by Ami Heller
One song. Four artists. Two languages. One listener. Four thoughts.
Jacques Brel – Ne me quitte pas
The original. The ultimate Chanson. With a capital C. Sung with all the pathos and melodrama in the world. Makes me want to plant myself in Saint Germain, Paris. A cafe. People watching. Romance at its best.
Nina Simone – Ne me quitte pas
No one but the Queen of Everything Music could present this with almost as much conviction as the originator Brel. And with a somewhat flawed, but oh-so endearing French accent too. There is intense passion no matter what. And she feels. So I feel.
Faudel – Ne Me Quitte Pas
Hey it’s not a ballad anymore. Add drums. A beat. Some Arabic. A mandolin. Sounds middle eastern. Reminds me of a television show in Israel. Of home. Also would love to hear this as the soundtrack to a night at a pub with friends and beer.
Shlomi Shaban – Don’t Go Now (Al Telchi Achshav)
In my mother tongue. Something simple and close to heart. A gifted pianist. A remarkable musician all around. An intelligent translation, I assure. A sophisticated delivery of lyrics. A fine balance between singing and masterful piano playing. You don’t have to speak Hebrew to get this. I don’t know French.