Monday, February 9, 2009
Meeting the Neighbours
One of the keystone blocks of the KMSA is Unity through Diversity, and nowhere is that more important in the area of next door neighbours.
Next Door neighbours, I imagine the world over, are always regarded as somehow irksome and encroaching, and it is always a sad part of human nature to throw up a defensive line, either mentally in the form of a disparaging picture , or physically in the form of a hedge or a fence.
Of course Countries do it too, America has Canada and Mexico, and I'll leave my American friends a moment to think on what they think of them...... and The UK realistically has France, twenty two miles across the Channel ( tho Scotland and Wales would have something to say about that )
Actually, despite all the obvious differences in food and language and attitude, the UK and France have never been better friends than right now... ... with their Governments opposition to the Iraq war matching the British People's ( not the governments ) opposition to the war , plus the moronic Bush supporters jibe at them being "Cheese eating surrender monkey's " somehow banded us together in a blood thicker than water kind of way.
Also thousand of Brit's have now emigrated to northern France, ( my own sister included,) as French life and values are more culturally reminiscent of life in the UK in the fifties, that and the warmer weather are of great appeal to retiring folk.
( If any right minded Brit did his history homework anyway...he'd soon find out this nation's DNA is as stocked from around the world as America is, being built up of French, Euro and Scandinavian invaders, with the last of the indigenous English blood now tucked away in the Welsh mountains as druids, which is ironic in itself...)
So where am I going with this.... well, one of my best friend's, Jules, who is a singer, is half French, and her French mother ( Ann Marie ....in the photo at the top ), who still teaches French in Oxford... annually holds a simple charity Soiree ( french word there for evening party ) in a Victorian Church hall in north Oxford, where mainly French songs are sung a cappella, or with simple acoustic guitar, and around seventy of us who understand enough French to make sense of it all, crunched and slipped, Saturday night through the Ice and snow, to cast off our coats and have a fine fine evening drinking wine and eating kettle chips and sandwiches.
French songs are very strong on story telling narratives, and as was reiterated several times during the evening, even attempting to learn another language, increases your respect and understanding of a nation, your own language, and the beauty of other peoples minds. The world doesn't entirely think in English.
And so with candles burning brightly in champagne bottles we were warmly regaled with old French songs by Brel, Babara, and Piaf and ancient tales, and Jules too sang some of her sweeter English songs.
One of the highlights of the evening was of genuine surprise and moving quality, where one of Ann Marie's young relatives,Geraldine, visiting from France, stood up and sang a cappella the beautiful French song "la Vie en Rose" ( life in the pink, or life through rose colored glasses ) This song to the French, is like "the stars and stripes forever " is to the USA ... so it was especially moving to watch a young girl sing it in her native tongue.
So I will also leave you with a link ( below ) to a video on youtube ( taken by the young girl on the bottom right of my photograph above, of Geraldine singing "La vie en Rose", ( and I will put the translation underneath for your extra enjoyment ) and I urge you to watch it and raise a glass of vin rouge to the KMSA motto Unity through Diversity....then go next door and hug your neighbor :))
Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose
When you kiss me heaven sighs
And tho I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose
When you press me to your heart
I'm in a world apart
A world where roses bloom
And when you speak, angels sing from above
Everyday words seem to turn into love songs
Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La vie en rose
I thought that love was just a word.
They sang about in songs I heard
It took your kisses to reveal
That I was wrong. and love is real
give your heart and soul to me
and life will always be
la vie en rose
Sir Dayvd ( entente Cordiale ) of Oxen-ford
Posted by dkWells