Where do you go to my lovely? Peter Sarstedt

Peter Sarstedt’s song “Where do you go to my lovely?” was a number one hit in the UK charts in 1969. It was popular in Australia in 1970 and 1971 and received a lot of airplay. I was learning French in school and I liked the French flavour of the song and  the exotic names of Boulevard St Michel, Sacha Distel, Zizi Jean-Maire, the Sorbonne and Juan-les-Pins. It was one of my favourite songs of my early teenage years.

The song is about a lady named Marie-Claire who is part of the “jet-set” and lives in Paris.  Sarstedt is reported to have written the song about a girl he fell madly in love with in Vienna in 1965, however she died in a hotel fire.

I bought an album many years ago (photo at top of this article) and managed to see Peter Sarstedt when he performed in Sydney about 15 years ago. Needless to say, his audience was at least as old as me.

Here is the video with the lyrics below. I included links to Wikipedia articles about the names and places that fascinated me so much as a teenager.

Where do you go to my lovely?

You talk like Marlene Dietrich.
And you dance like Zizi Jean-Maire.
Your clothes are all made by Balmain.
And there’s diamonds and pearls in your hair.

You live in a fancy apartment
Off the Boulevard St. Michel.
Where you keep your Rolling Stones records
And a friend of Sasha Distel.

You go to the embassy parties,
Where you talk in Russian and Greek.
And the young men who move in your circles,
They hang on every word you speak.

But where do you go to my lovely.
When you’re alone in your bed.
Tell me the thoughts that surround you.
I want to look inside your head.

I’ve seen all your qualifications.
That you got from the Sorbonne.
And the painting you stole from Picasso.
Your loveliness goes on and on.

When you go on your summer vacation,
You go to Juan-les-Pins.
With your carefully designed topless swimsuit.
You get an even suntan, On your back and on your legs.

And when the snow falls you’re found in St. Moritz,
With the others of the jet set.
And you sip your Napoleon brandy,
But you never get your lips wet.

But where do you go to my lovely.
When you’re alone in your bed.
Tell me the thoughts that surround you.
I want to look inside your head.

You’re in between twenty and thirty,
A very desirable age.
You’re body is firm and inviting,
But you live on a glittering stage.

Your name it is heard in high places
You know the Agha Khan.
He sent you a race horse for Christmas.
And you keep it just for fun, for a laugh, aha aha.

They say that when you get married,
It will be to a millionaire.
But they don’t realize where you came from.
And I wonder if they really care, or give a damn.

But where do you go to my lovely.
When you’re alone in your bed.
Tell me the thoughts that surround you.
I want to look inside your head.

Ah, remember the back streets of Naples,
Two children begging in rags.
Both touched with a burning ambition.
To shake off their lowly-born tags, so they try.

So look into my face Marie-Claire.
And remember just who you are.
Then go and forget me forever.
But I know you still bear the scar deep inside, yes, you do.

Ah, I know where you go to my lovely,
When you’re alone in your bed.
I know the thoughts that surround you,
Cause I can look inside your head.

Another version from the BBC

Frozen Orange Juice

Peter Sarstedt had a later chart success with Frozen Orange Juice.   All the songs on the “Best of ” album are excellent, but Sarstedt only had two songs on the music charts.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Charles,
    Good article about Peter Sarstedt. Thought you’d like to know that he has just released a new album after a long absence, called ‘Restless Heart’. A promo video of the first track ‘Valentine’ has just been posted : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEeUCJaOQuc‎
    Kim Norris


  2. Kim, Thanks for your comment and news about the new album.




  3. Posted by Mahmoud kasamani on January 29, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Hi i just want to say that this link brings great times back thanks a lot


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