"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
"If I ever needed proof that the gods have an ironic sense of humour, this song was it!
It was the end of October '76, and I'd been very dramatically rushed to hospital with what turned out to be a burst appendix, with Peritonitis imminent! When I came round from the anesthetic, not only was I worried that I hadn't written the first 2 lyrics for Aznavour, I was also supposed to have been writing the title song for a film just in post-production. Roger Webb was going to be writing the music
So there I was, hardly able to get out of bed in my hospital room, when Roger came to see me............
" I know you've just had an operation", he said. "But we've got to get this song to the studio in 24 hours. Do you think you're up to writing it now? As in, literally, right here - and right now!?"
"Sure", I said. "As long as I don't have to move!" And that's what we did.......... me sitting on the bed, Roger on the chair, talking it through, coming up with ideas, gradually getting the shape of the song; and then I started to write it down, and Roger sang melody lines tome. Unfortunately, I was beginning to feel really lousy, and I was getting a lot of pain............ and suddenly the irony of the situation hit us both, and we started to laugh; then I started to cry - and then the doctors came in and told Roger he had to leave!
"No!", I protested. "He can't go yet! We have to finish this song!" "What is this song that's so important you'll even risk your health for it?" one of the doctors asked. And leaning over, he picked up the pages from where I'd put them next to me on the bed.......... and he started to read out loud
And that's when he started to laugh as well, and I was becoming hysterical with laughing and crying........... and I collapsed!
I don't remember much of the next few days; the last thing I did remember, however, was the sight of Roger grabbing the lyrics from the doctor's hands, and running out with them!"
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