Occitan, Reggae and Mediaeval Troubadors
History is usually written by the winners. The Losers are quickly forgotten. If Napoleon hadn’t come along Occitan might still be spoken today by half of France. But Napoleon did come along and he did forge a highly centralized state, with Paris as its capital, and the language of the north became what we know now as French. Two hundred years later, some southerners are challenging that idea, and they’re doing it through a blend of reggae, southern folk music and the musical forms of the medieval Troubadors, as producer Julian Crandall Hollick recently discovered.
(Weekend All Things Considered - 14 August 2004)