www.musicalschwartz.com  > The Baker's Wife  > "Chanson"
Search Site

"Chanson" from The Baker's Wife

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

See also the main The Baker's Wife page

"Chanson" - Recordings

"Chanson"

The Baker's Wife
[Original 1990 London Cast], Jay Records UK, 1999 Buy The Baker's Wife [new browser window]

Baker's Wife cover with cat
  • Includes: Chanson, If It Wasn't For You, Merci Madame, Scene, Bread, Gifts of Love, Plain and Simple, Proud Lady, Look for the Woman, Serenade, Meadowlark, Buzz-a-Buzz, Opening, Any-Day-Now-Day, Endless Delights, The Luckiest Man in the World, Feminine Companionship, If I have to Live Alone, Romance, Where is the Warmth?, Scene Pompom's Return, Finale
The Baker's Wife
[Original 1976 Broadway Cast], Take Home Tunes, 1997 The Baker's Wife [Original Soundtrack] [new browser window]
  • Includes: Chanson, Merci Madame, Gifts of Love, Proud Lady, Serenade, Meadowlark, Any-Day-Now-Day, Endless Delights, If I have to Live Alone, Where is the Warmth?, Finale

"Chanson" Sheet Music

The Stephen Schwartz Songbook includes, "Chanson"

"Chanson" lyrics

(copyright by Grey Dog Music - All Rights Reserved)

from the script:

CHAQUE JOUR EST UN JOUR
COMME LES AUTRES DOUX JOURS
LE POTAGE, L'OUVRAGE
PEUT-ETRE L'AMOUR
LE SOLEIL, IL VOYAGE
LE MONDE FAIT UN TOUR
AINSI CEST TOUJOURS LE MEME ...

EVERY DAY AS YOU DO WHAT YOU DO EVERY DAY
YOU SEE THE SAME FACES WHO FILL THE CAFE
AND IF SOME OF THOSE FACES HAVE NEW THINGS TO SAY
NOTHING IS REALLY DIFFERENT...

AND THE SHEEP DOT THE HILL WHERE THE OLIVE TREE SWAYS
AND THE WORLD SPINS AROUND WITH THE GREENS AND THE GRAYS
AND YOU NEVER TAKE TIME OUT TO THINK OF THE WAYS
EVERYTHING MIGHT BE DIFFERENT...


AND THEN ONE DAY, SUDDENLY, SOMETHING CAN HAPPEN,
IT MAY BE QUITE SIMPLE, IT MAY BE QUITE SMALL
BUT ALL OF A SUDDEN YOUR STEW TASTES DIFFERENT
AND YOU HEAR THE GULL CRY IN A DIFFERENT KEY,
AND YOU SEE WITH NEW EYES,
AND THE FACES YOU SEE
ARE PEOPLE YOU DON'T KNOW AT ALL...

AND THE SOMEONE WHO TOUCHES YOUR HAIR EVERY DAY,
TOUCHES YOU NOW IN A DIFFERENT WAY,
AND YOU MAY WANT TO RUN OR YOU MAY WANT TO STAY
FOREVER
AND SINCE LIFE IS THE CRY OF THE GULL
AND THE TASTE OF YOUR STEW
AND THE WAY THAT YOU FEEL
WHEN HE TOUCHES YOU
NOW YOUR WHOLE LIFE IS DIFFERENT
NOW YOUR WHOLE LIFE IS NEW...

LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA
LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA

EVERY DAY AS YOU DO WHAT YOU DO EVERY DAY
YOU SEE THE SAME FACES WHO FILL THE CAFE
AND IF SOME OF THOSE FACES HAVE NEW THINGS TO SAY
NOTHING IS REALLY DIFFERENT.

Reprise:

AND SINCE LIFE IS THE CRY OF THE GULL
AND THE TASTE OF YOUR STEW
AND THE WAY THAT YOU FEEL
WHEN HE TOUCHES YOU
NOW YOUR WHOLE LIFE IS DIFFERENT
NOW YOUR WHOLE LIFE IS NEW...

Notes on "Chanson"

Notes from Carol de Giere, webmaster

Stephen Schwartz wrote "Chanson" in San Francisco. Of course he had been to Southern France before, e.g. for GODSPELL for the Cannes film festival. He lived in France as a child and speaks French. In any case, he drew from images of the French countryside for the song.

From an interview:

Carol de Giere: That's an interesting opening number because most opening numbers are really jazzy and big.

Stephen Schwartz: : There used to be a bigger opening number for the show. ... Jerry Robbins came one night. I met with him later. He was the one who suggested beginning more folk and smaller. And that seemed like an interesting idea to me. And so thinking about which character should begin it, he felt that Teri Ralston who played the role of Denise originally had a lovely stage presence, and he said, "Well what about her?"

CD: Interesting.

SS: Chanson is one of my personal favorites of my songs. When people say, what are your favorite songs of yours, that's one of them.

CD: And it's because….

SS: It has personal overtones because I wrote it around the time that my daughter was born and so I always think of it as her song. But in addition, there is something about the simplicity and what it is saying that I really like.

___

From the StephenSchwartz.com forum:

(SS responds to the question of how difficult it was to write the French verse in "Chanson")

SS: I do speak French, and it was fun and not overwhelmingly difficult to write the French lyrics (with the help of a French rhyming dictionary!), since so many French words rhyme. There is actually a grammatical error in the French lyrics that I discovered later on: Technically, the last line should be "AINSI C'EST TOUJOURS LE MEME CHOSE" rather than just "LE MEME" ... But because it doesn't sing nearly as well, I have left it as it was. Also, I never really came up with a satisfactory adjective for the line: "... COMME LES AUTRES DOUX JOURS". Sometimes, I sing it without the word "DOUX" in it, and simply put the "AU" of "AUTRES" over two notes. Best, Stephen Schwartz