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Quand Madelon

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Quand Madelon
The music of the song was firstly a march for a brass band, and Louis Bousquet wrote an enthusiastic text about the sexual devastation of soldiers, their loneliness, the solutions proposed, the wine and the likeable maid. We aren’t surprised; all the meaning is in the chorus and verses illustrations. The aim of the whole text is only to make soldiers’ life easier. The woman figure has no moral nor physical individuality because “on s’figure que c’est l’autre” (we’d imagine she’s the other one) when we touch her. The setting is described as “à deux pas de la forêt” (a stone’s throw from the forest) and evokes city slickers’ Sundays’ excursions and that “pays” (region) where a “payse” (local) keeps waiting for “nous épousera” (to marry). This text describes France of the end of the 19th century, hardly urbanized. The atmosphere conveys a rural and a provincial France and we hear the sound of the automatic antifeminism, brief loves before getting married (may be arranged), the wine and male inn sociability. Through all of it we can understand French Army doggedness during WWI.