One of the reasons my posts have become few and far between is that after four years in France I have let myself become inured to what Quentin Tarantino so aptly called ‘the little differences‘. I don’t notice the mobile butcher that passes through my neighborhood every Friday, stopping in the middle of the street so the carnivorous residents who file out with coin purses and net bags from behind stucco walls can buy their weekend beef.

I have long since begun to ignore the Nanny Brigade: sexy nounous who push their charges en masse wearing high-heels and kitten heels, mini-skirts and short-shorts, usually sporting multi-hued hair. I forget to notice, to share it with you, to be bothered to snap a surreptitious photo with my phone. (I would have totally done that two years ago.)

And then, inspiration strikes and something that simply cannot go unnoticed and unremarked upon happens while driving back and forth from either school or the grocery store or Pilates class. I was listening to the radio and Dolly Parton’s original version of  ‘I Will Always Love You’ came on. I love Dolly and can’t help singing along, so there I was sitting at the red light belting out a very un-Whitneyesque version of eternal love, whispering in parts too, just like Dolly intended. After the song ended and I was well past the red light, tears inexplicably in my eyes, (oh, Dolly how you can write a song!) the DJ echoed my sentiments exactly. He was telling all of us in French radioland how much he loves her, how all her songs make him feel something, how he prefers Dolly’s original whispered version of her most tear-jerking love song, and then he really hooked me. He said that his all-time favorite Dolly song was Jolene. I mean, come on! Who doesn’t love Jolene? He had me right there, nodding and laughing through the roundabout and up past the boulangerie as he translated the gist of the song. Sharing the Dolly love with all of southern France.

Jolene, tu est tres jolie, plus jolie de moi avec tes yeuxs verts et cheveux longs, mais s’il te plait ne prends pas mon mec. Je l’adore et je ne peux pas trouver un autre. S’il te plait ne prends pas mon mec!’ He was into it.

Let me tell you, hearing a French guy translate Dolly Parton’s Jolene is something you just can’t ignore. Thank you Mr. DJ. I needed that.

Go on, listen and enjoy. Everyone can use a little Dolly in their day.

4 thoughts on “Jolene

  1. I've read most of your posts over the years and always enjoy reading. Even though it means fewer posts for your readers, I'm glad you're feeling so at home and used to the daily routine and French culture that everything doesn't seem so “blogworthy.”

    You've been there four years, are you planning on staying there indefinitely? Raising bi-lingual children in the south of France must be such an amazing experience.


  2. Hi Dan,
    Thank you for reading. And for commenting and keeping my blogging spirits from flagging.
    Things are changing around here but I'm not quite out of denial enough to share. If you'd like to know more about the nitty-gritty of raising kids in a different language send me your email address and I will be happy to correspond. And look for a post soon. I can't keep putting it off forever…


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