It’s very easy to make fun of the French because . . . well, because they are so very French. You don’t get saddled with a nickname like “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” without having deserved it in some way, shape, or form. Still, they helped us win our nation’s independence, they shipped a nice big copper statue of a woman holding a torch that people appreciate, and of course, they got really good at cultivating, fermenting, and bottling grapes like Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon — so clearly they aren’t all bad. On top of that, they gave the world some kick-ass composers like Debussy, Ravel, Berlioz, Messiaen, and many more.
So in honor of Le Quatorze Juillet, allow me to offer up three little bits of free French-related fun, having equal parts classic, sublime, and naughty (ok, maybe not all of them have equal parts naughty, but at least one of them does):
- “La Marseillaise”, care of Casablanca:
- Free download (click HERE) of the Symphony in C by French composer, Georges Bizet: To help celebrate Bernard Haitink’s 80th birthday, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra released this recording available for free download online (free registration required). The series also included Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 — but those two guys were from the wrong side of the French border, so let’s not talk about them right now.
- And finally (drum-roll please) . . . French Maids of Bastille Day : As our friends at Urban Daddy put it, “celebrating with a tribute to what is probably France’s most heroic contribution to international culture . . . some of the world’s most beautiful women with the French maid costumes they were born to wear.” Vive la France, indeed!
(All pictures and their associated captions below are taken directly from Urban Daddy. To view the complete slide show in its original format, click HERE)