Bill’s badge of bravery

Soprano’s sold out concert poster from the city’s website

What do a French rap singer, Bill, and a 10-year-old have in common? If that were a 10-year-old Scotch I would start to understand but in this case she’s our neighbor whom we’ll call El. She likes music of all kinds, and even plays the violin, but is passionate about one French rap artist named Soprano. Knowing this, her ever hopeful parents bought 2 tickets to last Wednesday’s concert months ago anticipating that they would have plenty of time to find an adult to accompany their daughter but time was running out. We were over at their house for a glass of wine and the topic of Carcassonne’s annual month-long international music festival came up with a note that Soprano would be there. I remember an American TV series with that name (sort of) but I didn’t see how it could be turned into a musical stage show. El quickly jumped in to explain who the singer was and how her parents were looking for a chaperone. I could not believe the next words that I heard in the room, “I’ll go”, and they didn’t come from me.

The stage just inside the city’s walls

Yes, Bill had actually just said that he would take our young neighbor to the concert. I laughed out loud when her mother then asked, “Tu as bien compris?” which is the same question I had in my head along the lines of, “Have you really understood?” or maybe even, “What were you thinking?” Bill knew how evenly the scale was balanced between how much El wanted to go and how little either of her parents wanted to go with her, so he stepped in. Besides, he had already screened some of the music to hear that Soprano actually has a singing voice that doesn’t always depend upon an auto-tune microphone and that rap is only a portion of his repertoire.

Every summer the city of Carcassonne sponsors a month-long nightly music festival at venues all around town, often occurring at the same time, some with paid tickets and many for free. Naturally the majority of the acts are French but there are always stars such as this year’s Sting, Joan Baez, and the Black Eyed Peas that American audiences would recognize. This Saturday we’ll get a ringside seat to French RnB singer Amel Bent’s free show by having dinner at one of the cafés on the main square where we can sit through the concert.

Speaking of late night shows, the Soprano concert didn’t start until 9:30 PM, meaning that Bill and El wouldn’t get home until midnight or later. I suggested to El’s parents that they go out for a romantic dinner just for the two of them while I worked on the design for Bill’s merit badge of bravery.

Soprano’s official website:

Carcassonne’s music festival:

12 thoughts on “Bill’s badge of bravery

  1. That is such a heartwarming story but to be honest I’m not surprised that Bill would volunteer. Way to go Bill. We knew about this years festival and had hoped to attend. One of our favourite artists is Eros Ramazzotti. He has a most unique voice and is on my bucket list to see live. Unfortunately, while we had hoped to see him in Carcassonne this year, it didn’t work out for us. While Soprano might not exactly be Bill’s cup of tea I’m sure it’s a memory he’ll enjoy forever.

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  2. I hope you enjoyed the concert, Bill! Bravo! What a kind thing to do. Kudos, Bob, this post has given me a good chuckle this morning. Also, how about how great Carcassonne is for having a month – long music festival? Wonderful.

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  3. I’m not surprised at all. All the times you have jumped in to help us when we needed it most. I don’t know how we could have gotten through without you. I’m glad you had a good time, Bill.

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  4. Terrific reporting:). It brought me a good giggle also–hearing both voices through Bob’s
    writing. Kudos to you Bill! Honoring the wishes of young interest and special experience– for all of us.

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