Song About Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Artists other than the Gipsy Kings

Song About Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Postby Jusquin » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:34 pm

Recently I ran across this song, "Just Flew in on a Jet Plane," by British folk singer Mick Softley about a trip to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avLYrjsPARg

I thought it was interesting because, of course, the town of Montpellier is associated with the Baliardo family and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is the site of the annual gypsy pilgrimage to honor St. Sarah who, according to legend, was either the handmaiden of one of the three Marys (Mary Magdalene, Mary Jacoby and Mary Salome) or a woman from the town who welcomed them as part of a group who landed there after a voyage from the Holy Land. The group sometimes includes Lazarus (who became bishop of Aix-en-Provence) and Joseph of Arimathea.

In French, Magdalene translates to Madeleine, and in France, this Mary is often referred to as La Madeleine. The adjective franci refers to the Franks, the Germanic tribe who settled in Gaul and established the most powerful Christian kingdom of early medieval western Europe under the Merovingian kings. The name France (Francia) is derived from their name, and Madeleine Franci is Madeleine of the Franks.

Mick Softley has gypsy heritage; his mother was Irish and his father had East Anglian tinker roots, going back a few generations. He has other songs about gypsies as well, notably "Gypsy" (which reminds me of Canut) and "Caravan."
Jusquin
 
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Re: Song About Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Postby Sirena » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:11 am

I knew of this song,but at the time, was distracted and amused by the 'Leaving on a jet plane' parody.

I did learn a little about him and that wider known folk singers/sonwriters respected him. I now appreciate the gypsy links and what the song was about.

Sorry to now learn of his devastating head injury, which has left him in care. Very sad.
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Re: Song About Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Postby Jusquin » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:02 am

I was saddened by the news of his head injury also. I believe it is a friend of his who is maintaining his web page.

"Caravan" is also available on youtube, but "Gypsy" is not; however, several of the online radio stations have it, should anyone care to look for it.

Basically, the lyrics of the song -- which could be easily associated with the photos Canut has on his web page -- are:

Hey gypsy, gypsy,
What do you have there?
What do you hold in your hand?
I’ve a loaf of bread
And a bottle of wine
And the sands of time as well.

Hey gypsy, gypsy,
What do you have there?
What do you hold in your hand?
Oh, I’ve an open shore
And a few seashells
And a starfish or two.

Hey gypsy, gypsy,
Can I follow you?
Can I go along your way?
No, you go your way
And I go mine;
That’s just the way that it is.
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Re: Song About Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Postby Amanda » Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:56 pm

Hi Jusquin,

Thank you for the link to this beautiful song / slide show, and the information. I had not heard of Mick Softley; I will investigate more of his music. I'm saddened by his tragic injury.

Amanda
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