Teenager’s songbook, France, early-1960s

This notebook contains a handwritten record of a French teenager’s musical passions in the early-1960s: the lyrics written out in longhand, the pop photographs trimmed to fit the space and assembled in a collage.  Some of the singers captured in these pages remain French classics to this day — Françoise Hardy, Dalida, Charles Aznavour — while others knew a fleeting fame and are remembered only in notebooks such as these.

On occasion, the appeal of the lyrics, too, is lost in time.  Consider this refrain from a song by the duo Pierrette Bruno and Bourvil:

Papa aime Maman

Maman aime Papa

Papa aime Maman

Maman aime Papa

La la la la la la la

La la la la la la la

Ah, it was indeed a more innocent time.  But the joy of finding such a book is in coming across photos such as the one below of, say, an impossibly young Johnny Hallyday — born Jean-Philippe Smet, the teenager is careful to note — before he was the caricature of French rock he has become today.

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