Sunday, January 18, 2009

4 X 40 - Madrid 1969 - Un Jour, Un Enfant

Moroccan born Frida Boccara (1940 - 1996) is first discovered by Buck Ram of The Platters at a (Platters) concert in Casablanca. He encourages to persue a singing career. Soon she moves to Paris to study music and take the first steps in her musical career. In the early sixties she participates in several song contest including San Remo in 1964 (with L'ultimo Tram).
Cent Mille Chansons from 1968 is the defining moment for her international career. The big hymn is a hit in several European countries.
During the 70's she is a popular guest on many TV shows in Canada, Australia, South America and the Netherlands. In Russia she sell a million records.
Even though Frida Boccara mastered Arabic, Portuguese, Hebrew, Russian and Arabic she 'only' recorded her winning song in French, English, German, Italian and Spanish.
Un Jour, Un Enfant, written by Emile Stern & Eddy Marnay, is a big orchestral ballad and has a religious ring to it. Sadly the song didn't have the commercial success of Cent Mille Chansons.
When success slowed down Frida Boccara withdrew from the music business. She died in 1996.

I managed to collect details on 50 coverversions of the song, half of them instrumentals. A famous one is the Swedish version by Agnetha Fältskog of ABBA fame. Her Sov Gott Min Lilla Vän (Sleep Well My Little Friend) can be found on her 1970 LP Som Jag Är. (Cupol).
Elephant friend Kamahl recorded the song for a christmas album (still looking for that one). In return Frida Boccara recorded a french version of Kamahls Elephant Song.
Please note: The Kamahl Christmas LP Peace On Earth exists in with different tracklists. The one released by Philips has Through The Eyes Of A Child, the one on Attic does not. (Thanks Klaus)

Eurovision singers that have recorded Un Jour, Un Enfant are Jacqueline Boyer (FR 1960). Anne Marie David (LU 1973) and Willeke Alberti (NL 1994)

Un Jour, Un Enfant traveled well. Coverversions were made in Canada, Australia, Brasil, Chile, Japan, South Africa and of course several European countries. Unfortunately the collection isn't very exotic, as many versions are instrumental versions or straightforward copies in French.

And as always: if you have any comments, additions or corrections leave a comment or let me know.

Anne Marie David
Anne Marie David, Eurovision winner of 1973, recorded a live version in 2004. It can be found on her CD Live A Charleroi which also includes live versions of her own Eurovision songs Tu Te Reconnaitras (LU 1973) and Je Suis Lénfant Soleil (FR 1979).
The CD is available through

Two versions were released as recently as 2008, both are made in the Netherlands
Classical singer Petra Berger and pianist Jan Vayne released Un Jour Un Enfant on their album Crystal last october.
And more interesting is a real classical artist Ralph Rousseau Meulenbroeks. He is a virtuoso on the Viola Da Gamba and recorded Un Jour, Un Enfant (and Cent Mille Chansons) for his latest CD Chanson D'amour with Hein Van de Geyn and the Matangi String Quartet. Available in a classical music store in your area and in most webshops.
To make the circle round, Here's a youtube of Troubadourette Lenny Kuhr with Ralph Rousseau performing Frida Boccara's biggest hit Cent Mille Chansons.

I don't want to leave you without a song or two, so here are two of my favorite coverversions of Un Jour, Un Enfant.

This Hungarian version Gyermekszemmel (With a childs eye) was first released in 1999 (CD Èdesanyámnak Szeretettel). (See it at Youtube). There should be an older Hungarian version by 60's singer Poór Petér, but I have no details on that.
Um Dia, Um Crianca

Agnaldo Timóteo from Brasil recorded his version (in Portuguese) for his 1969 LP Comanda O Sucesso (Odeon) (! Agnaldo: Space 1999 want their costume back)

A version by Gloria Simonetti is in the 4 X 40 post De Troubadour
4 X 40 introduction - 4 X 40 Vivo Cantando
Un Jour Un Enfant: The List
Kovács Kati Website (in Hungarian) - Agnaldo Timóteo website (in Portuguese)
Looking for: I'm still searching for a few versions of the song, the main ones be the English versions by Kamahl (LP Peace On Earth) and by American singer Neil Williams (LP A Time For Love).

No comments: