I can never stay away from France for long. The country calls to me. And today, it calls to me in the form of Léo Ferré — even if he isn’t technically French. He was a chanson singer who was very popular after World War II for several decades. Of course, he is hardly known in the United States. And I mean that in the sense that Jacques Brel is popular in the United States, even though almost no one I know has ever heard of him. (It’s always annoying to have to say, “He wrote ‘Seasons in the Sun.'”)
Whereas Brel was more of a storyteller, Ferré is more expressionistic. But it is difficult to nail him down. He produced a lot of music. Here is his song “Avec Le Temps” — which means “With Time.” It starts off, “With time, they go away, everything goes away.” And it ends with, “With time we don’t love any more.” But it isn’t bitter — just resigned, the way that we all are when we get into the later years of our life. I think it’s called wisdom.