And Mark S. is at it again, with an informative exposé on Françoise’s Dans le monde entier/All over the world:
‘All over the World’ or ‘Dans le monde entier’ is one of the 20th century’s great songs, and perhaps the only one which is as effective in both English and French. Recorded by two great popular singers, Françoise Hardy and Judith Durham of the Seekers, it works as a romantic song, as calming background music (you hear it in airports and shopping centres the world over), and as a timeless arrangement.Françoise wrote the music and the French lyrics in 1965.
By then she was working with Charles Blackwell and his orchestra in London, and her best records of the 1960s in both French and English were recorded in England. The English lyric ‘All over the World’, along with some other English versions of Françoise’s songs, was written by Julian More (1928-2010), the Cambridge-educated lyricist and writer of book for 1950s musicals such as ‘Irma la Douce’ and ‘Expresso Bongo’. See an odd video of Hardy singing the English version in her pj’s here.
Allmusic’s Richie Unterberger writes about the song: “Like many of her songs, it’s a sad ballad, not so sad as to be soaked with self-pity or histrionics, but with a dignified melancholy. The chief instrumentation of “All Over the World” is an almost classical-style piano, played as if it’s a sonata after four sustained notes start the track. Hardy handles the rolling, wistful melody well, with the sense of sexy reserve that is typical of her vintage sides (…) Unlike some of the English versions Hardy did, “All Over the World” works because the lyrics retain a pungent universality, of people in love looking at the cosmos and wondering what other people in their predicament are doing, and what the people they love (but who aren’t there) are thinking and doing at the moment.”
The English-speaking world remembers that ‘All over the World’ was soon recorded by Judith Durham of the Seekers, the finest Australian popular singer of the 20th Century. Judith’s performance matches Françoise’s in quality and fully deserves the praise it has always received. The original recording is here. There is sadly no film of Françoise singing live either ‘Dans le monde entier’ or ‘All over the World’.
But we have Judith Durham’s memorable solo piano performance at the Royal Festival Hall, London in 2003.
There is an attractive version by Françoise in Italian, called ‘Nel mondo intero’ , which is accompanied by background film from the 1960s of Françoise talking and singing. This shows well how her looks and style, 50 years ago, seem 21st century, just as André Courrèges intended when he designed for her and set out to make her ‘the girl from the year 2000’.
Katie Melua has now covered ‘All over the World’, with solo guitar, as here in the RTL Studio in 2012.
The song’s simple perfection will surely attract others. It will be enjoyable to watch them attempt to match up to the peerless 1960s recordings by Françoise and Judith.