Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)? is a 1969 hit British song sung by Peter Sarstedt. It won some music awards I've never heard of and was #1 in the charts for like a month in Britlandia, and was in the US's top 100.
I don't get it.
I've listened to three different versions of this song-- the original Petey Stardust, a 2006 cover by Drop Dead Fred, and another by Gerry & The Pacemakers, whose name is already surreal enough that I can't make fun of it. From this experience I have learned three things:
1. Brits have a fascination with waily dudes in suits. I say that not even knowing if these singers are actually Brits. They probably aren't. Maybe this song just makes everyone who sings it suddenly turn into a waily forty year old British man.
2. Zizi Jeanmaire is either a really good dancer or a really bad one.
3. I really don't get this song.
The references put me right off. I have no idea who Zizi is, or Marlene Dietrich, or Sacha Distel-- how the fuck do you even say that name? Is it like Sasha? What's an Aga Khan? Is he like the Dali Llama? He's apparently rich enough to afford to give away a horse, and given the context of this woman being friends with presumably famous people, he must be important. All I can think of is the "KHAAAN!" scene from Star Trek. I dunno what Sorbonne is but apparently the woman in this song robbed Picasso, which guess is kinda cool, but I get the feeling it's not an actual heist kind of robbery, but a metaphorical tryst kind of robbery, which would be lame.
This whole thing feels like there's layers of subtext that I'm not getting-- and fine, I'm sure the people who do get it are fine with it, but that doesn't change the fact that I still don't get it. Why is it significant that she's sipping Napoleon Brandy? Is that a fancy brand? Is that a cheap brand? I don't drink, so I can't tell. Is she a French nationalist who intends to try and conquer Europe? Why is it significant that her lips don't get wet? Is that to highlight her daintiness, or is it to emphasize that her life is a lie and that at all times she is considering her appearance and the audience she's playing to? Is that a trait? Do rich people often not get their lips wet?
I guess the twist of the song is that this wealthy successful woman was actually a poor kid, as insinuated by the beggar children in Naples that the narrator is asking her to remember. Presumably, he and she were those two children, and now that they're grown up and he's telling her to remember where she came from, even if she intentionally forgets him, and boo fucking hoo dear god this song is a slow drawling drag to get through.
I don't care about the trials and tribulations of the rich, even if they were at some point poor. Because of this song being told from the perspective of the childhood friend, everything told about this woman has a degree of distance (as it is a character describing to us someone we don't know), but that coupled with the personal distance I have (1. I don't get the references and 2. I don't care about the Poor little Rich Girl trope) means that I have no sympathy or empathy at all for this lady who, judging by the wailing British man, I am supposed to care about. I don't see any mention of this lady using her newfound wealth to sponsor any charities or work for social reform or anything like that, she's just being rich and (based on the narrator's tone) being sad/nostalgic while surrounded by a life of luxury.
. . .Is this about Daisy Buchanan?