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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Big Roly Tune Req: Les Fils de mon Pays (29) RE: Tune Req: Les Fils de mon Pays 01 Jun 13

Hi. It's commonly assumed that the song or tune is the conscripts' farewell to their womenfolk. That only takes part of the truth into account. Bear in mind the terrain in the Morvan (thickly forested, damp and dismal) and the economy (dark, thin and dismal, compounded by malnutrition and short life expectancy). This meant that the adult population was constantly on the move; herdsmen, lumberjacks, raftsmen, seasonal labourers,and nursing mothers (looking for work as wet-nurses in large towns) as there wasn't much profitable farmland.

It was a dark country of rain, mud, poverty, superstition and inbreeding, reputed to be a very closed society, and quite harsh. To whit, the reaction of a 19th-century Morvandiau peasant he heard that his daughter was lactating. He was beside himself with joy: "She's now worth as much to us as a cow!"

By the way, it's slap bang in the middle of Burgundy, and not part of the Massif Central. The dialect also bears little relation to the mainly Occitan speech of the Massif Central.

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