Le Reve Passe

The music was composed by two gentlemen named Georges Krier and Charles Helmer, and the words were penned by Armand Foucher. It seems like it was originally a song written in 1906 in French, and has long since been arranged as a march.

It has a very definite military flavour to it; looking back to the glory days of Napoleon Bonaparte in the hope that the soldiers of the day would be as valiant as those in Napoleon's time.

Ask anyone in Ireland if they know the march Le Reve Passe, and you will probably get a blank expression. Whistle part of the main melody, and anyone of an age will immediately bounce back with "yes, I know that!" The march was brought to the public's attention by the famous Irish tenor, the late Josef Locke, who probably sang it in every concert hall in Ireland - there's even a clip of him on YouTube singing it in the 1950's film "What A Carry On!"

The Ballygowan Flute Band has been playing Le Reve Passe as a street march for longer than anyone in the band can remember. It has also been in our concert repertoire for some years. The sound track (assuming by now it has played) is the final strain of the march, and was recorded especially for those students who chose Ballygowan Flute Band as part of their optional area of study for GCSE Music in 2011.

The original French words start something like this:

Soldiers are there endormis on the plain
The breath of light sings to delude,
The Earth to levelled wheat flavour his breath.
Suddenly here only to the sky Knights without number
Light up the vague clarity lightning
And small cap seems guide these shadows
To immortality.

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