Roses Of Picardy (Haydn Wood, Fred Weatherly, Pierre d'Amor, Eddy Marnay) 6.41
Monique Fauteux & Mark Steyn, vocals
with orchestra arranged and conducted by Kevin Amos
from the album Goldfinger
In this centenary year of the Great War, Mark and his friend Monique Fauteux present an epic version of his favorite song from that terrible conflict. Monique is one of the great glories of Quebec music, and beloved by francophone rockers as a mainstay of the progressive rock band Harmonium. But this tune finds her a long way from the prog-rock sound. As Mark writes in his book A Song For The Season:
"Roses Of Picardy" is a First World War "I'll Be Seeing You", a ballad for lovers parted by circumstances beyond their control.
It's an English song, with lyrics by the man who wrote the most famous of Irish songs, "Danny Boy". But it's had two French lyrics over the years, one written at the time of the Great War, another decades later by a man who composed dozens of pop hits for everyone from Edith Piaf to CÚline Dion. Mark and Monique perform the song in a beautiful chamber orchestration that not only tells the tale but seems to encompass the history of the tune itself - in English, in French, with a spare guitar accompaniment, with lush clarinets and violins, as a ballad and in waltz time.