’s parents were a blue-collar worker and a cashier. He was expelled from high school for being a disciplinary problem and played guitar with a local band. Cabrel was inspired by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Leonard Cohen. He played covers of their music, which helped him learn English and be accepted by others instead of marginalized as a trouble-maker. Cabrel’s break-through came in a 1974 song contest, where he played an original song Petite Marie, inspired by his wife. He has used his celebrity status to raise money and awareness for charities, particularly those addressing juvenile AIDS and poverty. Cabrel has released 19 albums – live, studio, and compilation, each one increasingly engaged with society’s problems. Great singer, great guy.
- Je T’aime (jjbegonia.com)
- New Valentine’s Day Print from Denver’s Rafa Jenn: “Je T’Aime” (thedenveregotist.com)