Oui Oui L’Accordeon

Oui Oui L’Accordeon

“accordion playing” by Holly is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Porch Swing Chats

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Oui Oui L’Accordeon:

The Musical Streetsounds of Paris


Let’s pause for a lilting conversation about the music of France.


One enduring icon often associated with French street music is the accordion.

We stereotypically recognize its distinct instrumental sound and automatically pair the two together as one: the accordion & Paris.


My fondness for the instrument is woven inside the very fabric of my being.

Our family boasted an accordion player, my maternal grandmother. Memories of her hoisting it from the leather case, attaching the straps around her shoulders & back, then arching the keyboard and buttoned panel to open the bellows and play are still vivid.

Never mind her petite frame was fully covered from neck to knee.

With an eager audience surrounding the room, she and her guitar-playing partner (and husband) promptly lit the night with lively folksongs and beloved gospel hymns until our hearts overflowed.