Music in the Paris Metro

Today the wife, the kids and I schlepped all around Paris, to the point of exhaustion. The overall results were mixed: A couple of things we counted on were closed; a park we’d heard raves about blew us away and the lunch was tremendous (anything with thick, gooey cheese can’t be all bad).

Would say the most interesting time was spent below ground, in the Metro. Much like New York, Paris’ underground transportation tunnels are filled with performers. Unlike New York, well, many of the acts have absolutely blown us away. The first, and you really must watch this, was a group of Russian singers/musicians. We were walking through the tunnel, rushing to catch a train, when—BAM! The sound stopped us (and many others) in our tracks. Tell me if you disagree, but these guys are friggin’ off the chain …

We walked about 200 yards through the station, began hearing more blissful music. Was a group of college students—classical performers with obvious chops. Take a listen …

Now here’s the odd twist. So some time passes, and we’re on our final train, heading back home. A woman walks onto our car, puts down a speaker and begins to cough. Like, hacking a lung. Then she grabs her mic and sings … like a frog with a stick in its throat. She just butchered a Stevie Wonder classic, to the point where the guy in the sunglasses actually asked her to stop. She had, literally, zero musical talent, yet I hurt for her. All I had in my pocket was a couple of small coins, and I debated giving them to her. In the end, I didn’t—because I tend to think chucking a dime and a few pennies (in American coinage) is more insulting and demeaning than merely doing nothing. Here she is—just a snippet (I was actually taping my son, but edited him out) …

What do you think? Am I in the wrong?

2 thoughts on “Music in the Paris Metro”

  1. she probably knows she has no talent, and uses it to get pity donations. i have to admit i got a kick out of the cheap electronic beat behind her.

  2. Cool music. Kind of reminds me of a Washington Post article from a couple of years ago about Joshua Bell playing in the DC metro…
    On another note, please don’t swing around the video capturing device as was done in the second vid. Now if I were you, what I’d do is pick a good looking girl and keep her in focus the whole time. That’d be a lot easier on the senses.
    I’ve been enjoying your accounts from Europe. Thanks.

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