The Lerner and Loewe musical, Camelot, features a fun and innocently scandalous song called “The Lusty Month of May.” It’s the type of song that can get stuck in one’s brain for days, especially on a sunny spring one. The lyrics of the song suggest May is the month in which everyone goes “blissfully astray.”
No one is going astray here at my house. Handy is finishing my raised beds and my brother has graciously volunteered to paint the lattice-work on my porches. I’m weeding and planting and clipping and cleaning until dark every night.
And I’m trying to learn a few new French songs because I’ll be singing with Les Troubadours today at the last French Sing-Along of the “season” at the University of Maine’s Lewiston/Auburn College. We’ll be singing a bunch of “springish” songs, many having a bit of a “Mother’s Day” feel, including the new to me “C’est le mois de Marie.”
I first heard the song at the end of French Mass on Saturday. Our accompanist, Paul Caron, started playing it after communion. I didn’t know the song, but everyone else in church did. As Paul played through the first verse and then repeated the chorus, I could hear the sound of voices humming and signing along, quietly at first. Then their voices filled the space. There was a magical quality to hearing these French Canadians singing a song that was deeply embedded in their memories. It seemed as natural to them as blinking their eyes, but it sounded like it was coming deep from their hearts.
I had to blink my own eyes to wipe away a few tears.
“C’est le mois le plus beau.”