27 March 2008

Pierre Repondit?

I've been gone for quite some time, but I'm working my way back to the blog. I'll start with this mini-mystery. I've just read an article in the New York Times (read it here) about a French inventor named Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville. Apparently Edouard, not Edison, is now being credited with making the first recording of sound.

Never mind the fact that his "phonoautograph" was never meant to record sound, but rather a visual representation of sound--researchers were able to apply new technology and aurally read the squiggly lines that this little-known Frenchman left behind. The result? A ten-second recording of "Au clair de la lune," a French folk tune.

Here is my question to you, dear readers. According to the NY Times, the singer (presumably female, though "she" sounds like a little boy to me, but anyway) sings the following words, "A clair de la lune, Pierre repondit." I, however, with my admittedly limited (though quite useful) conversational French, can only hear "A clair de la lune, la lune, la lune."

What do you hear?

(Unfortunately, I can't attach the sound byte here, as I am unable to download it from the NY Times site. You can listen, however, on the page given in the link above).

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