Tag Archives: France

Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Frederick Delius – Florida Suite

Lloyd-Jones, David. English Northern Philharmonia
Evans, Irene; Francis, Sarah; Glanville, Susannah; Lees, Susan; Pearce, Sue; Thomas, Shirley
Frederick Delius – Florida Suite
1. Daybreak – Dance 00:11:43
2. By the River 00:07:09
3. Sunset – Near the Plantation 00:10:10
4. At Night 00:08:09


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April 6 Saint of the Day

April 6: Missionary. Born at Saint-Germain, France, circa 1125, he served … Read More

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April 1 Saint of the Day

April 1: Benedictine bishop of Grenoble, France, patron of St. Bruno. He … Read More


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Boganda Day

In the Central African Republic, Boganda Day marks the anniversary of the death of Barthélemy Boganda, the nation’s first prime minister, who died in a plane crash on March 29, 1959. Boganda had been a driving force in the creation of the Central African Republic, which became a self-governing republic in 1958. He was also a leader in the movement to unite black African nations. Boganda Day is a national holiday in the Central African Republic; all banks, official government offices, businesses, and schools are closed. More… Discuss

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The Mont Blanc Tunnel Fire (1999)

The Mont Blanc Tunnel was completed in 1965 and became a major trans-Alpine transport route linking France and Italy. On March 24, 1999, passing motorists alerted a driver that his truck was smoking. His cargo of flour and margarine had caught fire in the tunnel. The fire burned for 53 hours and reached temperatures over 1,832°F (1,000°C), trapping drivers and thwarting rescue efforts. The blaze claimed 39 lives. How many people were saved by a man on a motorcycle before he died in the inferno? More…Discuss


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Tunisia Gains Independence from France (1956)

Over the centuries, many nations have fought over, won, and lost the African country of Tunisia. It was under Ottoman rule from 1574 until the late 19th century, when France, England, and Italy contended for it. France emerged the victor. In 1955, it granted Tunisia complete internal self-government. Full independence came in 1956. A year later, the monarchy was abolished and Tunisia became a republic. Prior to the 2011 revolution, how many presidents had Tunisia had since gaining independence? More… Discuss


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QUOTATION: All for one, one for all. Alexandre Dumas

All for one, one for all.

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) Discuss

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Mix – Éric Serra





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TODAY’S SAINT: St. Frances of Rome (Feastday: March 9)

Feastday: March 9
1384 – 1440Frances was born in the city of Rome in 1384 to a wealthy, noble family. From her mother she inherited a quiet manner and a pious devotion to God. From her father, however, she inherited a strong will. She decided at eleven that she knew what God wanted for her — she was going to be a nun.

And that’s where her will ran right up against her father’s. He told Frances she was far too young to know her mind – but not too young to be married. He had already promised her in marriage to the son of another wealthy family. In Rome at that time a father’s word was law; a father could even sell his children into slavery or order them killed.

Frances probably felt that’s what he was doing by forcing her to marry. But just as he wouldn’t listen to her, Frances wouldn’t listen to him. She stubbornly prayed to God to prevent the marriage until her confessor pointed out, “Are you crying because you want to do God’s will or because you want God to do your will?”

She gave in to the marriage — reluctantly. It was difficult for people to understand her objection. Her future husband Lorenzo Ponziani was noble, wealthy, a good person and he really cared for her. An ideal match — except for someone who was determined to be a bride of Christ.

Then her nightmare began. This quiet, shy thirteen year old was thrust into the whirl of parties and banquets that accompanied a wedding. Her mother-in-law Cecilia loved to entertain and expected her new daughter-in-law to enjoy the revelry of her social life too. Fasting and scourging were far easier than this torture God now asked her to face.

Frances collapsed from the strain. For months she lay close to death, unable to eat or move or speak.

At her worst, she had a vision of St. Alexis. The son of a noble family, Alexis had run away to beg rather than marry. After years of begging he was so unrecognizable that when he returned home his own father thought he was just another beggar and made him sleep under the stairs. In her own way, Frances must have felt unrecognized by her family – they couldn’t see how she wanted to give up everything for JesusSt. Alexis told her God was giving her an important choice: Did she want to recover or not?

It’s hard for us to understand why a thirteen-year-old would want to die but Frances was miserable. Finally, she whispered, “God’s will is mine.” The hardest words she could have said — but the right words to set her on the road to sanctity.

St. Alexis replied, “Then you will live to glorify His Name.” Her recovery was immediate and complete. Lorenzo became even more devoted to her after this — he was even a little in awe of her because of what she’d been through.

But her problems did not disappear. Her mother-in-law still expected her to entertain and go on visits with her. Look at Frances’ sister-in-law Vannozza –happily going through the rounds of parties, dressing up, playing cards. Why couldn’t Frances be more like Vannozza?

In a house where she lived with her husband, his parents, his brother and his brother’s family, she felt all alone. And that’s why Vannozza found her crying bitterly in the garden one day. When Frances poured out her heart to Vannozza and it turned out that this sister-in-law had wanted to live a life devoted to the Lord too. What Frances had written off as frivolity was just Vannozza’s natural easy-going and joyful manner. They became close friends and worked out a program of devout practices and services to work together.

They decided their obligations to their family came first. For Frances that meant dressing up to her rank, making visits and receiving visits — and most importantly doing it gladly. But the two spiritual friends went to masstogether, visited prisons, served in hospitals and set up a secret chapel in an abandoned tower of their palace where they prayed together.

But it wasn’t fashionable for noblewomen to help the poor and people gossiped about two girls out alone on the streets. Cecilia suffered under the laughter of her friends and yelled at her daughters-in-law to stop theirs spiritual practices. When that didn’t work Cecilia then appealed to her sons, but Lorenzo refused to interfere with Frances’ charity.

The beginning of the fifteenth century brought the birth of her first son, Battista, after John the Baptist. We might expect that the grief of losing her mother-in-law soon after might have been mixed with relief — no more pressure to live in society. But a household as large as the Ponziani’s needed someone to run it. Everyone thought that sixteen-year-old Frances was best qualified to take her mother-in-law’s place. She was thrust even more deeply into society and worldly duties. Her family was right, though — she was an excellent administrator and a fair and pleasant employer.

After two more children were born to her — a boy, Giovanni Evangelista, and a girl, Agnes — a flood brought disease and famine to Rome. Frances gave orders that no one asking for alms would be turned away and she and Vannozza went out to the poor with corn, wine, oil and clothing. Her father-in-law, furious that she was giving away their supplies during a famine, took the keys of the granary and wine cellar away from her.

Then just to make sure she wouldn’t have a chance to give away more, he sold off their extra corn, leaving just enough for the family, and all but one cask of one. The two noblewomen went out to the streets to beg instead.

Finally Frances was so desperate for food to give to the poor she went to the now empty corn loft and sifted through the straw searching for a few leftover kernels of corn. After she left Lorenzo came in and was stunned to find the previously empty granary filled with yellow corn. Frances drew wine out of their one cask until one day her father in law went down and found it empty. Everyone screamed at Frances. After saying a prayer, she led them to cellar, turned the spigot on the empty cask, and out flowed the most wonderful wine. These incidents completely converted Lorenzo and her father-in-law.

Having her husband and father-in-law completely on her side meant she could do what she always wanted. She immediately sold her jewels and clothes and distributed money to needy. She started wearing a dress of coarse green cloth.

Civil war came to Rome – this was a time of popes and antipopes and Rome became a battleground. At one point there were three men claiming to be pope. One of them sent a cruel governor, Count Troja, to conquer Rome. Lorenzo was seriously wounded and his brother was arrested. Troja sent word that Lorenzo’s brother would be executed unless he had Battista, Frances’s son and heir of the family, as a hostage. As long as Troja had Battista he knew the Ponzianis would stop fighting.

When Frances heard this she grabbed Battista by the hand and fled. On the street, she ran into her spiritual adviser Don Andrew who told her she was choosing the wrong way and ordered her to trust God. Slowly she turned around and made her way to Capitol Hill where Count Troja was waiting. As she and Battista walked the streets, crowds of people tried to block her way or grab Battista from her to save him. After giving him up, Frances ran to a church to weep and pray.

As soon as she left, Troja had put Battista on a soldier’s horse — but every horse they tried refused to move. Finally the governor gave in to God’s wishes. Frances was still kneeling before the altar when she felt Battista’s little arms around her.

But the troubles were not over. Frances was left alone against the attackers when she sent Lorenzo out of Rome to avoid capture. Drunken invaders broke into her house, tortured and killed the servants, demolished the palace, literally tore it apart and smashed everything. And this time God did not intervene — Battista was taken to Naples. Yet this kidnapping probably saved Battista’s life because soon a plague hit — a plague that took the lives of many including Frances’ nine-year-old son Evangelista.

At this point, her house in ruins, her husband gone, one son dead, one son a hostage, she could have given up. She looked around, cleared out the wreckage of the house and turned it into a makeshift hospital and a shelter for the homeless.

One year after his death Evangelista came to her in a vision and told her that Agnes was going to die too. In returnGod was granting her a special grace by sending an archangel to be her guardian angel for the rest of her life. She would always been able to see him. A constant companion and spiritual adviser, he once commanded her to stop her severe penances (eating only bread and water and wearing a hair shirt). “You should understand by now,” theangel told her, “that the God who made your body and gave it to your soul as a servant never intended that thespirit should ruin the flesh and return it to him despoiled.”

Finally the wars were over and Battista and her husband returned home. But though her son came back a charming young man her husband returned broken in mind and body. Probably the hardest work of healing Frances had to do in her life was to restore Lorenzo back to his old self.

When Battista married a pretty young woman named Mabilia Frances expected to find someone to share in the management of the household. But Mabilia wanted none of it. She was as opposite of Frances and Frances had been of her mother-in- law. Mabilia wanted to party and ridiculed Frances in public for her shabby green dress, her habits, and her standards. One day in the middle of yelling at her, Mabilia suddenly turned pale and fainted, crying, “Oh my pride, my dreadful pride.” Frances nursed her back to health and healed their differences as well. A converted Mabilia did her best to imitate Frances after that.

With Lorenzo’s support and respect, Frances started a lay order of women attached to the Benedictines called the Oblates of Mary. The women lived in the world but pledged to offer themselves to God and serve the poor. Eventually they bought a house where the widowed members could live in community.

Frances nursed Lorenzo until he died. His last words to her were, “I feel as if my whole life has been one beautiful dream of purest happiness. God has given me so much in your love.” After his death, Frances moved into the house with the other Oblates and was made superior. At 52 she had the life she dreamed of when she was eleven. She had been right in discerning her original vocation — she just had the timing wrong. God had had other plans for her in between.

Frances died four years later. Her last words were “The angel has finished his task — he beckons me to follow him.”

In Her Footsteps:Do you have a spiritual friend who helps you on your journey, someone to pray with and serve with? If you don’t have one now, ask God to send you such a companion. Then look around you. This friend, like Frances’ Vannozza, may be near you already. Try sharing some of your spiritual hopes and desires with those closest to you. You may be surprised at their reaction. (But don’t force your opinions on others or get discouraged by lack of interest. Just keep asking God to lead you.) 

Other Saints for March 9:

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Feastday: March 8
John of God is patron saint of booksellers, printers, heart patients, hospitals, nurses, the sick, and firefighters and is considered the founder of the Brothers Hospitallers.
1495 – 1550
From the time he was eight to the day he died, John followed every impulse of his heart. The challenge for him was to rush to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit gave him, not his own human temptations. But unlike many who act impulsively, when John made a decision, no matter how quickly, he stuck with it, no matter what the hardship.

At eight years old, John heard a visiting priest speak of adventures that were waiting in the age of 1503 with new worlds being opened up. That very night he ran away from home to travel with thepriest and never saw his parents again. They begged their way from village to village until John fell sick. The man who nursed him back to health, the manager of a large estate, adopted John.John worked as a shepherd in the mountains until he was 27. Feeling pressure to marry the manager’s daughter, whom he loved as a sister, John took off to join the Spanish army in the waragainst France. As a soldier, he was hardly a model of holiness, taking part in the gambling, drinking, and pillaging that his comrades enjoyed. One day, he was thrown from a stolen horse near French lines. Frightened that he would be captured or killed, he reviewed his life and vowed impulsively to make a change.

When he returned he kept his spur of the moment vow, made a confession, and immediately changed his life. His comrades didn’tmind so much that John was repenting but hated that he wanted them to give up their pleasures too. So they used his impulsivenature to trick him into leaving his post on the pretext of helping someone in need. He was rescued from hanging at the last minute and thrown out of the army after being beaten and stripped. He begged his way back to his foster-home where he worked as a shepherd until he heard of a new war with Moslems invading Europe. Off he went but after the war was over, he decided to try to find his real parents. To his grief he discovered both had died in his absence.

As a shepherd he had plenty of time to contemplate what God might want of his life. When he decided at 38 that he should go to Africa to ransom Christian captives, he quit immediately and set off for the port of Gibraltar. He was on the dock waiting for his ship when he saw a family obviously upset and grieving. When he discovered they were a noble family being exiled to Africa after political intrigues, he abandoned his original plan and volunteered to be their servant. The family fell sick when they reached their exile and John kept them alive not only by nursing them but by earning money to feed them. His job building fortifications was grueling, inhuman work and the workers were beaten and mistreated by people who called themselves Catholics. Seeing Christians act this way so disturbed John that it shook his faith. A priest advised him not to blame the Church for their actions and to leave for Spain at once. John did go back home — but only after he learned that his newly adopted family had received pardons.

In Spain he spent his days unloading ship cargoes and his nights visiting churches and reading spiritual books. Reading gave him so much pleasure that he decided that he should share this joy with others. He quit his job and became a book peddler, traveling from town to town selling religious books and holy cards. A vision at age 41 brought him to Granada where he sold books from a little shop. (For this reason he is patron saint of booksellers and printers.)

After hearing a sermon from the famous John of Avila on repentance, he was so overcome by the thought of his sins that the whole town thought the little bookseller had gone from simple eccentricity to madness. After the sermon John rushed back to his shop, tore up any secular books he had, gave away all his religious books and all his money. Clothes torn and weeping, he was the target of insults, jokes, and even stones and mud from the townspeople and their children.

Friends took the distraught John to the Royal Hospital where he was interned with the lunatics. John suffered the standard treatment of the time – being tied down and daily whipping. John of Avila came to visit him there and told him his penance had gone on long enough — forty days, the same amount as the Lord’s suffering the desert – and had John moved to a better part of the hospital.

John of God could never see suffering without trying to do something about it. And now that he was free to move, although still a patient, he immediately got up and began to help the other sick people around him. The hospital was glad to have his unpaid nursing help and were not happy to release him when one day he walked in to announce he was going to start his own hospital.

John may have been positive that God wanted him to start a hospital for the poor who got bad treatment, if any, from the other hospitals, but everyone else still thought of him as a madman. It didn’t help that he decided to try to finance his plan by selling wood in the square. At night he took what little money he earned and brought food and comfort to the poor living in abandoned buildings and under bridges. Thus his first hospital was the streets of Granada.

Within an hour after seeing a sign in a window saying “House to let for lodging of the poor” he had rented the house in order to move his nursing indoors. Of course he rented it without money for furnishings, medicine, or help. After he begged money for beds, he went out in the streets again and carried his ill patients back on the same shoulders that had carried stones, wood, and books. Once there he cleaned them, dressed their wounds, and mended their clothes at night while he prayed. He used his old experience as a peddler to beg alms, crying through the streets in his peddler’s voice, “Do good to yourselves! For the love of God, Brothers, do good!” Instead of selling goods, he took anything given — scraps of good, clothing, a coin here and there.

Throughout his life he was criticized by people who didn’t like the fact that his impulsive love embraced anyone in need without asking for credentials or character witnesses. When he was able to move his hospital to an old Carmelite monastery, he opened a homeless shelter in the monastery hall. Immediately critics tried to close him down saying he was pampering troublemakers. His answer to this criticism always was that he knew of only one bad character in the hospital and that was himself. His urge to act immediately when he saw need got him into trouble more than a few times. Once, when he encountered a group of starving people, he rushed into a house,stole a pot of food, and gave it to them. He was almost arrested for that charity! Another time, on finding a group of children in rags, he marched them into a clothing shop and bought them all new clothes. Since he had no money, he paid for it all on credit!

Yet his impulsive wish to help saved many people in one emergency. The alarm went out that the Royal Hospital was on fire. When he dropped everything to run there, he found that the crowd was just standing around watching the hospital — and its patients — go up in flames. He rushed into the blazing building and carried or led the patients out. When all the patients were rescued, he started throwing blankets, sheets, and mattresses out the windows — how well he knew from his own hard work how important these things were. At that point a cannon was brought to destroy the burning part of the building in order to save the rest. John stopped them, ran up the roof, and separated the burning portion with an axe. He succeeded but fell through the burning roof. All thought they had lost their hero until John of God appeared miraculously out of smoke. (For this reason, John of God is patron saint of firefighters.)

John was ill himself when he heard that a flood was bringing precious driftwood near the town. He jumped out of bed to gather the wood from the raging river. Then when one of his companions fell into the river, John without thought for his illness or safety jumped in after him. He failed to save the boy and caught pneumonia. He died on March 8, his fifty-fifth birthday, of the same impulsive love that had guided his whole life.

John of God is patron saint of booksellers, printers, heart patients, hospitals, nurses, the sick, and firefighters and is considered the founder of the Brothers Hospitallers.


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TODAY’S SAINT: St. Colette Feastday: March 6

St. Colette

St. Colette

Feastday: March 6
1380 – 1447

Colette was the daughter of a carpenter named DeBoilet at CorbyAbbey in Picardy, France. She was born on January 13, christened Nicolette, and called Colette. Orphaned at seventeen, she distributed her inheritance to the poor. She became a Franciscan tertiary, and lived at Corby as a solitary. She soon became well known for her holiness and spiritual wisdom, but left her cell in 1406 in response to a dream directing her to reform the Poor Clares. She received the Poor Clares habit from Peter de Luna, whom the French recognized as Pope under the name of Benedict XIII, with orders to reform the Order and appointing her Superiorof all convents she reformed. Despite great opposition, she persisted in her efforts. She founded seventeen convents with the reformed rule and reformed several older convents. She was reknowned for her sanctity, ecstacies, and visions of the Passion, and prophesied her own death in her convent at Ghent, Belgium. A branch of the Poor Clares is still known as the Collettines. She was canonized in 1807. Her feast day is March 6th.

St. Patrick: Man, Myth & Holiday

Learn interesting facts and tidbits about the beloved St. Patrick.

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The Château

Though the French word château is translated into English as “castle,” there are certain nuances that differentiate it from its English counterpart. For example, stately residences both fortified and unfortified may be châteaus, but only if they are in the countryside. Thus, the Louvre was once a château but lost the designation once urban sprawl made it a part of Paris, whereas opulent—yet rural—Versailles Palace is considered a château. What term is used for equivalent urban structures? More… Discuss


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Mary “the Rich” of Burgundy (1457)

The only surviving child of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, Mary inherited the vast Burgundian domains in France and the Low Countries upon her father’s death in 1477. Louis XI of France immediately annexed some of these and, hoping to gain possession of the rest, proposed that she wed his son Charles. She instead married Maximilian of Austria, establishing the Hapsburgs in the Low Countries and initiating the long rivalry between France and Austria. What Great Privilege did she grant? More… Discuss


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RT @Steven__Strong “Le Boeing 747 décolla pour la première fois il y a tout juste 45 ans aujourd’hui. …


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Great compositions/Performances: Debussy, Printemps: Suite Symphonique. Pierre Boulez

Claude Debussy

Printemps, symphonic suite for chorus, piano & orchestra, L. 61

1. Tres Modere

Claude Debussy LOC 23688
2. Modere 
Pierre Boulez

From AllMusic

One of Debussy‘s assignments as a Prix de Rome scholar at the Villa Medici in 1887 was to send back to the Fine Arts Academy in France an orchestral score so his benefactors could judge his professional progress. All Debussy managed to turn in was a piano duet called Printemps, or “Spring”; he claimed that the full score, complete with humming chorus, had been destroyed in a fire. Not until 1913 did he get around to generating an orchestral version, and even then the work was assigned to Henri Büsser who, working from the keyboard original, had no access to any original choral material. In a nod to the music’s origins, Büsser included a prominent but not quite concertante keyboard part in the finished score.

The Academy committee found the piece to be excessively progressive, which in the late 1880s meant little more than Wagnerian in its chromaticism. (The committee’s condemnation includes the first recorded application of the term “Impressionism” to Debussy‘s music.) Only in the orchestration did the music begin to sound like mature, Impressionistic Debussy, that effect achieved through timbre rather than harmony. The composer said he intended to compose a work “of a particular color, covering as wide a range of sensations as possible.” Actually, in terms of sensations, Printemps is limited to two: yearning, giving way to relaxed happiness. Debussydescribed the music’s program as “the slow, laborious birth of beings and things in nature, and then their blossoming outward and upward, and finally a burst of joy at being reborn to new life.” Consequently, the piece falls into two movements, both at moderate tempo, and neither employ particularly straightforward or memorable melodic material; the emphasis is entirely on mood.

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Grenada Independence Day

This is a national holiday commemorating Grenada‘s independence from Britain on this day in 1974. Britain had held the island since the 18th century, when France ceded it under the Treaty of ParisMore… Discuss


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Marlene Dietrich “Je m’ennuie” 1933

Marlene Dietrich “Je m’ennuie” 1933

Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) enregistrée le 15 juillet 1933 à Paris.

The French lyrics are quite “benign” but don’t forget that it was the 1930s… If you never heard Dietrich sing, here’s your chance.

De ce que fut mon enfance, 
Je n’ai plus de souvenirs.
C’est peut-être que la chance
Ne m’offrit pas de plaisirs. 
Et chaque jour qui se lève
Ne m’apporte aucun espoir.
Je n’ai même pas de rêve
Quand luit l’etoile du soir.

Moi, je m’ennuie,
C’est dans ma vie
Une manie.
Je n’y peux rien..
Le plaisir passe,
Il me dépasse.
En moi sa trace
Ne laisse rien.
Partout je traîne,
Comme une chaîne,
Ma lourde peine,
Sans autre bien.
C’est dans ma vie
Une manie.
Moi, je m’ennuie…

Par de longs vagabondages,
J’ai voulu griser mon coeur,
Et souvent, sur mon passage,
J’ai vu naître des malheurs.
Sur chaque nouvelle route,
A l’amour j’ai dû mentir ;
Et le soir, lorsque j’écoute
La plainte du vent mourir…

Moi, je m’ennuie…
C’est dans ma vie
Une manie.
Je n’y peux rien..
Le plaisir passe,
Il me dépasse.
En moi sa trace
Ne laisse rien.
Partout je traîne,
Comme une chaîne,
Ma lourde peine,
Sans autre bien.
C’est dans ma vie
Une manie.
Moi, je m’ennuie…

visit: http://lannghiemphu.blogspot.com/2011/07/je-mennuie.html

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Mylène Farmer performing Je M’Ennuie (Live From Stade De France). © 2010 Stuffed Monkey

Mylène Farmer – Je M’Ennuie (Stade De France DVD)

Music video by Mylène Farmer performing Je M’Ennuie (Live From Stade De France). © 2010 Stuffed Monkey

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The Washington Naval Treaty Is Signed (1922)

Also known as the Five-Power Treaty, the Washington Naval Treaty was an agreement signed in the wake of World War I in an effort to prevent an arms race by limiting naval construction. Signed by five of the major Allied Powers—Great Britain, the US, Japan, France, and Italy—the treaty limited the tonnage of aircraft carriers and capital ships and imposed proportional limits on the number of warships each signatory nation could maintain. For how long did signatories adhere to these terms? More… Discuss


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Great Composers/Performances: Duke Ellington The Great Paris Concert

Duke Ellington Orchestra
■Recorded at the Olympia Theater, Paris , France , on Feb.1st,2nd and 23rd, 1963
1.Kinda Dukish,
2.Rockin’ in Rhythm (01:51),
3.On the Sunny Side of the Street (05:39) ,
***4.Star-Crossed Lovers (08:42),
5.All of Me(12:53) ,
6.Theme from “Asphalt Jungle” (15:29) ,
7.Concerto for Cootie (19:35),
8.Tutti for Cootie (22:10),
9.Suite Thursday: MisfitBlues (26:57),
10.Suite Thursday: Schwiphti (30:36),
11.Suite Thursday: Zweet Zurzday (33:28),
12.Suite Thursday: Lay-By (37:21),
13.Perdido (43:49),
14.The Eighth Veil (49:10),
15.Rose Of The Rio Grande (51:46),
16.Cop Out (54:28),
17.Bula (1:01:25)
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Great Compositions/Performances: La Prière (avec ça signification Chretienne)- Georges Brassens (1965)

À l’émission “Douce France“, le 4 janvier 1965.
Un poème de Francis Jammes:  Great Compositions/Performances:
La Prière – Georges Brassens (1965)

Brassens a utilisé deux fois la même mélodie, d’abord sur le poème d’AragonIl n’y a pas d’amour heureux, puis sur celui de Francis Jammes, La prière.
Il s’en est expliqué dans une interview où il raconte qu’au XIXème siècle circulaient des mélodies de base (un peu comme pour le blues en jazz) sur lesquels les chanteurs pouvaient faire coller les paroles qu’ils avaient composées. Ces mélodies passe-partout s’appelaient des “timbres”. 
Les timbres ont été utilisés jusque dans les années 50 en France, notamment par les chansonniers du Grenier de Montmartre (sur Paris Inter) qui écrivaient ou même improvisaient des couplets d’actualité sur des airs standards, dont le public reprenait les refrains. 
Mais voyant que ce qu’il avait cherché à ressusciter était mal compris, (“Qui c’est ce flemmard qui nous sert deux chansons sur le même air?”) Brassens ne renouvela pas l’expérience.
[contact auteur : Henri T.] - [compléter cette analyse]
Maxime Le Forestier a fait remarquer l’ironie de cette situation: les deux seuls textes que Brassens a dotés d’une même musique sont l’un du très communiste Aragon et l’autre du très catholique Francis Jammes.
[contact auteur : Didier Bergeret]
A l’origine, le poème de Francis Jammes Les mystères douloureux(1905), comportait 5 couplets :
1- Agonie
2- Flagellation
3- Couronnement d’épines (supprimé par G.B.)
4- Portement de croix
5- Crucifiement
Dans le 3) (Couronnement d’épines), F. Jammes réfléchissait sur son sort de poète et cherchait vers le Christ son inspiration. 
“Par le poète dont saigne le front qui est ceint des ronces des désirs que jamais il n’atteint : Je vous salue, Marie
Il faut savoir que Jammes était résolument chrétien, particulièrement en 1905, où il s’était de nouveau adonné à la pratique religieuse. Il est intéressant de remarquer que GB, loin d’être un fervent catholique, a néanmoins choisi de chanter une prière particulièrement pieuse.
Le couplet “Invention de Notre Seigneur au Temple”, est écrit quant à lui par GB en personne. Ce titre est probablement choisi pour indiquer que ce couplet est une contribution de GB au poème. Contribution assez ironique toutefois, puisque GB se compare à “Notre Seigneur” (sous-entendu le Christ). De la même façon que Jammes comparait son travail de souffrance dans le 3e couplet à celui du Christ. Ainsi, GB se moquerait-il de F.J. dans cet ultime couplet, répondant sous des accents christiques aux implorations de F.J. ?
[contact auteur : Damien V.] - [compléter cette analyse]
Dans son recueil L’église habitée de feuilles (1906), que je n’ai pas sous la main, Francis Jammes illustre les Avé Maria (faut vérifier si tous les 150) et les 15 mystères (= moments de la vie de Jésus) de la prière du Rosaire. Ces mystères sont:
Les Mystères joyeux :
Annonciation – Visitation – Nativité – Purification – Jésus retrouvé au Temple.
Les Mystères douloureux :
Agonie – Flagellation – Couronnement d’épines – Portement de croix – Mort du Christ en croix.
Les Mystères glorieux :
Résurrection – Ascension – Pentecôte – Assomption – Couronnement de la Vierge.
En 2002, Jean-Paul II y a ajouté les Mystères lumineux :
Baptême du Seigneur – Noces de Cana – Annonce du Royaume – Transfiguration – Institution de l’Eucharistie.
[contact auteur : Ralf Tauchmann]
01Par le petit garçon qui meurt près de sa mère
02Tandis que des enfants s’amusent au parterre ;
03Et par l’oiseau blessé qui ne sait pas comment
04Son aile tout à coup s’ensanglante et descend
05Par la soif et la faim et le délire ardent:
06Je vous salue, Marie
07Par les gosses battus par l’ivrogne qui rentre,
08Par l’âne qui reçoit des coups de pied au ventre
09Et par l’humiliation de l’innocent châtié,
10Par la vierge vendue qu’on a déshabillée,
11Par le fils dont la mère a été insultée:
12Je vous salue, Marie
13Par la vieille qui, trébuchant sous trop de poids,
14S’écrie : “mon Dieu ! “, par le malheureux dont les bras
15Ne purent s’appuyer sur une amour humaine
16Comme la Croix du Fils sur Simon de Cyrène
Référence à la Passion
Référence à l’Evangile selon Saint Matthieu chapitre 27, verset 32 et l’Evangile selon Saint Marc 15, 21. 
Pendant le Chemin de Croix, les soldats réquisitionnent un homme revenu des champs, Simon de Cyrène, pour porter la Croix du Christ, qui est à bout de forces. Le Fils est une référence à l’expression “Le Fils de l’homme”, par laquelle Jésus se définit lui-même. Le Christ est également le Fils de Dieu.
On connaît le caractère anticlérical de certaines chansons de Brassens, voire franchement sacrilège sur la fin de sa vie, mais cette prière de Jammes est touchante par sa sincérité et par les images qu’elle évoque.
[contact auteur : Alexandre T.] - [compléter cette analyse]
17Par le cheval tombé sous le chariot qu’il traîne:
Le service de publication est momentanément désactivé, sans doute à cause d’une trop longue liste d’analyses en attente de modération.
Merci de votre compréhension.
18Je vous salue, Marie
19Par les quatre horizons qui crucifient le monde,
20Par tous ceux dont la chair se déchire ou succombe,
21Par ceux qui sont sans pieds, par ceux qui sont sans mains,
22Par le malade que l’on opère et qui geint
23Et par le juste mis au rang des assassins:
24Je vous salue, Marie
25Par la mère apprenant que son fils est guéri,
Dernier couplet
Ce couplet est la note personnelle de GB. Voilà qu’en un air de musique, GB arrive à détourner l’idée originale du texte de F.J.
F. Jammes, qui cherchait dans la souffrance du monde et celle du Christ une réponse à ses propres tourments, se voit répondre par GB dans ce dernier couplet.
GB prend ici le contrepied de la démarche de FJ : ce dernier pointait la misère du monde, telle qu’a été la souffrance de Jésus. GB quant à lui met en avant le bonheur retrouvé. En signant lui aussi le couplet par un ave maria, GB signifie ainsi que la souffrance n’est qu’une invention divine pour glorifier le message de Dieu. Dieu ne prend que pour mieux redonner, et inversement, il ne donne que pour mieux reprendre. L’étendue de son pouvoir n’est donc que virtuelle, est bonne à duper que les imbéciles.
[contact auteur : Damien V.] - [compléter cette analyse]
Cette dernière strophe est tirée des Mystères Joyeux de F. Jammes qui, avec les Mystères douleureux et les Mystères glorieux, illustrent les mystères du Rosaire.
[contact auteur : Ralf Tauchmann]
26Par l’oiseau rappelant l’oiseau tombé du nid,
27Par l’herbe qui a soif et recueille l’ondée,
28Par le baiser perdu par l’amour redonné,
29Et par le mendiant retrouvant sa monnaie :
30Je vous salue, Marie


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Great compositions/Performances: Nina Simone – Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux (Brassens, Echos du monde) ‘…Sa vie est un étrange et douloureux divorce…’

Français : une des entrées du parc Georges Bra...

Français : une des entrées du parc Georges Brassens, Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Nina Simone interpreta “Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux”, la poesia di Louis Aragon che Georges Brassens musicò nel 1954; di seguito il testo originale e la traduzione in italiano.

- Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux -

“Rien n’est jamais acquis à l’homme 
Ni sa force, ni sa faiblesse, ni son cœur 
Et quand il croit ouvrir ses bras 
Son ombre est celle d’une croix 
Et quand il croit serrer son bonheur…il le broie 
Sa vie est un étrange et douloureux divorce 

Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux 

Sa vie, elle ressemble à ces soldats sans armes 
Qu’on avait habillés pour un autre destin 
A quoi peut leur servir de se lever matin 
Eux qu’on retrouve au soir désarmés incertains 
Dites ces mots, ma vie 
Et retenez vos larmes! 

Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux 

Mon bel amour, mon cher amour, ma déchirure 
Je te porte dans moi comme un oiseau blessé 
Et ceux-là sans savoir nous regardent passer 
Répétant après moi les mots que j’ai tressés 
Et qui pour tes grands yeux tout aussitôt moururent 

Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux 

Le temps d’apprendre à vivre 
Il est déjà trop tard 
Que pleurent dans la nuit nos cœurs à l’unisson 
Ce qu’il faut de malheur pour la moindre chanson 
Ce qu’il faut de regrets pour payer un frisson 
Ce qu’il faut de sanglots pour un air de guitare 

Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux.”


- Non esiste amore felice -

Non c’è mai niente di scontato per l’uomo
Né la sua forza, la sua debolezza, né il suo cuore
E quando crede di aprire le braccia
La sua ombra è quella di una croce
E quando crede di stringere la sua felicità…la stritola
La sua vita è uno strano e doloroso divorzio

Non esiste amore felice

La sua vita, assomiglia a quei soldati senz’armi
Che si sono vestiti per un altro destino
A cosa può servire alzarsi la mattina
Per loro che si ritrovano la sera disarmati incerti
Dite queste parole, la mia vita 
E trattenete le lacrime!

Non esiste amore felice

Mio bell’amore, mio caro amore, mia lacerazione
Ti porto dentro di me come un uccello ferito
E quelli là ignari ci guardano passare
Ripetendo dopo di me le parole che ho intrecciate
E che per i tuoi grandi occhi tutti morivano all’istante

Non esiste amore felice

E’ tardi per imparare a vivere
Ormai è da troppo tempo
Che i nostri cuori piangono all’unisono nella notte
Quel che serve d’infelicità per ogni minima canzone
Quel che serve di rimpianti per regalare un brivido
Quel che serve di singulti per un’aria di chitarra

Non esiste amore felice.”


Buy “Il N’y A Pas D’Amour Heureux (Remastered LP Version)” on



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Nina Simone




English: Georges Brassens

English: Georges Brassens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Louis Aragon

Cover of Louis Aragon

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“L’ivrogne” Mr Jacques Brel – 1961

Published on Mar 22, 2010

Jacques Brel

Ami remplis mon verre
Encore un et je vas
Encore un et je vais
Non je ne pleure pas
Je chante et je suis gai
Mais j’ai mal d’être moi
Ami remplis mon verre
Ami remplis mon verre

Buvons à ta santé
Toi qui sais si bien dire
Que tout peut s’arranger
Qu’elle va revenir
Tant pis si tu es menteur
Tavernier sans tendresse
Je serai saoul dans une heure
Je serai sans tristesse
Buvons à la santé
Des amis et des rires
Que je vais retrouver
Qui vont me revenir
Tant pis si ces seigneurs
Me laissent à terre
Je serai saoul dans une heure
Je serai sans colère

Ami remplis mon verre
Encore un et je vas
Encore un et je vais
Non je ne pleure pas
Je chante et je suis gai
Mais j’ai mal d’être moi
Ami remplis mon verre
Ami remplis mon verre

Buvons à ma santé
Que l’on boive avec moi
Que l’on vienne danser
Qu’on partage ma joie
Tant pis si les danseurs
Me laissent sous la lune
Je serai saoul dans une heure
Je serai sans rancune
Buvons aux jeunes filles
Qu’il me reste à aimer
Buvons déjà aux filles
Que je vais faire pleurer
Et tant pis pour les fleurs
Qu’elles me refuseront
Je serai saoul dans une heure
Je serai sans passion

Ami remplis mon verre
Encore un et je vas
Encore un et je vais
Non je ne pleure pas
Je chante et je suis gai
Mais j’ai mal d’être moi
Ami remplis mon verre
Ami remplis mon verre

Buvons à la putain
Qui m’a tordu le coeur
Buvons à plein chagrin
Buvons à pleines pleurs
Et tant pis pour les pleurs
Qui me pleuvent ce soir
Je serai saoul dans une heure
Je serai sans mémoire
Buvons nuit après nuit
Puisque je serai trop laid
Pour la moindre Sylvie
Pour le moindre regret
Buvons puisqu’il est l’heure
Buvons rien que pour boire
Je serai bien dans une heure
Je serai sans espoir

Ami remplis mon verre
Encore un et je vas
Encore un et je vais
Non je ne pleure pas
Je chante et je suis gai
Tout s’arrange déjà
Ami remplis mon verre
Ami remplis mon verre
Ami remplis mon verre.


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Saint of the Day for Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Saint of the Day for Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Image of St. Joan de Lestonnac

Feastday: February 2
Patron of abuse victims, people rejected by religious orders, widows
1556 – 1640

St. Joan de Lestonnac was born in Bordeaux, France, in 1556. She married at the age of seventeen. The happy marriage produced four children, but her husband died suddenly in 1597. After herchildren were raised, she entered the Cistercian monastery at Toulouse. Joan was forced to leave the Cistercians when she became afflicted with poor health. She returned to Bordeaux with the idea of forming a new congregation, and several young girls joined her as novices. They ministered to victims of a plague that struck Bordeaux, and they were determined to counteract the evils of heresy promulgated by Calvinism. Thus was formed the Congregation of the Religious of Notre Dame of Bordeaux. In 1608, Joan and her companions received the religious habit from the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Joan was elected superior in 1610, and many miracles occurred at her tomb. She was canonized in 1949 by Pope Pius XII. Her feast day is February 2.

More Saints of the Day


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Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand (1754)

The prototype of the witty, cynical diplomat, Talleyrand is exalted by some as a savior of Europe and damned by others as an opportunist or traitor. Undisputed, however, is the Frenchman‘s impressive knack for political survival. He held high office from the ancien régime through the Revolution, Napoleon’s rise and fall, the Restoration, and the July Monarchy. He scored his greatest diplomatic triumphs representing France at the Congress of Vienna. What was one of his worst diplomatic failures? More… Discuss


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Leonard Cohen – The Partisan

The Partisan, by Leonard Cohen

When they poured across the border

I was cautioned to surrender,
this I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.
I have changed my name so often,
I’ve lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.

An old woman gave us shelter,
kept us hidden in the garret,
then the soldiers came;
she died without a whisper.

There were three of us this morning
I’m the only one this evening
but I must go on;
the frontiers are my prison.

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we’ll come from the shadows.

Les Allemands e’taient chez moi, (The Germans were at my home)
ils me dirent, “Signe toi,” (They said, “Sign yourself,”)
mais je n’ai pas peur; (But I am not afraid)
j’ai repris mon arme. (I have retaken my weapon.)

J’ai change’ cent fois de nom, (I have changed names a hundred times)
j’ai perdu femme et enfants (I have lost wife and children)
mais j’ai tant d’amis; (But I have so many friends)
j’ai la France entie`re. (I have all of France)

Un vieil homme dans un grenier (An old man, in an attic)
pour la nuit nous a cache’, (Hid us for the night)
les Allemands l’ont pris; (The Germans captured him)
il est mort sans surprise. (He died without surprise.)

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we’ll come from the shadows.


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TODAY’S SAINT: Saint of the Day for Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Saint of the Day for Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Image of St. Peter Thomas

St. Peter Thomas

Carmelite Latinpatriarch and papal legate. Peter was born in Gascony, France and joined the Carmelites while still a young man. In 1342 he was appointed procurator of the order and, from Avignon, he … continue reading


More Saints of the Day


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Balade Haute Provence – Juin 2013 – Pernes les Fontaines, Le Beaucet, Venasque

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Léo Ferré – L’oppression

Léo Ferré – L’oppression

Tiré du DVD “Sur la scène” (1972/1973 Olympia)


Ces mains bonnes à tout même à tenir des armes
Dans ces rues que les hommes ont tracées pour ton bien
Ces rivages perdus vers lesquels tu t’acharnes
Où tu veux aborder
Et pour t’en empêcher
Les mains de l’oppression

Regarde-la gémir sur la gueule des gens
Avec les yeux fardés d’horaires et de rêves
Regarde-là se taire aux gorges du printemps
Avec les mains trahies par la faim qui se lève

Ces yeux qui te regardent et la nuit et le jour
Et que l’on dit braqués sur les chiffres et la haine
Ces choses “défendues” vers lesquelles tu te traînes
Et qui seront à toi
Lorsque tu fermeras
Les yeux de l’oppression

Regarde-la pointer son sourire indécent
Sur la censure apprise et qui va à la messe
Regarde-la jouir dans ce jouet d’enfant
Et qui tue des fantômes en perdant ta jeunesse

Ces lois qui t’embarrassent au point de les nier
Dans les couloirs glacés de la nuit conseillère
Et l’Amour qui se lève à l’Université
Et qui t’envahira
Lorsque tu casseras
Les lois de l’oppression

Regarde-la flâner dans l’il de tes copains
Sous le couvert joyeux de soleils fraternels
Regarde-la glisser peu à peu dans leurs mains
Qui formerons des poings
Dès qu’ils auront atteint
L’âge de l’oppression

Ces yeux qui te regardent et la nuit et le jour
Et que l’on dit braqués sur les chiffres et la haine
Ces choses “défendues” vers lesquelles tu te traînes
Et qui seront à toi
Lorsque tu fermeras
Les yeux de l’oppression

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Georges Brassens – Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux (live) 1965 (‘…Sa vie elle ressemble à ces soldats sans armes Qu’on avait habillés pour un autre destin A quoi peut leur servir de ce lever matin Eux qu’on retrouve au soir désarmés incertains Dites ces mots ma vie et retenez vos larmes…’)

Georges Brassens – Il n’y a pas d’Amour Heureux, 1965
(music de Georges Brassens – poeme de Louis Aragon)

Rien n’est jamais acquis à l’homme. Ni sa force
Ni sa faiblesse ni son cœur. Et quand il croit
Ouvrir ses bras son ombre est celle d’une croix
Et quand il croit serrer son bonheur il le broie
Sa vie est un étrange et douloureux divorce

Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux

Sa vie elle ressemble à ces soldats sans armes
Qu’on avait habillés pour un autre destin
A quoi peut leur servir de ce lever matin
Eux qu’on retrouve au soir désarmés incertains
Dites ces mots ma vie et retenez vos larmes

Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux

Mon bel amour mon cher amour ma déchirure
Je te porte dans moi comme un oiseau blessé
Et ceux-là sans savoir nous regardent passer
Répétant après moi les mots que j’ai tressés
Et qui pour tes grands yeux tout aussitôt moururent

Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux

Le temps d’apprendre à vivre il est déjà trop tard
Que pleurent dans la nuit nos cœurs à l’unisson
Ce qu’il faut de malheur pour la moindre chanson
Ce qu’il faut de regrets pour payer un frisson
Ce qu’il faut de sanglots pour un air de guitare

Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux

Il n’y a pas d’amour qui ne soit à douleur
Il n’y a pas d’amour dont on ne soit meurtri
Il n’y a pas d’amour dont on ne soit flétri
Et pas plus que de toi l’amour de la patrie
Il n’y a pas d’amour qui ne vive de pleurs

Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux


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Crash of Air Inter Flight 148 (1992)

Air Inter Flight 148′s trip from Lyon to Strasbourg, France, on January 20, 1992, was relatively uneventful until it came time to land. It was then that things went horribly wrong. The autopilot was mistakenly left in the wrong mode, accelerating the descent. The crew was unaware of the approaching danger because the plane was not equipped with ground proximity warning systems. All but nine of the 96 people on board were killed in the resultant crash. What else may have contributed to the crash? More… Discuss


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NON MATCHING: Galalith and Old Buttons



White galalith RAAF pre-1953 buttons. (Top left button shows crazing resulting from button having been heated during washing.)

Galalith (Erinoid in the United Kingdom), is a synthetic plastic material manufactured by the interaction of casein and formaldehyde. Given a commercial name derived from the Greek words gala (milk) and lithos (stone), it is odourlessinsoluble in water, biodegradable,antiallergenicantistatic and virtually nonflammable.


In 1897, the HanoverGermany mass printing press owner Wilhelm Krische was commissioned to develop an alternative to blackboards.[1] The resultant horn-like plastic made from the milk protein casein was developed in cooperation with the Austrian chemist(Friedrich) Adolph Spitteler (1846–1940). The final result was unsuitable for the original purpose.[1] In 1893, French chemist Auguste Trillat discovered the means to insolubilize casein by immersion in formaldehyde.

Production and usage

Although it could not be moulded once set, and was hence produced in sheets, it was inexpensive to produce due to its simple manufacture. Galalith could be cut, drilled, embossed and dyed without difficulty, and its structure manipulated to create a series of effects. No other plastic at the time could compete on price, and with ivory, horn and bone products becoming far more expensive, it found a natural home in the fashion industry.[1]

This new plastic was presented at Paris Universal Exhibition in 1900. In France, Galalith was distributed by the Compagnie Française de Galalithelocated near Paris in Levallois-Perret. As a result, the Jura area became the first one to use the material.

Marketed in the form of boards, pipes and rods, in 1913 thirty million litres (eight million US gallons) of milk were used to produce Galalith in Germany alone.[1] In 1914, Syrolit Ltd gained the license for manufacture in the United Kingdom. Renaming itself Erinoid Ltd, it started manufacture in the Lightpill former woollen mill in DudbridgeStroud, Gloucestershire.[2]

Galalith could produce gemstone imitations that looked strikingly real. In 1926 Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel published a picture of a short, simple black dress in Vogue. It was calf-length, straight, and decorated only by a few diagonal lines. Vogue called it “Chanel’s Ford,” as like the Model T, the little black dress was simple and accessible for women of all social classes. To accessorize the little black dress, Chanel revamped her designs, thus facilitating the breakthrough and mass popularity of costume jewelry.[1] Galalith was used for striking Art Deco jewelry designs by artists such as Jacob Bengel and Auguste Bonaz, as well as for hair combs and accessories. By the 1930s, Galalith was also used for pens, umbrella handles, white piano keys (replacing natural ivory), and electrical goods,[3] with world production at that time reaching 10,000 tons.


Although Galalith was historically cheap, the fact it could not be moulded led to its demise by commercial end users. Production slowed as the restrictions of World War II led to a need for milk as a food, and niched due to new oil-derived wartime plastic developments. Production continued inBrazil until the 1960s.


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Fabulous Composesrs/Compositions: String Quintet in E Major Op. 11 #5, ‘Minuet’, by Boccherini


Luigi Boccherini playing the chello

Luigi Boccherini playing the chello (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The String Quintet in E major, Op. 11, No. 5 by Luigi Boccherini was written in 1771 and published in 1775. It is one of his most popular works. The quintet is famous for its minuet third movement, often referred to as “The Celebrated Minuet”, which is most-often played as a standalone piece outside of the context of the full quintet. It ia one of the most recognized composition from the Baroque Period.

Images – Versailles Gardens in France and Generalife Gardens in Spain


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Great Performances: Schumann Kinderszenen Op 15 – Valentina Lisitsa

Schumann Kinderszenen Op 15 – Valentina Lisitsa 


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Duo Palissandre – duo n°3 opus 31 2ème mouvement Antoine de Lhoyer




Edouard Manet: Harbour at Bordeaux, 1871

Edouard Manet: Harbour at Bordeaux, 1871 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Le duo de guitare Palissandre (Vanessa Dartier & Yann Dufresne) interprète le 2ème mouvement du Duo n°3 opus 31 de Antoine de Lhoyer en août 2013 au Petit Théâtre à Bordeaux (France)




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“Le Plat Pays” Mr Jacques Brel – 1962

Jacques Brel

Avec la mer du Nord pour dernier terrain vague
Et des vagues de dunes pour arrêter les vagues
Et de vagues rochers que les marées dépassent
Et qui ont à jamais le coeur à marée basse
Avec infiniment de brumes à venir
Avec le vent de l’est écoutez-le tenir
Le plat pays qui est le mien

Avec des cathédrales pour uniques montagnes
Et de noirs clochers comme mâts de cocagne
Où des diables en pierre décrochent les nuages
Avec le fil des jours pour unique voyage
Et des chemins de pluies pour unique bonsoir
Avec le vent d’ouest écoutez-le vouloir
Le plat pays qui est le mien

Avec un ciel si bas qu’un canal s’est perdu
Avec un ciel si bas qu’il fait l’humilité
Avec un ciel si gris qu’un canal s’est pendu
Avec un ciel si gris qu’il faut lui pardonner
Avec le vent du nord qui vient s’écarteler
Avec le vent du nord écoutez-le craquer
Le plat pays qui est le mien

Avec de l’Italie qui descendrait l’Escaut
Avec Frida la blonde quand elle devient Margot
Quand les fils de novembre nous reviennent en mai
Quand la plaine est fumante et tremble sous juillet
Quand le vent est au rire quand le vent est au blé
Quand le vent est au sud écoutez-le chanter
Le plat pays qui est le mien.


Gabriel Fauré, ballade for piano and orchestra, op. 19, Vasso Devetzi, Serge Baudo

No, this is not about Paris. I was floating in memories letting them carry me away. Doing some resetting too.

The first symphonic work by G. Fauré (1845-1924), the great master of french song, had its première in 1881. It was composed earlier when the composer broke his affair with Marianne Viardot (yes, Pauline´s daughter). When Liszt played the work in a friendly meeting with Fauré, arranged by Saint Saens in Weimar in 1877, he said ´´this is too difficult“, leaving the scholars ever since aghast. Some of them claim that Liszt had troubles of vision at that time.

Vasso Devetzi, greek pianist, Thessaloniki, September the 9th, 1927- Paris, November the 1st, 1987. An ambitious artist who defined herself in her cv through her friendships. So, friend of the composer Mikis Theodorakis and late friend of Maria Callas. In the 50´s she moved to Paris. She became friend with Marguerite Long, Henri Sauguet, René Dumesnil, Bernard Gavoty, Claude Rostand, Jacques Fevrier, Jean Roire. . . It is said that M. Long gave the score of this ballade to Devetzi. In the 1960′s and 1970′s she lived long periods in Soviet Union. Soprano Galina Vishnevskaja and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich were her good friends, and she often accompanied them. During her last years she was the president of the Maria Callas Foundation, which provided international scholarships for young singers. She organized the ceremony of spreading Callas´s ashes in the Aegean sea. Greek people, regretfully, rarely talk about Devetzi.

The ballade was recorded in 1963 in Salle Wagram in Paris. An excellent result in my opinion. Serge Baudo conducts Devetzi and the Orchestre de la Socièté des Concerts du Conservatoire de Paris, long and dull name for the ancestor of the Orchestre de Paris. Chant du Monde, France. 


Today’s Birthday: JEANNE MANCE (1606)

Jeanne Mance (1606)

Mance was a member of a French association that planned a utopian colony at Montreal. With the support of the French queen, Anne of Austria, she sailed with the first settlers in 1641. Mance, who had cared for victims of the Thirty Years War and the plague while in France, opened Montreal’s first hospital, the Hôtel-Dieu, in 1644. In 1650, she visited France and returned with a large donation meant to fund the hospital. Rather than use it for its intended purpose, Mance did what with the money? More… Discuss



Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1433)

Charles the Bold was the last of the great dukes of Burgundy. An opponent of Louis XI of France, Charles sought independence for Burgundy and had great success casting off French rule, extending Burgundy’s possessions and building a centralized government until he was defeated and killed in battle against the Swiss. Prior to his death, he arranged for his daughter to marry the son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. How did this pairing affect the course of European history?More… Discuss


New ‘rules of behaviour’ for the NSA? – World Papers

The US’s spying program continues to get a lot of attention in the international press as lawmakers move forward with a bill to reign in the NSA. Also making headlines: British justice on trial, can a joke harm national security and the Norwegian government encourages married couples to go on dates.
Live from the newsroom, FRANCE24 journalist provides an exhaustive overview of world’s newspaper headlines.
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Quotation: Alexandre Dumas about learning and knowledge

To learn is not to know; there are the learners and the learned. Memory makes the one, philosophy the other.

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) Discuss


Claude Debussy: Images For Orchestra, L 122 – Iberia: Par Les Rues Et Par Les Chemins

Claude Debussy: Images For Orchestra, L 122 – Iberia: Par Les Rues Et Par Les Chemins – Milan Horvat: ORF Symphony Orchestra.

Achille-Claude Debussy (* 22. August 1862 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye; † 25. März 1918 in Paris) was a French composer of Impressionist, his music is as a link between romanticism and modernism.

Today’s Birthday: HANNAH ARENDT (1906)

Hannah Arendt (1906)

Jewish political philosopher Hannah Arendt fled Germany for France and then the US following Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. Her reputation as a scholar and writer was firmly established with the publication of The Origins of Totalitarianism, which linked Nazism and Communism to 19th-century imperialism and anti-Semitism. Her next major publication, The Human Condition, likewise received wide acclaim. What controversial concept did she put forth in her Eichmann in JerusalemMore… Discuss



Chevalier d’Éon (1728)

The inspiration for the now-obsolete term “eonism,” describing the adoption of female dress and behavior by a male, the Chevalier d’Éon was a French noble, soldier, and spy who lived first as a male and then as a female. His cross-dressing appears to have begun as part of his covert activities, but by the 1770s, rumors reached France that the Chevalier was actually a woman masquerading as a man, and he was ordered to live as a woman thereafter. When was it proven that he was anatomically male? More… Discuss


This Day in the yesteryear: BRITISH AIRSHIP CRASHES NEAR BEAUVAIS (1930)

British Airship Crashes near Beauvais (1930)

In 1920s Britain, airships were envisioned as a way to make the most remote parts of the British Empire accessible. Two starkly different teams of engineers were employed to create two crafts for passenger travel, one conservative and one more experimental. However, British use of airships effectively ended when the ambitious R101 crashed in France during its maiden overseas voyage, killing 48 people—12 more than the infamous Hindenburg disaster. What was R101′s destination?More… Discuss



Émile Zola Dies of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (1902)

Zola had an ardent zeal for social reform. His part in the Dreyfus Affair, notably his 1898 article “J’accuse,” was his most conspicuous public action and earned him the animosity of the anti-Dreyfus party. Prosecuted for libel, he escaped to England, where he remained until an amnesty enabled his return to France. A couple of years later, he died suddenly under suspicious circumstances, overcome by carbon-monoxide fumes in his sleep. Was it just a tragic accident or something more sinister? More… Discuss



Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi (1799)

After Napoleon took control of Spain, Venezuelans seized the chance to revolt against Spanish rule. In 1811, Venezuela declared independence, but an earthquake in 1812 destroyed cities held by the rebels and furthered the cause of the royalists. In 1815, a pregnant Arismendi was captured—one day before her 17th birthday—by Spanish forces hoping to exert pressure on her husband, General Juan Bautista Arismendi, but she refused to renounce the revolution while imprisoned. What happened to her? More…


French Senate Votes to Ban Child Beauty Pageants

By a vote of 196 to 146, France’s Senate voted to ban child beauty pageants on the grounds that such contests promote the hypersexualization of minors. The measure will now be brought before the National Assembly, which must also pass it for it to become law. If the ban is adopted, those who organize pageants for children under 16 would face significant jail time and hefty fines. More… Discuss



The Grito de Dolores: Battle Cry of Mexican War of Independence (1810)

The revolutionary movements in the US and France did not go unnoticed in Mexico, which had been subjugated by Spain centuries earlier. When Napoleon invaded Spain in 1808, many Mexicans saw an opportunity to claim their own freedom. In 1810, revolutionary priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla launched the Mexican War of Independence with his Grito de Dolores—”Cry of Dolores”—a call to freedom that roused the peasants to action and became their battle cry. How is the event commemorated today? More… Discuss