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Sunday Soul – Belle Voyage
Year 11 – Playlist 11/52 – For the week of June 29th 2014
Adolphe Thiers and Patrice de Mac-Mahon presided over a France which, in addition to what we now know as France, also included Indochina (modern Viet Nam and Cambodia,) Madagascar, Polynesia (Tahiti, Papeetē, and the Society Islands,) and large territories in West Africa as well as Alsace-Lorraine. It was an empire. It was La Troisième République.
The empire was a republic, not a Monarchy, and Paris was a commune. The empire was ruled by a Senate, a Persident, and Chamber of Deputies and from 1870 until World War I presided over historic social, scientific, artistic, literary, and technological growth. During this era the entire world was focused on France and all things French. You know how people say they like that Bohemian look? Typically they say “bo ho” but I’m not going to say that. Well the “Bohemian” look of the 1970’s was actually taken from the French influence on Bohemia, as they declared their independance from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and established the free state of Czechoslovakia.
From the feathers and dancing of the Moulin Rouge to the street credebility of the illustrations of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the romance of Klimt and Muccha, through the literary depth of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, French thinking during the Third Republic ruled the world’s hearts and minds.
The trouble is, historically speaking, that the French and Francophiles alike were not wandering the streets of St. Petersburg and wishing one another “Happy Belle Epoch!” and no one was responding “And a very happy Belle Epoch to you too Madamoiselle.” The expression “Belle Epoch” – which literally means “Beautiful Era” – was a description which was applied to the time after it had passed. Once the twentieth century got her claws around Europe’s throat and burned her to the ground, destroying all empires, dismanteling nearly all of her monarchs, and killing millions and millions of people it was easy to look backward at an era of prosperity, art, culture and romance with a nostalgic bloom in one’s heart.
It goes without saying that we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone – but then again I had to say that just then to make my point in this essay, so maybe it doesn’t. I grew up listening to oldsters whining about how the Ink Spots were wonderful and dancing in road houses was exciting, or how the 1960’s were so politically, socially and sexually charged in every way that nothing the children of the 70’s could come up with would be as interesting as the Greatful Dead’s resurgance of popularity in the 80’s and so why not grow your hair and become a throw back? 70’s fashion was a nod to the 20’s, and the new wavers in the 80’s were reviving the 50’s and the plaid and work trousers of the 90’s to the 10’s were just another look at the 50’s as well. Heck even punk rock was leathered up and hair pied like the rebels without causes in the late 1950’s. We were running from one end of the room to the other and back. Even now as men’s trousers begin to rise up over the navel, and we laugh it up about paper millions, and the world of technology and art begin the last act of a thirty year dance to music no one has truly written yet, I have to say this has been quite a renaissance. We have changed the world, and it’s changing faster and faster all the time.
Are you aware of the world around you? Can you leave your cell phone alone long enough to peer past the heads of the people slouched in front of their laptops at every last cafe table, and catch even a glipse of the magnificent sunset in the distance? Can you stop, and feel your heart beating? Can you remember to remember that that thing in your way is another human being? This abundance won’t last, and you can grasp at all the copper you can, but it won’t be enough.
Sooner or later the Prussians will be at the gate and all we will hear is the distant thunder of empire falling around us. Will we look back from the dampness of the future and say we lived in inspirational times? Will we form leagues, and sign treaties, and devote our civic consciousness to humility, brotherhood, equality and love and mean every word of it with all of our hearts?
Why wait for the end of all these lies and hallucinations to begin? How about we make a pact right now, right here on the eve of my departure that you and I will always be friends. We may not always be in sight of one another, and it may be years between our communiques, but our hearts will forever burn with the same fires of love, and humility, truth, and duty and care not just for one another – although I have to say I truly do love to kiss you – but for everyone, everywhere. Let us agree right now to put the well being of our community, the sea, the sky, the water and the earth ahead of our own selfish pursuits. Let us dance until the moon sets, and laugh until the sun sets, and work together in the partnership of the common effort to grow, and to heal, and to see and to hear, and above all else in this world of illusions, to love. Let us begin the Belle Voyage right here. Right now. Let’s go…
Thank you for listening, I will return next week with a communique from Europe to keep my promise and galvanize our agreement.
Here is the track listing for Sunday Soul: Belle Voyage
1. Read Me To Sleep – Gabriel Yared
2. Morning Drops – Nova Casa
3. Heartbreaker – Ali Scott
4. Difference – Sunshine Jones, David Devilla & Kizt
5. I Love You – Copycat & Martin Brodin Remix – Brynjolfur
6. Noélia – Redward
7. Low Blow – Deep Spelle Remix – Deephope
8. Try Again – Deep Version – TrockenSaft & Sideburn
9. Hell-Oh – Redward featuring Light
10. Olovo – Sasha Kaktus & Fake Mood
11. Jazz Reflections – Nova Casa
12. Emergency on Planet Earth – Fingertips Dub – Jamiroquai
13. Sunday Soul – Program ID
14. I Love You – Brynjolfur
15. Sunday Soul – Program ID
Year 11 – Playlist 11|52
29 June 2014
Total Running Time: 01 Hour 25 Minutes
May the stars above you shimmer and shine, guiding your heart always, all of the time. May they guide you sweetly, all the way home. And may all your sundays have soul.