Gary Moore’s first solo album Back on the Streets was remembered by a wide range of music lovers, first of all, by the track Parisienne Walkways, which became the hallmark of the Irish musician.
Most fans of his work appreciate this composition for the enchanting sounds of Moore’s guitar, without attaching much importance to the words of the song. And in vain, because it is possible that a touching story is connected with these two verses.
The story of creation and the meaning of the song Parisienne Walkways
It was originally an instrumental ballad that Moore composed based on Kenny Dorham’s Blue Bossa jazz standard. Luckily for Gary, Phil Lynott, Moore’s partner in the rock band Thin Lizzy, helped him record Back on the Streets. It was he who composed the lyrics of the song, filling it with personally experienced emotions.
Here you can not do without a few facts from the biography of Phil Parris Lynott. The middle name came from his Brazilian father Cecil Parris, who left the family when Phil was three weeks old and fled to his homeland. So Philomena Lynott, the mother of the future founder of Thin Lizzy, had to raise the child herself.
Years passed, Lynott became a famous musician and was featured in Titbits magazine. Seeing this publication, Cecil Parris – as is often the case with fathers who abandoned children – unexpectedly burned with love for his son and wished to meet him. Phil, whose imagination had been drawing a fictional image of the pope for many years, willingly agreed to see him and … was severely disappointed (who would doubt it!).
It is generally accepted that in the text of Parisienne Walkways he expressed his feelings about this. Supporters of this version of the interpretation of the meaning of the song point to the first line: “I remember Paris in ’49” (“I remember Paris in the 49th”). At first it sounded a little different:
I remember Paris in the fall night.
But then Lynott, while performing the song, changed the lyrics. What for? Most likely, he did not sing about Paris at all, and the translation should be: “I remember Parris in the 49th.” That is, we are talking about the father who left him in 1949.
Recording and release of Parisienne Walkways
The participants in the recording claim that its title was known even before the appearance of the text. Consequently, Lynott was based on a ready-made version and, perhaps, shared memories of meeting his father in the words of the song. However, we will not rule out the possibility that this whole story is a figment of the imagination of fans. In addition, the peculiarities of the English language do not allow to figure out whether the performer is addressing a man or a woman.
Parisienne Walkways was recorded in the spring of 1978 at Morgan Studios in London. It was released as a single from the album Back on the Streets and peaked at number eight on the UK Singles Chart. In 1993, Gary Moore released a live version of the song called Parisienne Walkways ’93, which peaked at number 32 on the UK Singles Chart.
Video of Parisienne Walkways
Next, you can watch the music video, in which Gary Moore performs the legendary composition.
- Some sources list Donna Campbell, Gary Moore’s girlfriend, as co-author of the song.
- The Parisienne Walkways ’93 version was recorded at the Albert Hall, London.
Parisienne Walkways by Gary Moore Lyrics
I remember Paris in ’49.
The Champs Elysee, San Michelle
And old Beauolais wine.
And I recall that you were mine
In those Parisienne days.
looking back at the photographs.
Those summer days spent
outside corner cafes.
Oh, I could write you paragraphs
About my old Parisienne days.
Lyrics of Parisienne Walkways by Gary Moore Alternate
I remember Paris in ’49
Champs Elysees, Saint Michel
and aged Beaujolais wine
And I remember that you were mine
Those Parisian days
I’m looking at the pictures again
Those summer days that we spent
In summer cafes
Oh I could write paragraph after paragraph
About my old Parisian days