Sunday, 6 April 2014

1969, Music: Peter Sarstedt, “Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?”

In February 1969 the single "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?" is released on the United Artists Records label. The song is written and performed by the British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Peter Sarstedt (born 10 December 1941) and produced by Ray Singer. It is a number-one hit in the UK Singles Chart for four weeks.

The song tells the story of a girl named Marie-Claire who grows up from the backstreets of Naples to become a member of the Paris jet set.

The lyrics contain a large number of references:
  • Marlene Dietrich: American-German actress and singer
  • Zizi Jeanmaire: French ballerina
  • Pierre Balmain: French fashion designer
  • Boulevard Saint-Michel: street in the Latin Quarter of Paris
  • The Rolling Stones: British band
  • Sacha Distel: French singer
  • Sorbonne: University of Paris
  • Picasso: Spanish modern artist
  • Juan-les-Pins: beach resort on the French Riviera
  • Saint Moritz: ski resort in the Swiss Alps
  • Napoleon brandy: French brandy (Cognac)
  • Aga Khan: Islamic leader and racehorse owner
Peter Sarstedt
Peter Sarstedt
Peter Sarstedt wrote the song about a girl he fell madly in love with in Vienna in 1965. She later died in a hotel fire.

You talk like Marlene Deitrich,
And you dance like Zi Zi Jean Maire.
Your clothes are all made by Balmain,
And there's diamonds and pearls in your hair, yes there are.
You live in a fancy apartment,
On the Boulevard Saint Michel,
Where you keep your Rolling Stones records,
And a friend of Sacha Distel, yes you do.

But where do you go to, my lovely,
When you're alone in your bed?
Tell me the thoughts that surround you,
I want to look inside your head, yes I do.

I've seen all your qualifications,
You got from the Sorbonne,
And the painting you stole from Picasso,
Your loveliness goes on and on, yes it does.

When you go on your summer vacation,
You go to Juan-les-Pins.
With your carefully designed topless swimsuit,
You get an even suntan, on your back, and on your legs.

And when the snow falls you're found in St. Moritz,
With the others of the jet set,
And you sip your Napoleon brandy,
But you never get your lips wet, no you don't.


Your name it is heard in high places,
You know the Aga Khan.
He sent you a racehorse for Christmas,
And you keep it just for fun, for a laugh, ha ha ha.

They say that when you get married,
It'll be to a millionaire,
But they don't realise where you came from,
And I wonder if they really care, or give a darn.


I remember the back streets of Naples,
Two children begging in rags,
Both touched with a burning ambition,
To shake off their lowly born tags, they tried.

So look into my face, Marie-Claire,
And remember just who you are.
Then go and forget me forever,
But I know you still bear the scars, deep inside, yes you do.

I know where you go to, my lovely,
When you're alone in your bed.
I know the thoughts that surround you,
'Cause I can look inside your head.

BBC, Top Of The Pops (1969)

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