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Shaun Wolf Wortis, of "Bastille Day A-Go-Go": "Top 5 Bastille Day-Related Songs"



1. "Song of the Marseillaise of the Federation of 10 August, Year II" (link)
An awkwardly entitled song to be sure and one which eventually became the French national anthem. Yes, it's a little over the top ("The blood of kings waters your furrows!") but sort of hard to beat as an anthem in terms of nationalistic pomp. Plus, it certainly beats another favorite from the late 18th century: "Patriotic Song on the Unveiling of the Busts of Marat and Le Pelletier."

2. "My Way" (Wikipedia | YouTube)
Yes, it's French. Was originally called "Comme d'habitude" and written by Claude Françios.

3. "Ford Mustang," Serge Gainsbourg with Brigitte Bardot (YouTube)
France's homegrown pop stars have sometimes left much to be desired (any Johnny Hallyday fans out there?), but Serge Gainsbourg is the exception to the rule. This 1968 gem sounds like a club tune written yesterday. Seriously cool. (Adam Glasseye and Humanwine's Holly Brewer covered this a couple years back at a "Bastille Day A-Go-Go.")

4. "Come 'N Go," Bleu, from A Watched Pot (YouTube)
Bleu is not French, but his name is. This song is the first single to his long-awaited CD (held back in the corporate tombs of Sony for a number of years). He celebrates the CD's release, and his birthday, and Bastille Day, as a newly-added special guest this Saturday at the "Bastille Day A-Go-Go," so I had to include it.

5. "We Got A Party," The Party Boys (Amazon)
I've been to New Orleans 35 million times and often ask if anyone knows who these guys were. No one does. It was likely recorded circa 1960. Sometimes known as "We Got The Party," as that is what they actually sing. It has nothing to do with France whatsoever, other than it's from New Orleans. It shows up on my list simply because a) we've opened every "Bastille Day A-Go-Go" and every Mardi Gras Ball for the past sixteen years with this song, AND b) in its drunken bizarreness, it may truly the greatest song ever recorded. (It also certainly beats "Patriotic Song on the Unveiling of the Busts of Marat and Le Pelletier.")

"Wolf's 16th Annual (Four Days After) Bastille Day A-Go-Go," featuring the Vudu Krewe All-Star Mardi Gras Band, storms Precinct on Saturday, July 18.

 


Playlist 7-17-09: Bastille Day
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