Sur le pont d’Avignon

March saw me do a fun trip across Europe – to Aix-en-Provence in France, then to Minsk in Belarus, and then to Budapest in Hungary, before I headed back home to Houston.

From Aix-en-Provence (which was lovely, thank you) we did a day trip to Avignon – the old seat of the papal power and the home of the famous pont d’Avignon. The bridge’s official name is Pont Saint-Bénezet. (Apparently it did not make for a good rhyme.)

The best part (apart from being in Avignon on a gorgeous, warm, sunny Sunday): a photo, video and audio installation dedicated to the popular song in the bridge’s honor. Sur le pont d’Avignon has been sung in languages ranging from German to Polish and to tunes from barocco to swing!

After coming back to US and suffering from a serious Euro- and franconostalgia, I dug deep into YouTube. Here are the lyrics to the addictive tune:

Sur le pont d’Avignon
L’on y danse, l’on y danse
Sur le pont d’Avignon
L’on y danse tous en rond
Les beaux messieurs font comm’ ça
Et puis encore comm’ ça

Sur le pont d’Avignon
L’on y danse, l’on y danse
Sur le pont d’Avignon
L’on y danse tous en rond
Les bell’ dames font comm’ ça
Et puis encore comm’ ça

Jean Sablon – an adorable version from the 30s (40s?) with a very young and upbeat feel.

Mireille Mathieu – featuring a collage of historical and contemporary photos and seriously charming German lyrics: Auf der Brücke ist musique…

And the winner, Jean Sablon’s hot swing version which is seriously retro and has awesome footage of pre-war Paris. Unfortunately, this awesome video is non-embeddable, so you just need to take my word for it and click here for 3 minutes of bliss. Seriously, it’s gorgeous.

Now, having had this dose of awesomeness, I am going to do my one-minute commute: boot up my work laptop and plug into the matrix. Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!

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