Rando, philo, bistrot

Rando, philo, bistrots

Who knew that “métro, boulot, dodo, the French slogan that epitomizes city life, originally appeared in a poem? I didn’t, nor had I heard of its author, Pierre Béarn (born Louis-Gabriel Besnard), homme de lettres français  little known among le grand public despite his prolific career and exceptionally long — and remarkable — life.

Au déboulé garçon pointe ton numéro

Pour gagner ainsi le salaire

D’un morne jour utilitaire

Métro, boulot, bistro, mégots, dodo, zéro

The last lines of “Synthèse,” published in the collection Couleurs d’usine (1951), paints the life of the orphaned child compelled to work for subsistence, which Béarn himself experienced at age 14. With a printing of 2,000 copies in May 1968, the poem was circulated among the unruly Parisian students, and before long “métro, boulot, dodo” covered the walls of the Sorbonne. Summing up the drudgery and routine of the worker’s life, the three words — métro refers to the subway commute, boulot is argot for “work” or “job,” and dodo baby talk for “sleep” — shortly became the rallying cry of les ouvriers who joined the protests.

Still in fashion en France et ailleurs, le slogan soixantehuitard  has, surprisingly, inspired only a few — and mostly women: “marmots, boulot, dodo,” “métro, boulot, petits pots,” “métro, boulot, fourneaux.”

The working mums kept close to the original three words, as did the unions in recent protests against retirement age hike.

métro, boulot, caveau

So I say we get bolder. Aristocrats en trois mots? “Château, polo, Clicquot.” Partygoers? — and I mean serious partying: “Resto, disco, pavot.”  The next one’s on you: “Expo, dico, info”  for … help needed? “Expo(sition), dic(ti)o(nnaire), info(rmation).”  Intellectuals, who else!

Last one: Who could “rando, philo, bistrot” — our post title — be about? Answer: My kind of people, les amateurs de marches — rando(nnée), et de bonne chair — bistrot. Just yesterday I paired the two — for yet another time this summer, but always in the same order. Hiking first, then hearty fare. By all means, après l’effort le réconfort! A saying as popular as Béarn’s triplet.

Rando, philo, bistrots

Auberge du Haycot

Et la philo dans tout ça? I haven’t yet marché et philosophé, but I may well join the club next summer — and so should you.

Vosges hiking trail

— Claire

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Acknowledgements: Le Cri du peuple, SUD Rail de Paris Sud-Est
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