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elvis presley


Fun with French, Lord Wimsey style

Busman's Honeymoon

Busman’s Honeymoon

There is a side effect of being an author that I’ve seen other authors mention before, and which has started to affect me: i.e., I often am less inclined to read things in genres I’m actively writing. Which is to say, urban fantasy and epic fantasy. I haven’t ditched those genres completely, mind you; I did just do a sprint through the last of the Greywalker series, as well as the Dresden Files.

But every so often I specifically have to go read something in a genre I am not likely to write any time in the foreseeable future. And my current read is a long overdue visit to one of my favorite literary detectives, Lord Peter Wimsey! The title in question: Busman’s Honeymoon.

Which I mention in part partly because of the aforementioned need to visit other genres, but mostly because of the delightful and unexpected outbursts of French Peter keeps having in this book. French which, I note, is not translated in any way, as if Sayer clearly expected her readers to either a) know what the hell Wimsey said, or b) be in a position to look it up. Either way I approve.

What really tickled me outright about Wimsey’s French in this book, though, was a thing I recognized from Quebec French–i.e., the use of the word “blonde” in what I’m pretty damn sure is the context of “girlfriend/lover”. Moreover, unless I miss my guess, it’s in a saucy song!

Here’s the first bit of it that appears in the book:

La caill’, la tourterelle
Et la joli perdrix–
Auprès de ma blonde
Qu’il fait bon, fait bon, fait bon
Auprès de ma blonde–

And here’s the second bit:

Et ma joli colombe
Qui chante jour et nuit
Et ma joli colombe
Qui chante jour et nuit
Qui chante pour les filles
Qui n’ont pas de mari–
Auprès de ma blonde
Qu’il fait bon, fait bon, fait bon
Auprès de ma blonde
Qu’il fait bon dormi.

BUT WAIT the amusement does not actually stop there. Because I just looked this song up, googling what looks like the chorus, and discovered that it is in fact this song. “Auprès de ma blonde”. Which had English lyrics written to the tune for an Elvis song. I.e., “I Love Only One Girl”, from the movie Double Trouble. A song that I filked in Pern fanfic.

Between this and this book ALSO teaching me that the phrase “embarrassment of riches” comes from a translation of a French play, I’m getting all sorts of fun French mileage out of this read!


What I can do with a guitar

As I have previously squeed about, O Internets, I just had a delightful time scampering up to BC again to see De Temps Antan! This time though there were specific opportunities to make musical noises myself in a house that happened to contain three of my favorite musicians–even aside from André’s workshop, there was also the after-concert session, and I did in fact wind up making noises on both my flutes and my guitar.

Trust me when I tell you that the prospect of making musical noises of my own in any room that contains these boys is simultaneously deeply exciting and nerve-wracking! I’m comfier on my flutes since those are my native instrument–so that did help. And so did the knowledge that I had the General with me. Because you better believe that if I was going to show up in Éric Beaudry’s proximity with a guitar, I was going to bring the good guitar.

Not that I actually played in the same room as Éric, and I don’t really have enough play-by-ear fu yet to be the backup guitar for a full roaring session. But I did wind up hanging out in one of the other rooms while I was chatting with Aussie Ian, and noodled around a lot on various songs I know. Because as will surprise none of you, I get the General in my hands, I start playing Great Big Sea.

And if you want to have an idea of what else I’m likely to do with a guitar in my hands, here now though is a roundup of Stuff I Can Do With the Guitar.

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About Me

Une histoire de canards

Et maintenant, une p’tite histoire, pour pratiquer mon français. Plusieurs de mes amis peuvent reconnaître cette histoire, parce que j’ai raconté cette histoire avant en anglais. Comme toujours, je vous invite tous à me dire où je fais des erreurs dans ma grammaire!

Mon père a dit toujours à moi que pendant mon enfance, parmi mes premières mots ont été, “Jouez plus d’Elvis, Papa!” C’est plausible, ça. J’ai beaucoup de mémoires d’écoutant des disques de Elvis Presley avec lui, et j’ai vraiment adoré.

D’autre part, ceci était le même père que dit à moi que je fis des sons comme un canard devant j’ai appris à parler.

Duck-Obsessed Little Blonde Kid

Duck-Obsessed Little Blonde Kid

Il a dit qu’il et ses frères ont aimé dire à moi, “Les chasseurs de canards viennent!” Ils faisaient semblant de viser fusils sur moi et faire des bruits BANG. Et moi, j’ai ri beaucoup et s’enfuis à travers la chambre.

Entre-temp, ma mère a été là, et elle insistait très fortement, “MA FILLE NE FAIT DES BRUITS DE CANARD.”

Et moi, j’ai dit, “Coin-coin!”

En 2001 mon père a décedé, et j’ai pris l’avion au Kentucky pour les funérailles. Ma famille s’est réunie à la maison de mon frère. J’étais là dans la cuisine de mon frère, et mon oncle Larry, je n’avais pas vu depuis quinze ans, entra.

Le premiere chose qu’il a me dit a été, “Sais-tu que tu ressembles exactement ta mère?”

Et le deuxiemes chose qu’il a me dit? “Sais-tu que tu as fait des bruits de canard quand tu as été un enfant?”

Aux funérailles, mon autre oncle Marion est venu sur moi. Il a dit aussi à moi, “Sais-tu que tu as fait des bruits de canard quand tu as été un enfant?” Et chaque fois que j’ai pleuré durant les funérailles, il se pencha vers moi et a dit, “Coin-coin!”

Ceci, mes amis d’Internet, est ma histoire de canards!


For the record, I have indeed seen this

A couple of people have asked me already if I’ve seen this video of 16-year-old David Thibault in Quebec, covering Elvis’ “Blue Christmas”. So before anybody else does, yep, seen it!

To my ear, the kid sounds like he’s trying just a little too hard to mimic Elvis’ accent and vocal mannerisms, which isn’t exactly his fault–I make that objection about most Elvis impersonators I hear. In his particular case, he’s crossing a language barrier here too. So I cut a lot of slack for that.

And he does have great resonance to his voice, and the overall quality of it is definitely Elvis-like. I’d love to hear him try something backing off just a tad on the accent, then he’d be spot on. Alternately, I’d love to hear him sing something in his natural accent, just to spook me right out and make me wonder when the hell Elvis got resurrected in Quebec. 😉

And if he REALLY wants to combine more of my musical interests, he should play the bouzouki!

+10 as well for the reaction of the lady at the mike. I’m pretty sure I actually understood her crying “t’es incroyable!”–i.e., “you’re incredible”. \0/


In which Anna finds her tiny doppleganger

Yesterday was the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, and as many of y’all will know, Elvis was my very first musical fandom, the very first musician I ever adored. So naturally, I took it upon myself to post amusing Elvis-related things to the Intarwebz (such as a callback to last year when Alan Doyle sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and killed me DED FROM SWOON).

Then a Facebook friend (hi Venus!) sent me this! And this is the most OMG ADORABLE thing I have seen this entire week: a baby girl singing along with Elvis on “American Trilogy”. In no small part because it totally reminded me of how my dad used to swear up and down that among the first words I ever uttered were “Play more Elvis, Daddy!”

I’m not sure what slays me more, how she keeps going Daddy Daddy Daddy HI DADDY, how she then realizes there’s music happening and swaps back and forth, how she starts coming in on “look away”, the bit where she headbangs, or how she’s either conducting the orchestra or maybe playing imaginary timpani in the bridge leading up to the final chorus. <3

If this kid starts asking for Great Big Sea and Le Vent du Nord next, I’m going to have to have a word with Dara about my clones escaping into the wild too early. 😉

About Me

Yeah, I’ve seen this plot before

My alarm clock has a long and glorious history of jolting me out of dreams before they get to the really good part. This morning, it interrupted my subconscious just as it was trying to, of all things, act out an Elvis movie!

Now as you know, Bob Internets, I have seen many an Elvis movie in my time. I know how these plots work. And this one was set up perfectly: it had poor-and-broody-and-honest Elvis competing with slightly-skeevy-rich-boy, played in this particular movie by Brendan Fraser, competing for my affections. When the alarm clock went off I distinctly remember that Rich Boy had just given me a Kindle Fire and was trying to get me to agree to watch a bunch of anime with him. I was in the middle of protesting that not only did I have two ereaders already, but he’d also set up the Kindle with my actual Amazon account. Which I had not given him access to. (C.f. the ‘skeevy’ part of the character archetype here!)

I also remember a scene just before that bit, where I was out on a dock with Elvis’ character, and we were having the obligatory initial Bonding With Each Other Over Shared Background scene. I was making rueful commentary about my background with my father. But since this was indeed early in the plot, Elvis’ character got cranky at me, thinking I was making commentary about his father. (Boy howdy, do I know how these plots work. >:D)

I am somewhat disgruntled that we never got to the part where Elvis wins the day (and by day I mean girl, and by girl I mean me) when I get to overhear him belting out a suitably mournful love song. In fact, Elvis didn’t get to sing anything in this dream before I woke up. Which I suppose was my brain trying to follow the Murkworks Law of Elvis Movie Quality, i.e., that the quality of any given Elvis movie is inversely proportional to the number of songs in it (unless that movie is King Creole).

Well played, brain. Next time, though, if you really want to up the ante, make the rival another musician, and make him Quebecois. And have Elvis whip out a bouzouki.


Alan Doyle kills me DED FROM SWOON, 5/22/2012

Those Francophone boys I’ve fallen in love with these past many months may have been heavily distracting me, but I’m tellin’ ya, people, when it comes to downright ability to take me right out at the knees, The Doyle Himself is still unparalleled. I still prefer him in the company of Great Big Sea, just because the classic style of GBS music–i.e., the irrepressible, roar-at-the-top-of-your-lungs trad–is more my thing than his solo style.

But that said, Alan Doyle by himself is still pretty damned swoonable, and we did have great fun at the Tractor last night. Dara and I got up by the stage, right in front of Alan’s mike, along with fellow fangirls Jaime and Sara. I’d never been to a show at the Tractor Tavern before, and it was an amazing switch from what I’m used to these days, with Great Big Sea playing the Moore.

Alan’s opening act was this young man named Dustin Bentall, and he was good, but I was more actively impressed by Kendall Carson, the fiddle player who first played with him and then with Alan’s full band. She was GREAT.

Then of course Alan came out and we all went nuts. I’m still getting to know the material on his new album, so except when he jumped over to do a few Great Big Sea songs, I was mostly singing along on what choruses I could pick up. Until he got to the part of the show when he was taking Twitter requests. Of which there were three.

I, being, well, me, asked him for “Trois Navires de Ble” (because yeah, spot the girl in this audience who’s been passionately absorbing French Canadian music the last many months, wut?) or “alternately, anything by Elvis” (because I’ve been dying for years to hear Alan sing something by him). Dara, being Dara, promptly decided to ALSO ask for “anything by Elvis”, and got Jaime and Sara to do so too, just so we could twitterbomb Alan in the hopes of getting him to make a joke about it.

We didn’t expect him to actually take us up on it. He made a wry crack about how “there was some collusion” in the audience, at which point the four of us all shrieked happily.

And then this happened. And I died DED OF SWOON. This is Lynda Elstad’s video of the full song.

And THIS is Dara’s version, which is much grainier and isn’t the full song, but DOES have cuts to me for reaction shots of OMG OMG OMG OMG. Note how I keep biting my hand. This is because I’m trying desperately not to squeal at the top of my lungs, or maybe trying to keep from dropping dead RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT, because O. M. G., Internets, Alan Doyle sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” because we asked him to.

Sara and Jaime shoved me right up in front of them–I’d been standing behind them up until this point–and kept holding my arms to make sure I wasn’t about to keel over. They and Dara told me after that my eyes were HUGE.

The rest of the show, it was great and all (and I DID quite like Alan’s cover of Russell Crowe’s song “Testify”, which was rockin’), but none of it topped this: being right in front of Alan’s mike as he crooned an Elvis song. And not just any Elvis song–the seminal, most swoonable, most iconic Elvis song ever. And I sang harmony back at him, because good gods how could I not? And my eyes were full of stars.

ETA: And I had to add in a couple other comments about the show as I remembered them, just because for reasons I can’t get into yet aside from this show, THIS WEEK HAS BEEN AWESOME and my brain is quite scattered!

Awesome thing #1: Alan kept having trouble tuning his mandolin, and made a joke about how ‘I LOVE WATCHING PEOPLE TUNE THEIR INSTRUMENTS!’ Dara yelled back at him, “We tune because we care!” And he heard her and agreed, “We tune because we care!”

Awesome thing #2: Alan also kept making charmingly self-deprecating jokes about how as we were the very first show of the very first tour of the Alan Doyle Band, we got to see all the screwups and “the terror in our eyes”, and how in four or five more shows they’d get everything right, but we were getting all the good stuff. Also he kept repeating how “there’s only one first night!” When he joked about wondering “oh God what have I done?”, a guy in the audience yelled back, “Something awesome!” And Alan was all “I feel the love in the room!”

Awesome thing #3: Being that close to Alan meant I got a good look at the guitar strap he was using, a leather one, with his name embroidered on it in green down near where it connected with the neck of his guitar! And it was pretty cool seeing him play mandolin, even if I lamented the lack of his usual bouzouki.

Awesome thing #4: At the end of the show, Alan looked out at us all and said he saw several familiar faces, all of us who’ve loyally come to Great Big Sea shows. (heart) (heart)