Saturday, 19 July 2014

Eurovision Song Contest New Style

14 July is France’s National day, and in Cormatin there are always two events which form an inextricable part of this day: the Brocante de Qualité and the Défilé, i.e. the wreath laying at the War Monument.

Brocante de Qualité - Cormatin
About the Brocante I can be very brief. I am no fan of flea markets, and the fact that this Brocante is run by professional Brocanteurs does not turn a flea market into an art auction. But there are people who see this differently, and whatever one thinks about the amount and the quality of the rubble that is for sale the atmosphere at these events is always amiable and pleasant.

The sound installation (RIP?)
The Défilé is also the same each year; the only difference each year is the amount of participants and the location where the vin d’amitié is taken. However, this year was different from other years. Monsieur P., the driving force behind the musical setting of the event with the help of a rickety cassette deck and an if possible even ricketier cassette, announced that there was no canned music this year, and that the participants had to sing the Marseillaise for a change. People did not remember the lyrics? No problem, they had Monsieur P.’s consent to hum along.

Marchons, Marchons!
And that is how it came about that a loose collection of French, a Dutchman and an English woman disembarked on singing the Marseillaise. The Foreign Legion did not get much further than a few lines at the beginning (“Allons enfants de la Patrie, lejour de gloire est arrivé!”) and at the end (“Aux armes Citoyens,…, Marchons, Marchons”) but I have to admit that it actually sounded better than the canned version. To the defence of the foreigners present I have to add that there were also several French people who had to hum along.
Maybe this is an idea for a Eurovision Song Contest New Style: forget about all those individual entries. Just let all participants sing e.g. the “Ode an die Freude”, and give the trophy to the one who knows most of the words!

The wreath laying
Also people who do not know the Dutch National Anthem or “God save the Queen” by heart, are more than welcome at La Tuilerie de Chazelle.
And this is what it sounded like until quite recently...

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