I have an odd relationship with the French public radio station France Culture. I am a little obsessed, not by their sage voices, but by their jingles, those short fragments of music that introduce different programmes.
I live with a Francophone who spends chunks of the evenings and weekends in the company of France Culture. I try. But it is difficult; all that Gallic pontificating, hour after hour. I am a linguistic cordonnier. I have large holes in my French. Black holes, some might say. But I get by.
When I hear the different musical intros to France Culture programmes, I have a Pavlonian reaction. Mercifully, I don’t salivate. Instead, I am filled instantaneously with joy. A rush of uncontrollable pleasure.
I now have a France Culture playlist. Highly recommended. The music is soulful, intelligent and it speaks to me. Perhaps I am over-compensating for my insipid connection with the spoken word that follows. The musical themes, mostly free of human voices, feature quirky riffs that communicate, as music does, in an other-worldly language that knows no barriers whether you are a shoe-maker, homemaker or falafel-maker.
When I first played my FC playlist to my partner, she was sick with Covid-19. She didn’t stop dancing for 15 minutes. She was masked, but she couldn’t mask her joy.
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Check the meanings of the words in bold in the text above at the bottom of this article.
It’s now your turn. Enjoy. Feedback welcome. Headphones recommended.
Programme : A voix nue
Ibrahim Maalouf. Track: Essentielles
Programme: Culture monde
Fakear: Song for Jo
Programmes : Affaires étrangères
Cliff Martinez: Arbitrage
Programme: Carbone 14, le magazine de l’archéologie
Massive Attack: Unfinished Sympathy
Programme : La Compagnie des oeuvres
The Avener : Panama
Programme: La compagnie des poètes
Andrew Bird: Fingerlings 4
Programme: Affaires culturelles
Nicholas Britell: Succession (Main Title Theme)
Programme: Chrétiens d’Orient
Peter Gabriel: The Feeling begins (Music for The Last Temptation of Christ)
Programme: Le cours de l’histoire
Programme: Etre et savior
Petit Biscuit: Sunset Lover (Theme discontinued. Sadly)
Programme: Grand reportage
Programme: La compagnie des œuvres
Curtis Mayfield : Fly
Programme: Plan large
Isaac Hayes: Ray Fay Run (Kill Bill film 1)
jingle(s) two meanings:
1. a sound like small bells ringing that is made when metal objects are shaken together
In this article: 2. a short song or tune that is easy to remember and is used in advertising
to pontificate (about/on something): to give your opinions about something in a way that shows that you think you are right
mercifully: thankfully, used to show that you feel somebody/something is lucky because a situation could have been much worse.
Mercifully (or thankfully) it didn’t’ rain during our three day walk in the mountains.
insipid: weak, dull, unexciting.
After an hour of insipid conversation, I left.
a rush of pleasure: a sudden and intense feeling of pleasure.
quirky: odd, strange, different, can be both positive and negative.
He has a quirky personality. I’ve never met anyone like him.
other-worldly: connected with spiritual thoughts and ideas rather than with ordinary life