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Various Artists


“We’ll always have Paris” is a phrase that remains evocative even for people who’ve never been closer to the City of Lights than Ocean City, Md. Me, for instance. Though I worked hard to fail French class in ninth grade so that my parents wouldn’t make me take it in high school—and thus can only guess at what is being sung here—the dozen vintage recordings on Paris My Love are still affecting. Perhaps because, as the liner notes point out, most of the songs deal with the bittersweet side of love. And who better than the French to wring pleasure from regret? The Danes? The Australians? From Josephine Baker’s sweetly sorry “Two Loves,” Maurice Chevalier’s sly “Give Me Your Hand, Mam’zelle,” and Edith Piaf’s resolute lament, “Mon Legionnaire,” this is the disc to play while drinking some General Foods International Coffee (Suisse Mocha, maybe?) and reminiscing about Jean-Luc.