If you were cool, you’d know Riff Cohen

But maybe you’re just not cool. Or maybe you don’t know enough French to understand her lyrics – or both. Riff Cohen lives in Jerusalem and her music is a perfect reflection of who she is and where she’s from. Most of her lyrics come from poems penned by her Mom and the music itself is contemporary, cosmopolitan and Mizrachi inflected. I’m sorry you don’t know Riff Cohen. But you should definitely get to know her.

The featured video is titled “A Paris” (In Paris) and was shot in different immigrant neighborhoods in Paris. You probably don’t speak any French either so here are the lyrics translated for you.

In Paris, there’s no parking
In Paris, there’s perfumes
In Paris, beautiful HANDBAGS
And sometimes parishioners

There is parquet floor in the houses
There’s my godfather on the balcony
There’s colors and political parties
Parodies of those political parties

Magazines, folding screens
Umbrellas and exits
One-ways, partisans
Particles, points commas

There’s english people, there’s chatterboxes
Lazy people and boulevards
There’s caretakers, noise
Novels and thousand leaves

In Paris there’s no parking
It’s too hot in the studios
In Paris there’s no parking
But how beautiful she is …
The Eiffel Tower !
You bet!

The video below is her latest, titled “Jean qui rit, Jean qui pleure” Which means “Jean who laughs, Jean who cries” but sounds like “People who laugh, people who cry.” Riff’s Mom loves wordplay – which you would know if you spoke French. But you don’t. You may notice the video was shot in Jerusalem. That’s because it is and Riff actually lives in Jerusalem. Imagine that! Both songs’ lyrics were penned by Riff’s Mom and you can find out more about Riff on her web site riff-cohen.com – obviously.

Oh heck. Here’s another one in Hebrew! The title is Rotza Prachim – I want flowers. Also written by her Mom…

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