Tag Archives: Father France

MADELON

Madelon is the name of a catchy song that French soldiers (the Poilu)) sang endlessly in the dreadful 1914-1918 days when German artillery shells fell like rain all over northern France. How is it that music somehow eases the pain and the anxiety of the men ordered to put their lives on the line for what they are told is a noble cause? The British sang It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, the Yanks sang Over There, and Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag. Through the miracle of 2013 technology you can hear these songs on the Internet. Google it. Google Madelon. if you’re like me, you’ll have a hard time getting the tune out of your head for a while.

In The War Guilt Clause, following the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June, 1919, Ed Frederick and Peggy Schooner embarked on a journalistic bicycle journey through eastern France and western Germany; they planned to speak to the people on the ground – those who lived through the terrible times –  what did these people think of the Treaty?

Near Verdun they encounter a catholic priest, a survivor of the 1916 six-month nightmare that claimed near a million lives.

Bon”, said the man, “my name is France, I am a priest.”                                                                “Then you  are Father France,” said Ed.

The War Guilt Clause chapter entitled Father France, can be seen in its entirety if you go to http://thewarguiltclause.tateauthor.com

You will also see this:  Father France smiled and began to hum a lilting melody of a favorite French song of the day – it was called Madelon. A few bars into the song, Father France moved from humming to singing, then after a few lines, abruptly stopped, looked at the two young Americans nestled close on the grassy French hillside, and in measured  French tones questioned, “Would you like me to marry you?”

The War Guilt Clause is for sale – from Tate or from Max.