Monday, June 22, 2009

Fête de la Musique

Yesterday (21st June) was one of the annual high spots of French folklore.

Not because it was the longest day.
Nor because it was the official beginning of summer, which always confuses UK friends who think that should be the middle of summer.

But, every year, 21st June is "Fête de la Musique".

When anybody & everybody turns out in the streets & plays music of any sort.
In all towns & most villages.

All evening.
With huge, wandering audiences.
Who often join in.

Personally, I could do without the talent-less efforts such as the occasional hi-fi at full blast on a balcony, and we do tend to avoid the very, very, noisy stuff which attracts "les jeunes".
But what surprise & delight to find so many soloists, vocal groups, pipe bands, massed drums & ad-hoc minstrel bands on every street corner.

Hard to imagine there is so much talent & enthusiasm lying unseen the rest of the year.
And gratifying to see such a huge, happy, family turn-out to watch, listen, applaud & join in.
In spite of the rain.
Ah, that seems to be another tradition on 21st June.

All this seems so firmly entrenched that it is hard to imagine that it only started in 1982.
A rare stroke of genius by then Culture Minister Jack Lang.

Thanks very much, Jack!

Parting thot: "Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?" – Bobby Kennedy (G B Shaw?)

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