Monday’s Music Moves Me: European Favorites

So the theme for today is “European Favorites,” and as always, when faced with a prompt like this, a lot of what I choose to feature here depends on my interpretation of the prompt. Here’s how I’m interpreting it: Songs by European artists that are favorites of mine. And, just to make things interesting, I’m not including artists from the United Kingdom or Ireland. Here goes:

  1. Edith Piaf, “La Vie En Rose” The classic from Ms. Piaf, this was recorded in 1956.
  2. Gipsy Kings, “Volare” The Gipsy Kings are gitanos, Berber-Moroccan and Spanish Gypsies who fled Catalonia to France during the Spanish Civil War. From their 1989 album Mosaique.
  3. ABBA, “Waterloo” Sweden’s ABBA won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with this entry. It was their first international hit.
  4. Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” I chose one of the shorter versions of this; the full song is over twenty minutes. As the name might imply, Kraftwerk is German.
  5. Django Reinhardt, “Echoes of France” Django is a Belgian Gypsy, a Manouche. This is from 1946, after the liberation of France. The song is based on “La Marseillaise“, the French National Anthem.
  6. Horst Jankowski, “A Walk In The Black Forest” Classically-trained German pianist Jankowski is best known for light pieces like this one.
  7. Mocedades, “Eres Tu” Another Eurovision contestant, this was Spain’s entry in the 1973 contest, but didn’t win. Nonetheless, it was an international hit, and Amaya Uranga’s voice is lovely.
  8. Bent Fabric, “Alley Cat” Bent Fabricius-Bjerre was born in Denmark in 1924. This was a hot single in 1962.
  9. The Singing Nun, “Dominique” Belgian Jeanne Deckers, who took the name Souer Sourire as a Dominican nun, had a big hit with this in the Sixties, and was played by Debbie Reynolds in the 1966 movie. Every Catholic household had a copy of the album when it came out, it seemed.
  10. Nena, “99 Luftballons” Title track from their 1983 album, it’s a German-language antiwar protest song.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 17, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

27 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: European Favorites”

  1. Love these songs and so nice that you mentioned the nun who sang Dominique. I would also add the Third Man Theme or the Harry Lime Theme whichever title you wish to use…it was a big hit. ABBA is great and would add Fernando, Dancing Queen, SOS, and so many more from them. I might add also Lily Marlene.

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    1. There used to ba a great video of Anton Karas playing “The Third Man” theme. The zither is an interesting instrument, kind of like a harp guitar but much smaller. It had been taken down the last time I looked, though…

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  2. John,

    I like that you shared the native language of your many of your mewsic selections. Abba was always such fun to dance to back in the 70s and 80s. How sad that they broke up! Some of your song choices I haven’t heard before now but most I was introduced to while researching my own mewsic picks and while dancing with others. Thanks for hitting the dance floor with the 4M gals! Have a songtastic week!

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  3. I don’t know if they were released near each other, but I always associate Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” and Mike Olfield (sp?) “Tubular Bells” – two odd bits in my music collection that I don’t mind the ex-wife having taken.

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  4. Hi John,
    You have a fabulous collection of European classics! I loved seeing the Abba video that was a contest entry. I loved their little twirl at the end of the song! Abba has such great sound.
    LOVE Alley Cat! Had no idea it was a Danish song. And Kraftwerk’s Autobahn brings back lots of memories from when it first came out in the early 70s.
    I was familiar with 99 Luftballoons, but the English version, not the German version.
    “Eres Tu” is a beautiful song. That’s new to me, as is the others that I didn’t mention.
    Thanks for a delightful stroll through Europe this morning… (I wish I had known that the theme had changed because I bet it was fun putting a European focus post together…At least I’m getting to experience it through all the other 4M participants. I did the theme that was originally scheduled for today: Songs with Names — and of the ones I picked, there are just a few that fall into the European category; well, kinda, if you include Britain… 🙂 )

    Have a great week John.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Surprising you hadn’t heard “Eres Tu”. At least in Chicago it was quite popular.

      I had done a post a few years ago that was “hit songs in the US that were done in a language other than English” and was able to use some of them. I come up with these crazy ideas, like songs with a specific color or word in the title, and use them as ways to get to sleep. Then I have to try and recreate the list in the morning…

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  5. My favourite ‘boy band’ of the 80s was a-ha, from Norway. I think they were a one-hit wonder in the US, but had many hits in the UK.
    The English-language version of Nena’s hit – 99 Red Balloons – was another song I still love.

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    1. I looked at a-ha’s discography, and you’re right, they had quite a list of Top Tens in the UK, and really all the world. The US market is so crowded, sometimes good bands go unnoticed, and then there are some artists who dominate the airwaves at the expense of everyone else. Canada has, or at least had, a law where a certain percentage of the broadcast day had to be spent promoting Canadian artists and programming. Sounds kind of silly until you realize that acts from the US are so heavily promoted worldwide, they dominate the charts, and you have situations like the Eurovision Song Contest, where everything sounds like American pop, because everyone wants to catch on in the US. At the same time, you have Americans who are interested in music from around the world that doesn’t sound like it came from here. I had hoped that I could have located surveys from the UK, France, Germany, etc., but I didn’t find them. No doubt part of that is I don’t know where to look to find them, but another is a language barrier, and probably half the songs are from American acts…

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      1. it’s interesting that Canada did that – I can understand why. The UK has always had a large musical presence, so we’re pretty safe when it comes to the legacy (the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bowie, Queen… so many!)

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        1. Heaven knows we had plenty of music from British acts in the Sixties. During the “British Invasion,” we had a band in Chicago called The Buckinghams that chose that name so people would think they were British. 😉

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  6. You’ve taught me today. I, also, had no idea that Alley Cat was a Danish song (Bent Fabric – I didn’t even know that). We danced this so many times. ABBA – I could kick myself that I didn’t feature any of their songs, but I’ll be sure to if there is ever a similar theme.

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    1. Until I looked up Bent, I had no idea he was Danish, either. We had his “Alley Cat” LP and it was all delightful. He and Acker Bilk did an album together that I want to hear.

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  7. John, I think you have the best Post of the day! The first tune I remember from an old movie my mom use to watch! Today my daughter put a short video of my mom playing her organ on FB, so I think that’s kind of a way of my Mom saying hello from heaven…. don’t you? Thank you so very much. Also, I’d like to apologize for the confusion regarding the theme change. I didn’t think so many would get so angry & upset … our music is played for fun and to make one happy not upset. So please except my apology and I promise it shall not happen again. I’ve ran this meme for seven years & never once did anyone ever get upset for something that I’ve done or any one of my conductors have done. Everyone has always had tons of fun. I’d say that’s a pretty good record, don’t you? When you joined us I knew you’d be an asset to our players with your vast knowledge of music. I’ve learned so much from you. Have a good evening! BIG HUGS

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    1. Marie, seriously, it didn’t bother me. I’ve just learned to check the theme before I put a good deal of work into it, but stuff happens, I understand. At this point, if I have to build a new playlist, the old one doesn’t go to waste: I either use it on Friday or the following Monday, which is typically a freebie. Besides, I’ve built so many playlists, I’ve got it down to a science. I think Michele was caught by surprise, because she put a ton of work into her playlist for names, like she puts a ton of work into all her music posts (a couple of years ago, her theme for the A to Z Challenge was music, and she must have put hours into each entry). It was quite good, wasn’t it?

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    1. The whole album is interesting, and she had a sweet voice. Fortunately it came with a song sheet that showed the lyrics in English as well as French. “Dominique” is a song about St. Dominic, the founder of her order.

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