Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)

Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)

Infobox Song
Name = Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?


Caption =
Type =
Artist = Peter Sarstedt
alt Artist =
Album =
Published =
Released = 1969
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Recorded =
Genre = International Pop
Length = 4:42
Writer =
Composer = Peter Sarstedt
Label = World Pacific
Producer =
Chart position = #70 (US)
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"Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?" is a 1969 song by Peter Sarstedt. It was a #1 hit in the UK charts for six weeks in 1969 and was awarded the 1969 Ivor Novello Award, together with David Bowie's "Space Oddity". In the United States, the record only reached #61 on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles and #70 on the Billboard Hot 100 that May.

The song is about a girl named Marie-Claire from the "back streets of Naples" who grows up to become a member of the jet set, and lives in Paris. The lyrics describe her from the perspective of a childhood friend; it is left unclear whether they have remained close. The rhetorical question of the title suggests that her glamorous lifestyle may not have brought Marie-Claire happiness or contentment.

Sarstedt himself was not French, but the song may have benefited from the contemporary awareness in Britain of such singers as Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Brel.

The lyrics contain a large number of contemporary and other references:

* Marlene Dietrich: husky-voiced German actress and singer
* Zizi Jeanmaire: French ballerina
* Balmain: French designer of elegant fashions
* Boulevard Saint-Michel: street in the Latin Quarter famous for bookshops
* Rolling Stones: popular English rock and roll band
* Sacha Distel: French crooner
* Sorbonne: University of Paris
* Picasso: Spanish pioneer of modern art
* Juan-les-Pins: fashionable beach resort on the French Riviera
* Saint Moritz: fashionable ski resort in the Swiss Alps
* Napoleon brandy: especially fine aged brandy
* Aga Khan: World-travelling Islamic leader and racehorse owner
* Topless swimsuit

It is often suspected that the name Marie-Claire is inspired by the originally French Marie Claire magazine, a women's fashion weekly first published in 1937. One theory says that this song is about the Italian star Sophia Loren, who was abandoned by her father and had a poverty stricken life in Naples. Another theory has the song being inspired by singer and actress Nina van Pallandt. In reality, Peter Sarstedt wrote the song about a girl he fell madly in love with in Vienna in 1965. She died tragically in a hotel fire.Fact|date=May 2008 The song was written in Copenhagen. (Confirmation of this fact can be found on the CD cover of “The Best of Peter Sarstedt”, EMI, nr. 8297622, Australian CD).

The song has been covered by Right Said Fred, and their version has charted in Germany in 2006 (it is missing the final crucial verse where Marie Claire's origins are revealed). Finnish rock musician Hector (Heikki Harma) has recorded the song under name "Kuningatar" (The Queen) with Finnish lyrics, with references in the supermodel business, implying Marie-Claire is a supermodel risen from rags to riches. It was a favourite song of Nikki Sudden, and his friend Dave Kusworth (of The Jacobites) has recorded it for an album to be released in 2007 — his version appears on Reclaim Bedlam, a free Mad pride CD put out with the 100th issue of Southwark Mind News in April 2007. The song was also covered by Nashville Recording Artist Sandra McCracken on her 2004 release, "Best Laid Plans". The most recent cover of this song was done by an artist known as The Great Whackadoo. This version combines the song's folksy style with elements of punk and metal.

In 1997 Sarstedt recorded a sequel, "The Last of the Breed (Lovely 2)" on his CD "England's Lane" ["England's Lane" released as Round Tower RTM CD89] . This picks up the story of Marie Claire twenty years on, living now in London. It namechecks more people and places, including Belgravia, Ballets Russes, Cape Town, Claridge's, Gstaad, John Galliano, Harrods, Jerusalem, Long Island, Milan, Rudolf Nureyev, Palm Beach, Rio de Janeiro, and Isabella Rossellini [ [http://www.petersarstedt.com/please%20click%20here%20to%20download%20file.PDF An A-Z of people and places appearing in Sarstedt's songs] PDF (48K) from his official website] .

In 2007, the song was prominently used in Wes Anderson's short film "Hotel Chevalier". The film is a prologue to his movie "The Darjeeling Limited", in which the song also appears.

References


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