There is a danger I think of taking our criticisms of contemporary French political life to ludicrous extremes. So taking the opportunity that today is the fortieth anniversary of the death of Edith Piaf, I’d like to offer a small celebration of the enormous contribution of Francophone culture to our modern European identity. And to enter really into the spirit of things, the link below is posted in French. Incidentally, one small confession: when working on-line and not listening to music I seem to have gotten into the habit of listening to French radio. It was the commentary about Piaf on this morning’s news that altered me to the date. They also made the interesting comparison between Egypt’s Om Kalthoun, and the Portuguese ‘Queen of Fado’ Amalia Rodrigues as women of their time who came to symbolise something important about the popular sentiment of their countries.