La Mer – Charles Trenet

Here is an adaptation for solo guitar of this 1946 French post-war song by Charles Trenet: La Mer.

I think that Charles Trenet has a freshness that is still relevant today. Of course, I don’t know all his songs, his repertoire seems to me colossal. Nevertheless, every time I play a Trenet song, I am not bothered by a text that seems dated or a melody that does not make sense today. Why this feeling? I don’t know and probably the effect is not the same for each of us.

Why this song.

It’s the end of April and this week, I’m in a vacation club where I’m doing musical animations with two musician friends. The singer Stephanie Lemoine and the pianist Pierre-Antoine Clamadieu.
By the way, Stephanie and Pierre-Antoine have recently released an album: Love Leaves traces that you can easily find on your favorite platform.

So, in exchange for one hour of music per day, we get room and board and can enjoy the various activities offered by the club.
It’s a first for me but it’s clearly part of a musician’s trick to enjoy a cheap vacation.

So we are by the sea and we play standards of French songs as well as international variety. Trenet’sLa Mer” seemed to me an obvious choice for this blog!

Vacation club, La Palmyre, Les Mathes (France)


For the one who would like to work the anatoles in all the directions, La Mer is a perfect piece! Indeed, we start with an anatole in C, that is to say, C, A min, D min then G 7. Then we pass on an anatole in E with E, C# min, F# min, B 7. Finally, an anatole in G with G, E min, A min, D 7.
As a reminder, an anatole is a harmonic sequence on the degrees I, VI, II, V.

Obviously, the melody drives the harmony.
As much as I find it easy to explain harmonic sequences, explaining melodic curves always seems more mysterious to me.
The magic of music?

To finish the piece, I chose here a broken cadence with A flat then B flat which concludes in C.

Video capture.

For this week off near the sea, my wife accompanies me. She is the one who films while holding the camera in her hands. Indeed, I forgot my camera stand and I didn’t want to put the camera in the sand…. So, we even have the right to a panorama effect at the end of the video 🙂

Score and tablature.

If you wish, the score and tablature are available in PDF format below. This is a non-commercial sharing.