"Every song I have translated is well translated, the one who works on the very difficult songs with me is Dee Shipman. I know her telephone number by heart, and her fax. It goes back and forth - 'No! I don't like this word!' And she comes back and says 'Because you don't understand English!' So I have to convince her and she has to convince me, and the rapport is fantastic."
- Charles Aznavour
"Charles and I had only just started working together. I’d written ‘Pretty Shitty Days’, and ‘Take Me Along’, and we’d been in the studios off Baker Street recording the album. At the end of that day, an August Bank Holiday, realising that Charles was alone in London, I asked him if he’d like to come back to my flat off Belgrave Square, and he accepted.
As soon as he walked in and saw the piano, he went and sat at it, and started playing. After a while he asked me if I had any lyrics “in the cobwebs”, in other words, that I’d written and put away, and not yet done anything with.
I had, of course! Doesn’t every writer?!
So I pulled out a lyric I’d called ‘Remember Brindisi’, (I’d always liked the sound of that word) I put it in front of Charles, he started singing, phrasing notes to lines………… and an hour later we had the song! I put a cassette on and he recorded it to take back with him.
And that was that. He asked me what I had in the fridge, we found some eggs, and tomatoes - and he cooked supper for us!
A few weeks later he called me………….
“Dee, have you ever been to Brindisi?”
”No, I haven’t. Have you?”
“No - but someone I know has. So I played him our song………. And he said “How can you write a love-song about Brindisi? It’s the arsehole of Italy!” I think you’d better change it, no?!”
And that’s how we came up with ‘Like Pieces Of Summer’!!
Incidentally, it was only a little while later, while telling his nephew, Patrick Shart, about it, that I discovered how unusual it was for Charles to write anything in that way…….. with the English lyric and the music being created together; until then, he’d always written a song in French and then had an English lyric written as an adaptation of his original……… "
Pieces Of Summer
Like a sigh that’s half-remembered
lyrics and all texts are copyright Dee Shipman and no unauthorised use
will be permitted