His 1917 comical song, a foxtrot-shimmy named Je cherche après Titine (lyrics by Louis Mauban and Marcel Bertal), became world-famous due to Charlie Chaplin singing it in gibberish in Modern Times (1936), especially because it was the first time his character ever spoke in the movies. The title means I am looking for Titine, and Titine is the diminutive of some feminine first names like Martine and Clémentine.
In Poland, the song was initially sung as a cabaret number by Eugeniusz Bodo with original lyrics by Andrzej Włast (signing as Willy on the music sheet), to a major success. A few years later, in 1939, the song was adapted again, into the Wąsik, ach ten wąsik (Oh, what a moustache!) number and performed by Ludwik Sempoliński. This time the lyrics tried to "decide" who was funnier and who brought more to the world, Chaplin or Hitler. After the outbreak of the Second World War, the Gestapo tried to locate both Sempoliński and the lyricist, who was either Julian Tuwim or Marian Hemar, but failed to find either.
The song was parodied by Gary Muller in 1982 as "My Name Is Not Merv Griffin".
- Bertoldi, Sylvain and Olivier Gallard, L'Anjou, confluences d'histoire Angers : Gal'art éd., 2001. ISBN 978-2-914752-00-8
- Internet Broadway Database entry, retrieved Feb. 17, 2013.
- on YouTube.
- 1925 Recording of Billy Hare singing "Titina".
- Information about a recording of Billy Hare singing "Titina", at the UCSB Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project.
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