Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Musical Menus

Today I dug out my stack of vintage menus, nearly all from steamships of the 1940's through the 1960's. They are not something I collect, but rather are paper ephemera I have inherited, so to speak. 

I decided to list this one, Gentil Coquelicot, in my Etsy shop:

 is the translation of the song name.

I have 24 of these menus, from the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, a shipping company in France, known in the U. S. as The French Line. They are all from the S. S. Ile de France, which was decorated entirely in Art Deco style. Can you imagine how amazing that must have looked?

Each has a different watercolor illustration of a French song on the front cover, and the words and song notes on the back. Inside, of course, is the menu of the day. Some are for Le Dejeuner (luncheon), but most are for Le Diner (dinner).

This song will be familiar to many readers, Frere Jacques, sometimes known as "Are You Sleeping?"

The watercolor illustrations, by Jean Mercier (1899 - 1995), are so lovely with subtle, yet vivid colors. This is one of my favorites.

Fais dodo is baby talk for "go to sleep."

If you would like to hear any of these songs, here is a website to visit:

Just type in the name of the song in the search box. Scroll down the page until you find the box titled "Listen." Then click on your preferred audio format.