Paper Roses

“Paper Roses” – The Ray Conniff Singers

Paper roses, paper roses

I realize the way your eyes deceived me with tender looks that I mistook for love
So take away the flowers that you gave me and send the kind that you remind me of
Paper roses, paper roses, oh how real those roses seem to be
But they’re only imitation, like your imitation love for me

I thought that you would be a perfect lover
You seemed so full of sweetness at the start
But like the big red rose that’s made of paper
Ah there isn’t any sweetness in your heart

Paper roses, paper roses…
Like your imitation love for me.


Ray Conniff

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph Raymond “Ray” Conniff, also known as “Jay Raye” (November 6, 1916 – October 12, 2002) was an American bandleader and arranger best known for his Ray Conniff Singers during the 1960s.

The Ray Conniff Singers

In 1959 he started The Ray Conniff Singers (12 women and 13 men) and released the album It’s the Talk of the Town. This group brought him the biggest hit he ever had in his career: Somewhere My Love (1966). The lyrics of the album’s title selection were written to the music of “Lara’s Theme” from the film Doctor Zhivago, and the result was a top 10 single in the US. The album also reached the US top 20 and went platinum, and Conniff won a Grammy. The single and album also reached high positions in the international charts (a.o. Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Japan). Also extraordinarily successful was the first of four Christmas albums by the Singers, Christmas with Conniff (1959). Nearly 50 years after its release, in 2004, Conniff was posthumously awarded with a platinum album/CD. Other well-known releases by the Singers included Ray Conniff’s Hawaiian album (1967), featuring the hit song “Pearly Shells;” and Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970), which included Coniff’s original composition “Someone,” and remakes of such hits as “All I Have to do is Dream,” “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” and “Something.”

Musically different highlights in Conniff’s career are two albums he produced in cooperation with Billy Butterfield, an old friend from earlier swing days. Conniff Meets Butterfield (1959) featured Butterfield’s solo trumpet and a small rhythm group; Just Kiddin’ Around (after a Conniff original composition from the 1940s), released 1963, featured additional trombone solos by Ray himself. Both albums are pure light jazz and did not feature any vocals.

Later years

Conniff recorded in New York from 1955 through 1961 and mainly in Los Angeles from 1962 through 2000. Later in the 1960s he produced an average of two instrumental and one vocal album a year.

In 1979, Conniff was hired to re-arrange and record a new version of “Those Were The Days” and “Remembering You”, the opening and closing themes to All In The Family for Carroll O’Connor‘s new spin-off, Archie Bunker’s Place on CBS with a small ensemble, trombone solo, and honky-tonk piano.

Conniff sold about 70 million albums worldwide and continued recording and performing until his death in 2002.


“On Ne Badine Pas Avec L’Amour” (“One Ought Not to Trifle with Love”) by Alfred de Musset

Synopsis of the play:


Camille and Perdican are cousins and they love each other dearly – yet they try desperately to hide their true feelings from each other.


Act I:

Perdican, son of the Baron, a recent title holder of a doctorate and a young bachelor returns to the home of his father in the company of his instructor, Maitre Blazius. Camille, his cousin, accompanied by her governess, Lady Pluche, is equally on her return to the very same chateau. The Baron is very keen in uniting Perdican and Camille in a love knot and he confides this plan of his to Maitre Blazius and to Bridaine, the Bishop of the village. However, the reunion of the two cousins, after such a long period of separation is cold and glacial, at best. Camille remains insensitive and unmoved when her cousin tries to evoke memories of their childhood spent together. Camille opposes Perdican’s nostalgic reminiscences with dry and laconic replies. On an evening that goes contradictory to all expectations, Perdican invites to supper at the chateau, Rosette, Camille’s foster sister and a young peasant girl. The wealthy and powerful Baron learns, to his consternation, that his son is courting a simple peasant girl.

Act II:

Camille announces to her cousin that she wants to and has to leave, “irrevocably.” Camille asks Lady Pluche, her governess, to present a note that invites her cousin to a private meeting. Perdican continues to make Camille jealous with his unceasing courtship of Rosette. He, however, does present himself for the secret appointment set up by Camille. The latter reveals to Perdican that she has been taught at the convent to fear love and claims that the nuns there have put her on her guard against the dangers of passion. Besides, her friend, a nun, from her convent days, had enlightened her on the basic egoism and selfishness of men, in general. Perdican questions Camille’s religious education. He praises passion and the nature of love stating that both have the power to transform human beings and states that true love brings lovers to a level of greater joy and unity than ever before. He pleads, in vain, in favour of love – he states again that love is sacred, godly and sublime – even when one is betrayed, deceived or wounded. Camille announces her final and irrevocable decision to him – she has decided to renounce the world and plans on returning permanently to her life at the convent.

Act III:

Perdican manages to get hold of a letter that Camille has addressed to her friend,  the nun, at the convent. The young woman flatters herself “to have reduced him to despair.” In the grip of a cold rage, Perdican presses ahead and fuels further the jealousy of Camille. He devices of a plan wherein he decides to court Rosette in front of Camille herself – Perdican plans to flaunt his love for Rosette, in the hope that he will rouse anger and insecurity in Camille. Yet, Camille ought to have had the foresight to realize that this whole charade was a ruse to get her undivided attention. Camille watches, as a bystander, when Perdican gets engaged to the young peasant girl. Rosette is head-over-heels in love with the son of the Baron; she is totally enamored by Perdican and believes in her own good fortune and happiness, as far as their union is concerned. But Camille disagrees with this match. She calls for her cousin after having hidden the little peasant girl behind a curtain. After addressing innumerable reproaches to each other, the young couple gives vent to their passion and they fall into each other’s arms. The young peasant girl, Rosette, who witnesses the scene, from behind the curtain, feels herself dying of pain, hurt rising from deception and deep emotion.

However, the conscience of their wrongdoings separates Perdican from Camille forever. Camille leaves Perdican and goes away, for good.


Alfred de Musset

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alfred Louis Charles de Musset-Pathay (French: [al.fʁɛd də my.sɛ]; 11 December 1810 – 2 May 1857) was a French dramatist, poet, and novelist. Along with his poetry, he is known for writing La Confession d’un enfant du siècle (The Confession of a Child of the Century, autobiographical) from 1836.


Musset was born on 11 December 1810 in Paris. His family was upper-class but poor and his father worked in various key government positions, but never gave his son any money. His mother was similarly accomplished, and her role as a society hostess – for example her drawing-room parties, luncheons, and dinners, held in the Musset residence – left a lasting impression on young Alfred.

Early indications of Musset’s boyhood talents were seen by his fondness for acting impromptu mini-plays based upon episodes from old romance stories he had read.[2] Years later, elder brother Paul de Musset would preserve these, and many other details, for posterity, in a biography on his famous younger brother.

Alfred de Musset entered the lycée Henri-IV at the age of nine, where in 1827 he won the Latin essay prize in the Concours général. With the help of Paul Foucher,Victor Hugo‘s brother-in-law, he began to attend, at the age of 17, the Cénacle, the literary salon of Charles Nodier at the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal. After attempts at careers in medicine (which he gave up owing to a distaste for dissections), law, drawing, English and piano, he became one of the first Romantic writers, with his first collection of poems, Contes d’Espagne et d’Italie (1829, Tales of Spain and Italy). By the time he reached the age of 20, his rising literary fame was already accompanied by a sulphurous reputation fed by his dandy side.

He was the librarian of the French Ministry of the Interior under the July Monarchy. During this time he also involved himself in polemics during the Rhine crisis of 1840, caused by the French Prime Minister Adolphe Thiers, who as Minister of the Interior had been Musset’s superior. Thiers had demanded that France should own the left bank of the Rhine (described as France’s “natural boundary”), as it had under Napoleon, despite the territory’s German population. These demands were rejected by German songs and poems, including Nikolaus Becker‘s Rheinlied, which contained the verse: “Sie sollen ihn nicht haben, den freien, deutschen Rhein …” (They shall not have it, the free, German Rhine). Musset answered to this with a poem of his own:“Nous l’avons eu, votre Rhin allemand” (We’ve had it, your German Rhine).

The tale of his celebrated love affair with George Sand, which lasted from 1833 to 1835, is told from his point of view in his autobiographical novel, La Confession d’un Enfant du Siècle (The Confession of a Child of the Century, made into a 1999 film, Children of the Century, and then a 2012 film Confession of a Child of the Century), and from her point of view in her Elle et lui. Musset’s Nuits (1835–1837, Nights) trace his emotional upheaval of his love for George Sand, from early despair to final resignation. He is also believed to be the author of Gamiani, or Two Nights of Excess (1833), a lesbian erotic novel, also believed to be modeled on George Sand.

Musset was dismissed from his post as librarian by the new minister Ledru-Rollin after the revolution of 1848. He was however appointed librarian of the Ministry of Public Instruction in 1853.

Musset received the Légion d’honneur on 24 April 1845, at the same time as Balzac, and was elected to the Académie française in 1852 (after two failures to do so in 1848 and 1850).

Alfred de Musset died in his sleep in Paris on 2 May 1857. The cause was heart failure, the combination of alcoholism and a longstanding aortic insufficiency. One symptom that had been noticed by his brother was a bobbing of the head as a result of the amplification of the pulse; this was later called de Musset’s sign. He was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.


I would like you to try and imagine a rose – it is not very hard to do so. A rose is symbolic of love and passion – there is a sense of everlasting beauty, purpose, resilience, solidity and permanence to it. In that sense, it is symbolic of undying love. Now, try, in the same vein, to imagine a paper rose – again, it is not very hard to do so. There is a sense of fragility, superficiality and transience to a rose that has been crafted out of paper. It is ever so easy to crumple and discard a paper rose as something that has little or no value whatsoever.

In the song, sung by the Ray Conniff Singers, the protagonist protests fervently against the artificial nature of the love that she receives from her lover – she tells him that his love for her is fickle-minded, insincere and superficial – such false love is akin to a paper rose and is as easily destructible. At one time, she had believed in his love for her. But now, she is not so sure of where she stands in this whole parody and charade of “put on” love.

To trifle with someone’s emotions; to mess around with another’s feelings and to fool around in the name of love is equivalent of the commission of a grave sin. It is the irrevocable sin of deception and dishonesty – it concerns lying and cheating; these vices soon lead to the greater vices of betrayal and treachery. Whether it concerns friendship or love, remember well the words of Perdican –“true love is sacred and sublime.” Love is a Many-Splendored Thing and is not worthy of being sullied by any vice. I think that most people will tend to agree with me in this matter.

Learn to live and let live; learn to respect other people and their feelings. Remember – just as you would feel hurt if someone you loved deceived you, so can they. It is about time to start seeing things from the perspective of the opposite party – after all, it never was about you and what you want – other people matter too.

Paper Roses
Paper Roses
Paper Roses are fragile, superfluous and easily destructible.
Paper Roses are fragile, superfluous and easily destructible.
Ray Conniff
Ray Conniff
The Ray Conniff Singers
The Ray Conniff Singers
Ray Conniff and the Singers
Ray Conniff and the Singers
Alfred de Musset wrote,
Alfred de Musset wrote, “On ne badine pas avec l’amour” (One must not trifle with love.)
“On ne badine pas avec l’amour” by Alfred de Musset
“On ne badine pas avec l’amour” – artificial and imitation love is as fragile and destructible as a paper rose.

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