Barrel Organ Festival – Varilhes 2017

Barrel Organ Player
Barrel Organ Player – the audience was encouraged to sing along

Varilhes is a little town – population just under 3,000 – situated at the foothills of the Pyrenean Mountains on the banks of Ariège River.
The streets of the old town became during the weekend of September 23rd and 24th the performance venue for tens of barrel organ players that gathered here for the… “Festival of Barrel Organs”.
A barrel organ bears in French the bizarre name of “orgue de Barbarie” literally translated as “organ from Barbary” – an imaginary exotic country. The name comes probably from the foreign origin of street players during the 17th and 18th centuries that were speaking “an approximate French.”
Barrel Organ Player
Barrel Organ Player

Barrel Organ Song Rolls
Barrel Organ Song Rolls
Songs include: “Nini Peau d’Chien”, “Le Petit Vin Blanc”, “L’amour est cerise”, “Le Temps des puces”, “Le chat noir” (titles that translated sound strange to our modern ears!) …famous in France during the first part of the 20th century.
Roaring Twenties
Roaring Twenties Costumes
Barrel Organ Players
Barrel Organ Players
Saxophone and Barrel Organ
Saxophone and Barrel Organ
Barrel Organ Player
Barrel organ player in French costume
Roaring Twenties
Roaring Twenties
Players on the banks or Ariege River
Players on the banks or Ariege River
Ariege River
Ariege River near the foothills of the Pyrenees
Varilhes
Varilhes is a small town in Ariège department of south-west France
Varilhes Church was built in the 16th century
Varilhes Church was built in the 16th century

A very short sample of a barrel organ music:

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