Café Mouffe: From Mermaid Avenue to Bamako

I’ve been thinking about my beloved Rue Mouffetard, one of the oldest streets in Paris. Two thousand years ago, when the Roman village of Lutetia spread along the Left Bank of the Seine, what is now Mouffetard was the road that led to Rome. Rue Mouffetard runs through time like the Street of the World.

So this edition of Café Mouffe stretches into world music with two songs that remind me of Rue Mouffetard. Set 1 features Mermaid Avenue. The lyrics were written by Woody Guthrie when he lived near Coney Island in the 1950s. The music was composed and performed by the Klezmatics, whose album Wonder Wheel resurrected a trove of unpublished Woody Guthrie songs. Set 2 is a live performance of Le Réalité by Amadou and Mariam. It comes from their global hit album, Dimanche a Bamako, which was all the rage in Paris in 2005.

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