Where do you go, to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed?
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do
I remember the back streets of Naples
Two children begging in rags
Both touched with a burning ambition
To shake off their lowly born tags, they try
So look into my face Marie Claire
And remember just who you are
Then go and forget me forever
But I know you still bear
The scar, deep inside, yes you do
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"Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?" is a song that was written and performed by Peter Sarstedt and released in 1969. It was a number-one 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart for four weeks in 1969, and was awarded the 1969 Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically (together with Space Oddity by David Bowie, the subject of my challenge last month.)
|Sophia Loren (photographer unknown)|
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I think what made this song so memorable, aside from the haunting lyrics and intimate vocals, was the source of Sarstedt's Marie Claire. Popular opinion held that it was Italian actress, Sophia Loren, who was abandoned by her father and had a poverty-stricken childhood in Naples. However, Sarstedt himself denies this: "Yes, it's a portrait of a poor-born girl who becomes a member of the European jet-set. And yes, there's reference to her growing up on the 'back streets of Naples', so I can see why people may think it was written with Sophia Loren in mind. But that's just a co-incidence. I really wasn't thinking of anyone specific." source
Aside from this tantalizing mystery, the song is rich in allusions to famous artists and well-known people. Marlene Dietrich, Zizi Jeanmaire, Picasso, the Aga Khan. Behind it all is the Cinderella story, which never seems to lose its poignancy.
Our Challenge today is to consider the theme of Dichotomy: the division of parts which may complement one another or create a sense of opposition. In this song, there is a dichotomy between Marie Claire' upbringing and present circumstance, also of the person she is inside her head and the one she shows to the world. Your poem may take any form and you are free to explore subject matter of your own choosing.
For those who would like to read all the lyrics, while listening to the song and viewing significant images, I have included this video.
Top Photo credit: girl dreaming