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Goodbye to Love for Christmas?

NowhereMan

Active Member
Thread Starter
As I was scrolling through Facebook today, I noticed a post about Richard and Karen signing a writer to their publishing company, Hammer and Nails Music. I was intrigued by this, so I decided to search through the ASCAP catalog entries for Hammer and Nails. One of the entries really intrigued me. It reads as follows:

POUR LA PREMIERE FOIS NOEL

Writers (2)

CARPENTER RICHARD
BETTIS JOHN

Performers (1)
RENEE ANNE

Wondering if a video existed of the song, I turned to YouTube and found this:


As you can hear, this is the melody of "Goodbye to Love" with French lyrics.

French LyricsEnglish Translation
Pour la première fois, Noël sera gris,
Car tu m'as quittée sans même un adieu
L'amour n'est plus entre nous deux
Et moi je cherche enfin à tuer le silence,
à combler ton absence
Je suis si triste en pensant que Noël revient
Et moi je pleurerai en regardant le vert sapin
Pour la première fois,
Noël sera gris et je reste seule avec mes pensées
Je vois les enfants s'amuser
Et moi je voudrais bien revivre mon enfance,
Avoir toujours confiance
J'avais rêvé de blancs Noëls à tes côtés,
Je serai seule devant le sapin tout illuminé,
Car loin de toi mon amour mon Noël devient si lourd
Oui, j'avais rêvé de Noël à tes côtés,
Je serai seule devant le sapin tout illuminé
Reviens-moi mon amour, j'ai tant besoin de tes bras,
Sans toi Noël sera gris
Pour la première fois
Pour la première fois

For the first time, Christmas will be gray,
'Cause you left me without even a farewell
Love is no longer between the two of us
And I am finally trying to kill the silence,
to fill your absence
I'm so sad to think that Christmas is coming back
And I will cry looking at the pine green
For the first time,
Christmas will be gray and I'm left alone with my thoughts
I see the children having fun
And I would like to relive my childhood,
Always have confidence
I had dreamed of white Christmases by your side,
I'll be alone in front of the lighted tree,
Because far from you my love my Christmas becomes so heavy
Yes, I had dreamed of Christmas by your side,
I will be alone in front of the tree all lit up
Come back to me my love, I need your arms so much
Without you Christmas will be gray
For the first time
For the first time

I find all this fascinating. Did John write the French lyrics, as he is given credit for? Whose idea was it to make it a holiday song?

Whatever the answers are, this is yet another interesting footnote in the history of the Carpenters.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
As I was scrolling through Facebook today, I noticed a post about Richard and Karen signing a writer to their publishing company, Hammer and Nails Music. I was intrigued by this, so I decided to search through the ASCAP catalog entries for Hammer and Nails. One of the entries really intrigued me. It reads as follows:

POUR LA PREMIERE FOIS NOEL

Writers (2)

CARPENTER RICHARD
BETTIS JOHN

Performers (1)
RENEE ANNE

Wondering if a video existed of the song, I turned to YouTube and found this:


As you can hear, this is the melody of "Goodbye to Love" with French lyrics.

French LyricsEnglish Translation
Pour la première fois, Noël sera gris,
Car tu m'as quittée sans même un adieu
L'amour n'est plus entre nous deux
Et moi je cherche enfin à tuer le silence,
à combler ton absence
Je suis si triste en pensant que Noël revient
Et moi je pleurerai en regardant le vert sapin
Pour la première fois,
Noël sera gris et je reste seule avec mes pensées
Je vois les enfants s'amuser
Et moi je voudrais bien revivre mon enfance,
Avoir toujours confiance
J'avais rêvé de blancs Noëls à tes côtés,
Je serai seule devant le sapin tout illuminé,
Car loin de toi mon amour mon Noël devient si lourd
Oui, j'avais rêvé de Noël à tes côtés,
Je serai seule devant le sapin tout illuminé
Reviens-moi mon amour, j'ai tant besoin de tes bras,
Sans toi Noël sera gris
Pour la première fois
Pour la première fois

For the first time, Christmas will be gray,
'Cause you left me without even a farewell
Love is no longer between the two of us
And I am finally trying to kill the silence,
to fill your absence
I'm so sad to think that Christmas is coming back
And I will cry looking at the pine green
For the first time,
Christmas will be gray and I'm left alone with my thoughts
I see the children having fun
And I would like to relive my childhood,
Always have confidence
I had dreamed of white Christmases by your side,
I'll be alone in front of the lighted tree,
Because far from you my love my Christmas becomes so heavy
Yes, I had dreamed of Christmas by your side,
I will be alone in front of the tree all lit up
Come back to me my love, I need your arms so much
Without you Christmas will be gray
For the first time
For the first time

I find all this fascinating. Did John write the French lyrics, as he is given credit for? Whose idea was it to make it a holiday song?

Whatever the answers are, this is yet another interesting footnote in the history of the Carpenters.
Well MTLTV is from the Montreal-Hull (Ottawa) area of Quebec, (MTL is probably short for Montreal) and I found a station ID from the 80’s that seems to use the same font (plus the singer and others seem to be wearing 89’s clothing). And it seems the station may’ve been affiliated with the CBC, (As per the I’d) but I can’t find much info online. Maybe this was from around the time of the Veronique album?
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
Well MTLTV is from the Montreal-Hull (Ottawa) area of Quebec, (MTL is probably short for Montreal) and I found a station ID from the 80’s that seems to use the same font (plus the singer and others seem to be wearing 89’s clothing). And it seems the station may’ve been affiliated with the CBC, (As per the I’d) but I can’t find much info online. Maybe this was from around the time of the Veronique album?
Anne Renée was a popular singer in Quebec in the 1960s and 1970s. She was the second wife of Rene Angélil (who managed, and later married Celine Dion). The song "Pour la première fois, Noël sera gris" , was on her Christmas album, "Cadeau de Noël" , released in 1972. The info on the YouTube page states that the clip was from 1973. Her last single was released in 1978, and she left the music business around 1980.

By the way, MTLTV is the name of the YouTube channel, not a Quebec TV channel. They put this watermark on all the clips they've uploaded, regardless of the channel on which the show originally aired.
 
Last edited:

John Adam

"Two Lives"
Fascinating!
Something I was totally oblivious to.
It works pretty well actually, sans Tony Peluso, right?
Were any members of the Carpenters band on this recording?
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
As I was scrolling through Facebook today, I noticed a post about Richard and Karen signing a writer to their publishing company, Hammer and Nails Music. I was intrigued by this, so I decided to search through the ASCAP catalog entries for Hammer and Nails. One of the entries really intrigued me. It reads as follows:

POUR LA PREMIERE FOIS NOEL

Writers (2)

CARPENTER RICHARD
BETTIS JOHN

Performers (1)
RENEE ANNE

Wondering if a video existed of the song, I turned to YouTube and found this:


As you can hear, this is the melody of "Goodbye to Love" with French lyrics.

French LyricsEnglish Translation
Pour la première fois, Noël sera gris,
Car tu m'as quittée sans même un adieu
L'amour n'est plus entre nous deux
Et moi je cherche enfin à tuer le silence,
à combler ton absence
Je suis si triste en pensant que Noël revient
Et moi je pleurerai en regardant le vert sapin
Pour la première fois,
Noël sera gris et je reste seule avec mes pensées
Je vois les enfants s'amuser
Et moi je voudrais bien revivre mon enfance,
Avoir toujours confiance
J'avais rêvé de blancs Noëls à tes côtés,
Je serai seule devant le sapin tout illuminé,
Car loin de toi mon amour mon Noël devient si lourd
Oui, j'avais rêvé de Noël à tes côtés,
Je serai seule devant le sapin tout illuminé
Reviens-moi mon amour, j'ai tant besoin de tes bras,
Sans toi Noël sera gris
Pour la première fois
Pour la première fois
For the first time, Christmas will be gray,
'Cause you left me without even a farewell
Love is no longer between the two of us
And I am finally trying to kill the silence,
to fill your absence
I'm so sad to think that Christmas is coming back
And I will cry looking at the pine green
For the first time,
Christmas will be gray and I'm left alone with my thoughts
I see the children having fun
And I would like to relive my childhood,
Always have confidence
I had dreamed of white Christmases by your side,
I'll be alone in front of the lighted tree,
Because far from you my love my Christmas becomes so heavy
Yes, I had dreamed of Christmas by your side,
I will be alone in front of the tree all lit up
Come back to me my love, I need your arms so much
Without you Christmas will be gray
For the first time
For the first time
I find all this fascinating. Did John write the French lyrics, as he is given credit for? Whose idea was it to make it a holiday song?

Whatever the answers are, this is yet another interesting footnote in the history of the Carpenters.
A lot of work put into this NowhereMan. Thank You for the post! Very interesting...
 

motownboy

Well-Known Member
There is a stereo version of the song on Spotify. It is amazing that this came out the same year as the original. The arrangement is certainly a copy of Karen & Richard's. It shouldn't surprise me that another artist would want to cover this song, though I am surprised that not too many covers exist of GTL. Hearing this version, for me further affirms this song's special uniqueness and that, despite the language and lyrical differences to the original, I can still hear the heart and soul of Richard & John Bettis even in this cover version.

 

NowhereMan

Active Member
Thread Starter
I also found this more recent version by Canadian singer-songwriter Cœur de pirate. It definitely has a different vibe with a sparse arrangement.

 
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