Le Hit Parade International

To welcome this lovely Friday and pending bank holiday weekend/half term holiday, I thought I might help you through the rain that has been pouring down all morning (in Harrogate at least) and if it’s sunny where you are, well whatever the weather, this post may just make your bank-holiday-weekend-eve that bit brighter.

So I have been meaning to put together an international song book/play list for ages inspired from travels to different countries – France, Spain, Belgium, Latin America…- but as you can imagine, to choose a “selection” of tunes is nigh on impossible…

But here I am, I close my eyes and think of a moment in time where a song made a difference. So here goes, in no particular order, I hope this Hit Parade International gets you in the mood for whatever you are up to this bank holiday weekend/half term holiday:

Ibrahim Ferrer – La música cubana

This song takes me back to the most amazing holiday in Cuba in 2003 – exploring Havana, hearing the sublime beat of Cuban music EVERYWHERE, classic American cars, mojitos, cigars, fantastic food, sunshine, dance and the most welcoming Cuban people you will ever meet in your life.

Jacques Brel- Les bonbons

Les bonbons by Jaques Brel is one of my absolute Brel favourites! So when me and the love of my life lived in Belgium we had the most amazing time – making friends from around the globe, sampling beer, good food, the most delicious chocolate and listening to song after song of this brilliant Belgian treasure. We loved this song so much so that we asked a very lovely and talented pianist to play it for my walking in music – and it worked so beautifully well and brings back the sweetest of memories.


Zaz duet with Nikki Yanofsky – I love Paris/J’aime Paris

I love the version of this song and it just reminds me of the unforgettable time I had living and working in Paris – taking in the sites, making friends for life and just loving everything French in this city of absolute grandeur.

Coeur de Pirate – Printemps

I discovered Coeur de Pirate back in 2012 whilst on holiday in sunny Brittany. I love this song Printemps meaning Spring – it’s just sung so sweetly by this Canadian beauty.

Mecano – Una rosa es una rosa

One of my favourites of this 80’s Spanish group Mecano, who started out as an techno-pop group in the early eightes – Una rosa es una rosa has been classified as techno rumba and I love it for so many reasons: it reminds me of uni days studying Spanish and learning all about La Movida Madrileña; and living and studying in Valencia, the most fantastic Spanish city, where I made truly fantastic friends for life – my now extended Spanish family.

Ana Torroja – Cuando no estás

I love Ana Torroja, who was lead singer of Mecano back in the day, and this song is one I used to listen to when living in Valencia – it’s all about missing the love of your life – cuando no estás or when you aren’t there – and this was so true, as long distance relationships are tough!

Plastic Bertrand – Ca plane pour moi

This is just the ultimate French 70’s punk record – nuff said.

Julio Iglesias – La mer (live at the Olympia, Paris)

OK so I will admit that Julio Iglesias is my guilty pleasure – the Spanish charm, the class, the voice, umpteen appearances on The Des O’Conner Show… The version of this song La Mer (originally by Charles Trenet) sung live at the Olympia in Paris in 1976, with its 70’s beat, Spanish twist on a French classic, will surely take you to that sunny place in your heart.

So, I leave you with this happy track to take you into what I hope is the happiest of bank holiday weekends…

¡ happy holidays, bonnes vacances, felices vacaciones !


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