Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Anjan Dutta, Peter Sarstedt and An Old Romantic Song (in two languages!)

The pleasure of listening to an old song is unparalleled. When the song is re-created in another language as sweet as Bengali, the pleasure is redoubled.  

This song by Peter Sarstedt, a Delhi born Anglo-Indian singer is called 'Where do you go to my lovely?'  It is about a girl, Marie-Claire who lives in Paris and reaches the upper echelons of society. Apparently Marie-Claire is modeled on Sophia Loren who was abandoned by her father and grew up in 'the backstreets of Naples'. However some other versions suggest that the lady in question was a girl that Sarstedt fell for in Vienna in 1965 who died in a hotel fire.  The version uploaded below is with the lyrics. For a video of the song, scroll down to the bottom of the page. 

Anjan Dutta is one of my favourite contemporary Bengali singers. His songs appeal to me probably because I identify myself with the places, people and sentiments that he croons about. His song 'Mala' is a not an exact translation of the song 'Where do you go to my lovely?', but a sort of recreation in Bengali with a similar theme. What really appeals is the way he has used the Kolkata setting, flavours and emotions to bring alive the song in exactly the same way (some say better) as Sarstedt did in the French landscape.

 For those who would like to see the actual video of Peter Sarstedt, here it is. 

Enjoy the songs folks! And do send in your views on these songs. 


  1. Nice stuff.. I might grab this song on my pod :)

  2. Anytime brother...nice of you to appreciate this post.

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