With the exception of opera, I have had a number of fascinations with songs sung in other languages.

There are vast swathes of Brazilian music I adore where the musicians could be singing about the price of frozen peas for all that I know of Portuguese. I have absolutely no idea what Sigur Ros are singing on any of their stuff. The Pizzicato Five rocked it in Japanese but I had no clue what they were blathering on about. Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins was quite obviously making words up as she went along.

There’s something delightful about hearing words but just as abstract musical sounds. It also makes singing along soooo much easier.

It’s a testimony to my O-Level French teachers that Christine and the Queens’ 2014 album Chaleur Humaine falls into this same category. It’s delightful. Not a clue what most of it is all about. Language teaching in England in the 1980s was rubbish.

For the record, opera in a language I don’t understand is just a lot of melodramatic warbling. Without the words it makes no sense to me whatsoever.

You can see the #51for50 project to date here: https://mmitii.mattballantine.com/category/projects/51-for-50/

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