This song was a collaboration between an American and a Russian. Yip Harburg was born Edgar Yipsel Harburg in New York City, although his folks came from Russia. Vernon Duke was born Vladimir Dukelsky in Belarus, which was then part of Russia. Yip wrote the lyrics and Vernon the music. Both men worked with other collaborators. Yip wrote the song lyrics for The Wizard of Oz and Vernon wrote the music for I Can't Get Started with lyrics by Ira Gershwin.
We all know the fabulous sights and sounds of Paris, France, but this song concentrates on the city at a particular time of the year. In February it's darn cold, in August it's darn hot, but in April it's just right. The weather is improving, the flowers are beginning to welcome the new warmth, and the city and its surrounds welcome young lovers.
The song has a wonderful track record. It was first recorded in 1932 and has been featured by some wonderful artists including, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Doris Day, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, and Glenn Miller. It continues to appeal with more recent recordings from Blossom Dearie and Wynton Marsalis. It was performed in the movie Blazing Saddles.
Count Basie's recording of "April in Paris" in 1955 was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
The lyric talks of the charm of spring and Paris, and has the gardens, the streets, cafés, magnificent architecture, and a river as wonderful settings for true romance to bloom. It's easy to understand why many romantic comedies are set in Paris in spring. At night you can wander many different parts of this city. A stroll around the Louvre or the tiny streets and alleys of Montmartre on a balmy April evening will give any couple a real sense of love and romance. Paris offers so many locations that your problem may be choosing which area to visit. The Marais area with the Rue de Turenne has particularly enchanting views and atmosphere.
Everyone knows of the mighty Seine River, and a boat trip there will give you a stunning trip through Paris. But off the Seine is the Canal Saint Martin – in the north of the city – and on its banks is a delightful neighborhood of cafés, buskers and boutiques. Some of the streets are only for pedestrians and cyclists, so it's not only fascinating and friendly, but ideal for those taking a stroll.
Paris has hundreds of different types of accommodations, and with the international airport and the international train, it is easy to visit this European metropolis. Of course, the popular tourist charms of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre are fabulous, but it's the small and out-of-the-way places which can also make your visit to Paris in April a time to remember.
~ Cenarth Fox
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