St. Martin’s Day is just past, a feast of lights that prepares for the arrival of winter and projects us towards Christmas.
For this reason Ocarina thought to listen with you to the famous song, much loved by children, ‘Fra’ Martino Campanaro – Brother John’. This song is known throughout the world in several versions. Of course for us, the most beautiful is the one made by Ocarina !
“Fra’ Martino campanaro – Brother John” is originally from France (here entitled ‘Frère Jacques’) – where the Saint lived in the second half of his life – and has been written by Jean-Philippe Rameau, a French composer of the 18th century.
Legend tells that on a cold and frosty autumn day, Martin, a Roman soldier and later bishop of Tours, rode his horse along the city walls, well covered by his woollen cloak… On his way he saw a man lying on the edge of the road, in the dark and cold. Martin held his sword and cut off a piece of his cloak. When he gave it to the beggar, the sky lit up and the sun began to warm. Hence the saying of St. Martin’s Summer.
In ancient times, the Feast of St. Martin decreed the end of work in the fields for the arrival of winter and was celebrated with great dinners and dances. Today it is a particularly popular holiday in northern France, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. On this day, children make and light colorful paper lanterns and go through the woods singing songs and reciting poems.
Lanterns represent summer warmth and are a symbol of good omen and human warmth, but for children they also have the task of lighting the way for animals, inhabitants of the woods, who are looking for their dens for the winter.
Here you can buy ‘Fra’ Martino’, in the Ocarina version, present in the Playlist “Canzonette”.
Here the French version:
Below the video in Italian and French :