About two weeks ago, we already posted a live version of Zaz’s splendid Piaf cover Dans la rue here. Since she with the husky voice is a dedicated Gainsbourg aficionado as well, she also played a sparse, and highly intense manouche-style version of Serge’s Ces petits riens during the same gig, backed by bassist Mathieu Verlot and guitarist Guillaume Juhel. You will find this cover neither on her recent no. 1 album nor anywhere on the net. The song was recorded during an intimate live performance at MDR radio station, Halle, Germany, with an audience of ten (!) handpicked and damn lucky guests.

Zaz – Ces petits riens (live)

Ces petits riens, written in 1964, may not be among the most popular Gainsbourg chansons, but has been covered by several high-class artists. Serge’s own version, using a typewriter as rhythm instrument, is surely the coolest; he’s on the Deneuve version as well. Here’s both, along with a bunch of other adaptations, including Carla’s English language version … and Guuz might have a few other ones up his sleeve.

Serge Gainsbourg – Ces petits riens

Catherine Deneuve – Ces petits riens

Christiane Canavese – Ces petits riens

Pierre-Alain Goualch – Ces petits riens

Jane Birkin – Ces petits riens

Stacey Kent – Ces petits riens

Zizi Jeanmaire – Ces petits riens

Angélique Kidjo – Ces petits riens

Francoise Hardy – Ces petits riens

Carla Bruni – Those Little Things

Don Nino – Ces petits riens

Elina Duni – Ces petits riens

This article has 9 comments

  1. designwallah

    Damn, I missed this post 🙁

  2. Sky

    i played the song to a musicologist: it’s definitely a typewriter, and nothing else.

  3. Sky

    My Mom’s old Olympia typewriter had exactly that sound. But Jasper is probably right.

  4. guuzbourg

    Sky posted this piece – what say you about Jasper’s comment?

  5. Jasper

    Thanks for the busload ov versions, Guuz.
    It’s a very snug and amiable song, but that is absolutely no typewriter in Serge’s version. Its that cylinder on a stick with tiny shells around it, when you twist the cylinder in your hand, the shells rattle along the ribbed side of and make that noise. I don’t know the name of it but you get the idea.
    The sound of a typewriter has much more a dry ticking sound.

  6. Sky

    Merci, JW. Canavese link fixed. Has someone got the versions by Greco and Czerkinsky?

  7. Jan Willem

    A relaxed version by “Trio Brassens?” can be downloaded from their web page.

  8. Jan Willem

    Even more versions listed on this page! (Canavese link is faulty BTW, but it’s almost rude to complain amidst such plenty…)