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The little stories behind the songs
Hello, it’s Olivier. Welcome to Paris Chanson’s weekly podcast “The little stories behind the songs” where you can learn a bit more about your favorite songs.
Today, “J’ai deux amours”. This is a song created in 1930 by Joséphine Baker. The lyrics are from Géo Koger and Henri Varna and the music from Vincent Scottto.
“J’ai deux amours” is an unforgettable song, forever linked to Joséphine, the first world-famous black entertainer ever. It is obviously an absolute classic and it talks about the foreign status of Baker in France and the unconditional love she has for a new hometown: Paris. She sang it for the first time during the show “Paris qui remue” at the Casino de Paris and it became an instant success.
Joséphine Baker was indeed in love with Paris, and proved it many times. With this song but as well by becoming a French citizen in 1937 and also by helping the Resistance a lot during World War 2.
After the war, she distanced herself from the USA even further and slightly changed the lyrics of her song to: “I have 2 loves, my country IS Paris”.
Later, she said: “One day, I realised that I was living in a country where I was afraid to be black. I was like suffocating there and then felt completely free in Paris.
“J’ai deux amours” is a wonderful song, sang by an amazing woman, a woman with convictions, a woman who tried to help others throughout her life. And if I may, I’d say that we also have 2 loves at Paris Chanson: Joséphine and… Paris.