One of the themes of My Ancestors were French is the impact of faith on people’s lives throughout history. Today, because of migration, and travel, the world does seem smaller in some respects, and there are many more options, many choices – but not necessarily answers to all our questions. This is the song of a young woman living in northern England today. She doesn’t know much about her family history, but like many English or American people she is of Huguenot descent. This young woman starts to look back into her family history and begins to find the faith to help her through the pitfalls of life. She learns stories from her family, and discovers that the scent of the auricula has a special quality, which takes people back to childhood memories. Memories of grandparents potting sheds…and even further back…when you suddenly think how can this memory be older than me…?
My ancestors were French,
And, for what it’s worth, faith ruled their lives.
Me, I’ve never been to church,
And I haven’t been good.
But I’ve made my mark,
And I got in trouble,
Listening to my devil in the dark.
Y’know I’ve always landed on my feet,
And I’ve got a sense of history.
Yeah I’ve always landed on my feet,
And those flowers take me back…
The devil inside, he’s sittin’ on my shoulder,
Pushin’ me out so I’m sittin’ on a boulder
In the middle of the lake.
And the devil can’t swim,
So I’m feelin’ brave and I’m gonna get him.
It’s gonna get colder, if he falls in the lake.
He’ll be off my shoulder, off my back.
There’ll be no more trouble,
Gonna make a fresh start.
Stop listenin’ to the devil…
Gonna listen to my heart.
To my heart.
© 2012 L. Duffy-Howard