I keep coming across the mention of a pasha - first in the Uschi Glas quote, then in this track from Québéc yé-yé girl Dany Aubé, and then in this scopitone from Jean Constantin. I wonder if there was any sort of significant trend for all things Persian, or if they're just a handful of mentions as part of 60s pop culture's taste for the 'exotic'.
In 'La Fille du pacha', Dany sings that it's no fun being the daughter of a pacha and having lots of clothes, cars and fine silks, because people only love her for her money.
A little about Dany, translated from Rétro Jeunesse 60:
Dany Aubé (real name - Réjeanne Aubé) was born in Lasarre, Abatiti in 1947. While taking part in amateur singing contests, she was given the title 'Queen of The Quebecois, North-West'. Based in Montreal, she became famous in the spring of 1966 with the song 'Goodbye, au revoir, arrivederci'. During the same year, she stays at the top of the charts with 'Il m'appalait Goguette' ['They Call Me Goguette'] and 'Ma Casquette' ['My Cap']. She performed in the Musicorama tour of 1967, and worked the cabaret circuit until the mid-70s.
I wracked my brain trying to remember where I'd heard this before, then it finally hit me:
It's such an insanely catchy tune and an instant favourite that, even though I've only known this song for a year or so, I was convinced the Dany Aubé cover was of something I'd known for most of my life.
In Dassin's version, he sings of standing on a hill where's he's to meet the woman he fancies, who told him to go there and whistle while he waits. She never shows and he's left alone whistling on the hill ('siffler sur la colline').
Joe Dassin was a New Yorker who began his career performing French chanson in American bars and later found success in France with his American folk/country-tinged French language songs.
French singer Hugues Aufray also recorded the song:
With his feathered haircut, in many photos he reminds me more of an 80s Aussie pub rocker than a 60s French pop star. He looks a bit tough but was a nature lover from a young age and later found an affinity for folk music, recording an album of French Bob Dylan covers.
Essex's The Tremeloes had a hit with their English version:
This has that quality many translated songs (either to or from English) often have, where less interesting lyrics are unconvincingly squeezed into lines originally formed around more inspired words. And their 'zai zai zai zai's lack the same oomph as the European/Québec versions, but nonetheless, this is another enjoyable interpretation.
So which one was the original? None of the above, but instead:
The first version of this song is by Italian singer Riccardo Del Turco, and was written by Lorenzo Pilat, Daniele Pace and Mario Panzeri. Its lyrics seem to fall somewhere between the two French language versions, being about a guy who is rich and has everything he could want, but is lonely for love.
And one more version I found in my collection:
This cover by Greek 60s rockers The Idols, '??????? ?' ??????', appeared on the comp Ta Gie-Giedika No. 2.