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.”
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.
Hi, I am Carla. I am living and working in the beautiful city of Toulouse, France.
I like history, travel and... the southwest of France and try to share through this blog information about events that might be of interest to the travelers to this part of the world!