David Herman

Israeli writes Paris July 14 song tribute

On the eve of French Independence Day, July 14, I would like to tell you about a beautiful song tribute to Paris written believe it or not by an Israeli Jerusalem singer-songwriter of Anglo-British extraction named David Ben Reuven. How did he come to write one of the finest song tributes to Paris and French culture ever conceived and composed by an Israeli as if he personally lived, sang and loved Paris even though, truth be told, he had actually only set foot once in Paris in all of his 70 odd years on earth.

And how did he come to speak and write such quasi-perfect French and produce a song which the great Aznavour himself would have been proud of? Well, back then in the last century, when Ben Reuven was barely barmitzvah in his observant Jewish family in London, his beloved parents had the bright idea to launch him on a diplomatic career by mastering a language other than his native English tongue and so they sent him to study at the French-speaking Lycee Francais de Londres (today called Lycee Charles de Gaulle) an outstanding French school in London where the young would-be diplomat gained a mastery of English and French prior to his winning a scholarship to Cambridge University where he majored in Modern Languages – French and Spanish which explains how he came to write this song as well as several songs in Spanish. Sad to say, this fine song, has never received the media attention it deserves or has ever been broadcast on the radio so I in any case wish all French people a very happy, peaceful and prosperous and peaceful 14 Juillet from Jerusalem.
French chanson, French song, is something else, and it ruled my youthful years, in particular the unforgettable La Mer by Charles Trenet, Yves Montand, Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour to name but a few of the French giants who dominated the airwaves of my youth with their hauntingly magnificent songs and singing and which so influenced my own musical development and creativity. A pity that I have just this one song in French to date to show for all their magical inspiration.

Mes chers freres et soeurs en France et en Israel mes tres sinceres felicitations pour la fete du 14 Juillet et un grand remerciement pour tout ce que la France m’a donnee en langue, culture, inspiration musicale. Avec cette belle chanson je vous remercie tous!

Words, music and sung by David Ben Reuven

C’est une chanson de Paris
Que je chante jour et nuit,
C’est une chanson si jolie
C’est ma chanson de Paris.

Paris, Paris,
La reine des reves
Le jour commence
Le jour s’acheve,
Paris, Paris
Mon grand amour
Paris, je t’aimerai pour toujours..

C’est une chanson de Paris…

La Seine se promene
Au sein de Paris
Tout doucement
Sans faire de bruit,
Par dessus les toits
Elles m’appellent toujours
Les voix eternelles
De Piaf et d’Aznavour.

La,la,la, la….

C’est une chanson de Paris
Que je chante jour et nuit,
C’est une chanson si jolie
C’est ma chanson de Paris.

Copyright David Ben Reuven, Jerusalem 1989 and 2012

About the Author
London-born David Herman came on aliyah in 1966 after graduating from Cambridge University. In the 1960s, he founded the Good Times Publishing Company specializing in publishing newspapers in simplified English, French and Arabic for the Israeli school system. David currenty works as a translator, and is also very active in the field of songwriting and performing under the musical name, David Ben Reuven.