Sunday, May 26, 2013

Adieu, Georges Moustaki

Georges Moustaki (1934-2013)

Georges Moustaki died a few days ago, at the age of 79.  His Italo-Jewish-Greek parents had emigrated from Greece to Egypt and opened a bookshop in Alexandria.  Moustaki was born and grew up in Egypt.  When playing with his friends in the street, he spoke Arabic; at the school he attended, they spoke French; at home, everyone spoke Italian. His father, Nessim, spoke five languages; his mother, Sarah, spoke six.  What a marvelous thing, to grow up in a family of polyglots, to be able to share your talent multilingually, as Moustaki did, singing songs to us in French, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, English and Arabic.  

At the age of 17,  Moustaki traveled to Paris where he got a job as a door-to-door salesman of poetry books.  Besides composing, singing and playing the guitar, he loved drawing, painting and, above all, traveling. [1]

A little homage to Georges Moustaki, for the pleasure his words and melodies have given me--songs about solitude, heartache, freedom; about taking the time to live, to dream a life, to follow one's own path.  He sang of soul mates, eternities of love; and that everything is possible, even to vagabonds.