Are all the good ones going to split before 2017? What is it they know about the year to come? This morning brings the news that Pierre Barouh, the French singer, composer, lyricist & founder of Saravah Records (Saravah is an African word that means salvation, benediction) passed yesterday at 82 from a massive heart attack. In early November, in Paris, we sat at dinner with him & the whole gang assembled on Sunday nights by the writer & journalist extraordinaire Jean Cormier (who introduced Nicole to Pierre Barouh some 30 years ago). When Barouh got up to take his leave — slightly frail in his eighties, but laughter sparkling in his eyes as always — one of the company asked him to sing “Pierrot,” and without hesitation he turned around, back toward the table, coat on shoulder & burst out a capella, offering his song as a very moving good-night gesture, then disappeared into the night of Saint-Germain, ready to take off for Japan the next day. Which is why I am embedding that song rather than either of his two best known ones, “Un homme et une femme” — the song that made him & Lelouch’s movie by that title famous (& which he sings here with Nicole Croisille one of the best voices for his songs) —, or “La bicyclette,” which was a major success as sung by Yves Montand.
Mon cher Pierre, nous te souhaitons bon voyage & t’embrassons fort! — Pierre & Nicole