Saturday, February 23, 2013

Je Chant!

I've mentioned in blog posts before how much the French love to sing. They frequently form local choral groups for the pure joy of singing together. I know of three just in my area; there may be more. Christiane asked me if I'd like to come to her group in Larnagol. I replied a hesitant 'oui,' with the qualification that I'd try, but it might be too hard for me to sing in French. She said, "Oh, don't worry...we mostly sing in English." Well....mostly in English turned out to be English, French, Bulgarian, Latin and Israeli. We even did one verse of a song in German! It was a bit of a challenge for me as only two songs actually had music to read. The rest were just the words, and I hummed along until I got the tune. It was such fun! I haven't sung in an organized group since my church choir days under the direction of the fabulous Mary Parker. I loved it.

I'm not sure, though, how much I contributed to the group. I do have a few pluses in my favor: 1) I can carry a tune most of the time. 2) I read music so I don't have to sing the melody...which is good because I'm an alto/tenor. 3) I'm direct-able. I must not have been too awful, because they said I could come back. The fact that there were only 5 of us singing might have something to do with that...any warm body will do! I wish I had a beautifully clear, strong voice. I don't...mine is a bit husky and low, but it blends well with others and hey, I provide 'filler' for the group. I'll definitely go back. Next time should be easier; I'll know the tunes and will just have to work on my pronounciation of Bulgarian!

Why the photo of the rooster? Crowing is the closest I could come to singing in my photo archives. And BTW...'je chant' means 'I sing.'


  1. Sounds lovely…I get goose bumps when I hear the men’s Basque chorals here. There is nothing like it. All that tangible emotion, just waiting to be felt. You don’t even need to understand the words :)

    1. I've almost worn out the two CDs I bought in Espelette last summer. I love Basque music.

  2. Few things as beautiful as the sounds of a choir :)

  3. Good for you! I started singing again last year after a gap of more than 30 years and am thoroughly enjoying it. I was a rusty soprano but am starting to hit the top notes again, which is satisfying. Hope you continue to enjoy it.