And then there was Philippe who sang for his bread. He was a down and out and wore an odd ensemble of clothes, including multi-coloured trainers and sweat pants. He had a bag around his waist and one on his back. His fingernails hadn’t been cut for some time. A red beard, a thickened goatee, was the same colour as his hair. But when he opened his mouth to sing, it was filled with emotion and his notes were soft and comforting, inciting us to think about our own life, perhaps. La Marine de Brassens. And when once you have listened to him sing, it’s easy to see the isolation of those men and women who want nothing more but that we all share our pain. He was probably a simpleton, but gracefully so.

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