Kamini: Singing what he knows best

Kamini is a French rapper who came into popularity about a year ago with a rap video he posted on YouTube paying homage to his hometown of Marly-Gomont, in Picardy. The song pokes fun at the rural lifestyle of the town. They say one writes best when writing what he or she knows. What does one know better than his hometown? Kamini sings from the perspective of someone who has hometown pride but isn't afraid to poke some fun either. Look out for some cameos from local cows and townsfolk. The video for "Marly-Gomont," as the song is aptly titled, became so popular that Kamini got a record deal and has started a successful music career. I only recently came to know about Kamini, and I thought I'd share the story with those of you who have yet to discover him. Here is, for your viewing pleasure, the video that started it all.

The Three Musketeers in Anime form

Alexandre Dumas' great novel Les trois mousquetaires comes alive in manga (Japanimation) form in the Japanese cartoon series Sous le signe des trois mousquetaires. Obviously this is the French translation of the title. The series is available to watch online on YouTube in French (just search for the title). This might be something of interest to teachers teaching the story (but beware - there are many historical inaccuracies) or someone interested in the story who does not have the time to read it. Watching it in French will in turn improve your vocabulary and comprehension and help you understand the book better if and when you decide to read it. Here is a preview from the first episode:

French Holiday Songs

Christmas is almost here. What better way to celebrate winter and the holidays than with French holiday songs? Many familiar Christmas songs are translated into French, and the French also have a few holiday carols of their own! Paroles.net has lyrics to many different French Christmas carols. If you're looking to purchase some holiday music of your own, here are my personal recommendations:

Roch Voisine: L'album de Noël - Roch Voisine has a great voice, and sings all the holiday favorites on this CD. There are a couple of English tunes mixed in, including an original song he wrote! The lyrics are included in the songbook.

Céline Dion: These Are the Special Times - Céline's two French Christmas albums are hard to come by, but on this popular English-language one are a couple French treats: the very last song is "Les cloches du hameau" a beautiful song Céline recorded with her family. "Brahms' Lullaby" has both French and English lyrics. For those of you who enjoy all foreign languages, there's also a rendition of Feliz Navidad, and a song called the Prayer with Andrea Bocelli sung in English and Italian.

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