Cicerone Take Away Lesson: BRASSENS’ folk song – “Le Roi Boiteux”

Matthias Kadar about the French Brassens' folk song - satiric and funny (video)

Matthias Kadar is a Hungarian/German composer. He's the author of Cicerone Music & Art's interactive course for Composition. As a young musician, he found in the French folk song his idle way to approach social urban themes, and George Brassens was especially inspiring this way to communicate through music directly to people. In this article, Matthias talks about the music but also about his past as a street performer. So we asked him to make a video masterclass about "Le Roi Boiteux", and tell us about his relationship with Georges Brassens' music. This is what he told us:

What do you mostly like in Brassens' music?

Georges Brassens had such a great Humour! He loved to have fun and make fun. These are just a few reasons why I love to perform his music:

His poetry fits so well the guitar writing and the melodies he made are profoundly lyrical. When he puts music on a poem by somebody else, it becomes unmistakably a Brassens song. He is for me a great master of songwriting. Every time I perform his songs, I feel either as serious as it should be or as amused. It’s something for me like receiving a little sunshine, greetings from inspiration- something like this. Anyway, it’s nice and I can’t hold myself to share it with anybody.

How did you start performing in the streets?

When I was a little younger and studying in Germany, I took it very seriously: it was like a mission for me to show to the german public the beauty of Brassens' songs. So I performed on the street. I remember the laws of performing between all the street musicians: you play 30 minutes and then you go to another place or you stop to play and let somebody else play for 30 minutes and so on.

When it happened that somebody let a coin fall near me, I still see myself take that coin, stand up, and walk after that person to give this same coin back to him and ask him just to listen!

Now some years later, you may still find me playing next to the common concert places in a bar or on the street. I just want to share this beautiful music, reach out to you in every kind of way to show you the humanity of Georges Brassens songs.

What about Le Roi Boiteux in particular?

This song: Le roi boiteux took me about 20 years to finally find a way to perform it in a way in which I can think: yes, now it’s alright.

Thanks to this recording, it’s the very first time I arrived at that moment of awareness. Thank you for listening! 

So here you can see the video, where Matthias performs and explains the song, and below the video, you can listen to the straight song only: