Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Music on My Mind

Francis Cabrel, "Je t'aimais, je t'aime, je t'aimerai". I'm not in general a fan of songs in French, which has always been anemic and is increasingly inbred, and has a smarmy smile on top of that; but when it turns just the right way, as here, and lets itself be simple and heartfelt, it can still be splendid, recalling something of the spirit of ancient troubadors that still haunts its vowels and glides.


  1. MrsDarwin10:26 PM

    Un peu severe, non? I want to object to this characterization of the language, but I think that might be a knee-jerk defensive reaction because I have the guilty feeling that back in the day I really should have taken Spanish instead of French, as Spanish would have been the more useful language.

  2. Estoy de acuerdo con la señora Darwin. Yo tambien tenia classes en frances en ves de espanol. :)

  3. branemrys12:28 AM

     A little severe, yes. I actually like a lot of things about French; the sound just happens not to be one of them.

  4. MrsDarwin8:25 AM

    My favorite song in French is "Les Bourgeois de Chatres", although that may have more to do with the singers and the arrangement than the language.

  5. Arsen Darnay10:45 AM


  6. Hi Brandon, 

    A question: do you mean French itself is "anemic and [...] increasingly inbred?"  Or is this description meant to apply merely to songs in French?

  7. branemrys2:06 PM


    That was mostly just a joking slam at French, particularly as found in the Académie française with its obsession with its attacks on loanwords and its emphasis on pure French; and it was mostly a way of being outrageous and putting baldly my opinion (very much a minority opinion) that modern French is an ugly language poorly suited for singing. But there are, of course, dialects of French in Algeria or Quebec or Louisiana or elsewhere that couldn't seriously be regarded as anemic in sound and inbred in its approach to new situations the way Academy French is; although I think that over the centuries the purely artificial standards of the Académie have done a lot of damage to the robustness of French throughout the Francophone world.


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