Last night I went with one of my sons and his wife and daughter to a concert by Le Vent du Nord, a French-Canadian folk music group from Quebec. It now ranks among the few times I wished I had stuck with French instead of switching to Latin in high school.
Side note: our French teacher taught us by having us memorize dialogues in French. To date, I have yet to say to ANYBODY, “Regarde cette belle neige com el tombe,” whereas Latin words seem to commonly crop up/creep in. Caveat emptor, cogito ergo sum, and all that.
Such joy on that stage! Oh my goodness! Laughter doesn’t need a language any more than music does.
When one of the band members first pulled out his accordion, I was transported back to Bosnia 2017, when one of men there had started playing his accordion after dinner and soon everyone was singing along. I told my daughter-in-law about that experience and she had had a similar one in Switzerland. I have yet to go to dinner at anyone’s house in the USA, have someone start playing the accordion and people start singing along.
When I saw Linda Hill Stream of Consciousness prompt for this week — “a song from your childhood” — I immediately thought of an album, not a single song. If I had to choose a single song, it would be The Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” which is the first song I distinctly remember hearing and wanting to hear over and over. I was four years old when that came out.
The album from my childhood that I thought of was an album of folk music my father gave me when I was in 5th grade. It was assorted artists and assorted songs. Do I distinctly remember any of the songs? No. Well, I do remember “Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder” but it certainly wasn’t my favorite song on the album. It’s kind of a strange song, if you know it. When they listed the ingredients of the chowder, it went something like, “Ice cream, cold cream, benzene, gasoline, soup beans, string beans, floating all around. Sponge cake, beef steak, mistake, stomach ache, egg puffs, ear muffs, begging to be found…” Clearly I listened to it waaaay too many times. And, like I said, it wasn’t my favorite song.
I think that album was like a packet of assorted wildflower seeds that was sown in my heart and took root. Goodness, I love folk music. It is my absolute favorite.
These days, I listen to Scottish folk music all the time. If you walk into my office, you may hear a little skirl of bagpipes playing softly in the background or some sad homesick song about Scotland.
I loved the Québécois music I heard last night. In fact, let me end my blather with a song from Le Vent du Nord, “Ma Louise.”
Check out the foot-tapping guy in the background. I could have listened to that all night.
All I understood was “Au revoir, ma Louise.” I looked up the translation of all the lyrics. Of course, it’s a sad song with happy music.