Yesterday I was conducting some research for an article that’s been trying to force its way out of my head and onto pages. As part of that research — honest, really — I came across this video clip:
I asked Josiah if he recognised it, and he said no; I haven’t caught Nate yet. This is a Basque folk song that I used to sing for the boys when they were kids, to quiet or distract them. I learned it almost forty years ago when I spent a summer month studying in France, in St. Jean de Luz, at Lycée Maurice Ravel. M. Lavigne (whose name some of my Squirrel Hill fellow travellers pronounced “Levine”) introduced our class to various glories of French language and culture, but also taught us some Basque songs — including “Arrantzaleak” and “Kinkiri Kunkuru,” both of which I can sing to this day (allowing for some errors related to the fact that I do not know Basque).
I was chuffed to discover how well my memory had preserved the melodies and words of the songs. And if I had another lifetime at my disposal, I might add Basque to the queue of languages I’d like to learn (after improving my German and Latin, learning Gaelic, learning at least one Sign Language, probably Spanish, and I think there’s another I’m not recollecting).
Research for this topic complete, nostalgia satisfied, back to writing.