The Last Fiery Java

La Der des Der, a song by a French singer named Fréhel, will seize you with its clear melody and buoyance. Its name derives from French “la dernière des dernières“, which can be translated as “the last of the last”. If you look deeper into its history, you’ll also find that there are interesting facts which mingle in it.

The life of Fréhel, a poor child who became a famous singer, was truly unsettled – she came from a dysfunctional family, which left it to live on the streets; as a young woman, she had relationships with various men (even with Maurice Chevalier), used to drink and take drugs, once she attempted suicide, and later she travelled through Eastern lands… The song La Der des Der was recorded in 1939.
We should also mention that one of her songs is featured in the film Amélie, did you know that?

Bal musette is a dancing style with its origins in times when people were looking for easier, quicker dances with passionate steps. Something for small pubs in the outskirts of Paris, where nobody cares that you huddle together rather naughtily.

• The java dance is one of such dances, and the song La der des Der is composed as a java and celebrates it.


SCORES –  PDF  MSCZ

instructional recording
La Der des Der – instructional – 120 bpm


French lyrics:

Tous les dimanches et souvent les samedis
On se retrouve au bal musette
C’est ce qui fait la joie de notre vie
Et lui donne un air de fête
Le tango, la rumba, surtout la java
Nous deux, on en rate pas une
Avant le dernier tour, on entend toujours
Chacun murmurer à chacune

La der des der
Viens chéri dans mes bras la danser
C’est sur son air
Que finit pour nous deux la journée
Le musico met un coup tout d’un coup
On dirait qu’elle ne joue que pour nous
La der des der
Avant de nous quitter, dansons-la
La der des der
C’est toujours la meilleure des javas

Dans notre amour, y a des hauts et des bas
Et tout n’est pas que sourires
Le seul moyen, lorsque ça ne va pas
Entre nous, je vais le dire,
Dans un dernier baiser, on peut tout sauver
On peut regagner l’infidèle
Allez-y de tout coeur, c’est votre bonheur
Qui, pour la java, nous appelle

La der des der
Viens chéri dans mes bras la danser
C’est sur son air
Que finit pour nous deux la journée
Le musico met un coup tout d’un coup
On dirait qu’elle ne joue que pour nous
La der des der
Avant de nous quitter, guinchons-la
La der des der
C’est toujours la meilleure des javas

La der des der
Avant de nous quitter, guinchons-la
La der des der
C’est toujours la meilleure des javas

English translation:

Every Sunday and often on Saturdays
We meet at the popular dance
This is the joy of our life
It gives life a festive air
The tango, the rumba, most of all the java
You and I, we don’t miss one
Before the last dance, we always hear
Each whispers to each:

The last of the last
Come darling to dance it into my arms
It’s with this tune that
The day ends for both of us.
Suddenly, the musician is really going at it
It seems it’s playing only for us
The last of the last
It’s always the best of the javas

In our love, there are ups and downs
It is not all smiles
The only way, when it is not going right
Among ourselves, I’m going to say it
In a last kiss, we can save everything
The unfaithful can be won back
Go for it with all you heart, it is your happiness
That is calling us to the java.

The last of the last
Come darling to dance it into my arms
It’s on its tune that
The day ends for both of us.
Suddenly, the musician is really going at it
It seems it’s playing only for us
The last of the last
Before we leave, let’s dance it
The last of the last
It’s always the best of the javas.

 

article and scores by | Ladislav Kavalír
instructional recording by | Jindra Kelíšek
translation of lyrics | Frenchlations
published on 28/3/2014