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An interesting musical fact
Well at least 'I' think so :)
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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September 18, 2014 - 8:22 am
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There is an estate in our state on Victoria called The Briars. It was built and occupied continuously by the Balcombe family for some 130 years and in the 1970's it was acquired by the Australian government. There is In the estate at this time a museum containing items collected by the family over the years.

Before coming to Australia, the family lived on the Atlantic Island of St Helens. They lived on a large estate that included a pavilion also called The Briars.

The pavilion in the garden of of the estate occupied by William Balcombe and his family coincidently was the residence of Napoleon after his defeat at Waterloo in 1815. Balcombe's 14 year old daughter Elizabeth Lucia ("Betsy") Balcombe was the only family member who spoke French and acted as an interpreter for Napoleon.

Betsy, for a time, became a companion of Napoleon and they spent time together doing things such as singing and playing the guitar.

The Balcombe family eventually settled in Australia and they bought with them items given to them by Napolean such as books, medals, and along with other things, his guitar.

So it came to be that we here in Australia have Napoleon's 'guitar'.

Is that cool or what? I'm sure that our 'Scratchy Sisters'  @KindaScratchy  and Daniel @DanielB would love to get their hands on it. :)

While 'Betsy' never commented of Napoleon' guitar skills, it is said that she felt that, when it came to singing, Napoleon could not carry a tune.

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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DanielB
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September 18, 2014 - 9:31 am
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I recall reading, years ago, that Napoleon's personal musical preference was the "music of the people", what we call today "folk music".  So it isn't surprising to hear that he played a bit of guitar and sang, sometimes.

Who knows?  He might have played some of the same songs that some of us here play.  The world may never know.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Tucson1
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September 18, 2014 - 9:53 am
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Hey mate ,

Thanks fer the bit of history down under ...very interesting ...wonder where my instruments will eventually end up ...violin-1260

Have fun    Be happy

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RosinedUp
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September 18, 2014 - 10:03 am
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Ferret said
While 'Betsy' never commented of Napoleon' guitar skills, it is said that she felt that, when it came to singing, Napoleon could not carry a tune.

I wouldn't be surprised if proximity to artillery fire had something to do with that.  But hey, if you're going to conquer most of Europe and stuff, there will be a price to pay.  By the way, there is a type of cannon called a Napoleon, but it is named after Napoleon III, the nephew and heir of the original.

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DanielB
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September 18, 2014 - 4:34 pm
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Well, probably after a hard day of establishing empires and taking over the world and all, there's nothing like kicking back with some music and a friend for an hour or two.

Just because the Star Wars movies never showed Emperor Palpatine and Vader with a ukelele doing "On Top of Old Smoky" doesn't mean that it might not have happened.

But as RU mentioned, with the artillery fire and etc, I wouldn't be surprised if Napoleon had at least a touch of tinnitus and/or other hearing impairment.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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RosinedUp
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September 18, 2014 - 8:01 pm
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DanielB said
Well, probably after a hard day of establishing empires and taking over the world and all, there's nothing like kicking back with some music and a friend for an hour or two.

True, and music with just the right martial themes could be very inspiring to his men. 

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Fiddlestix
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September 19, 2014 - 12:47 am
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I can't figure out how "Napoleon" could play any instrument with on hand tucked inside his jacket.

dunno

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Ferret
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September 19, 2014 - 4:45 am
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Fiddlestix said
I can't figure out how "Napoleon" could play any instrument with on hand tucked inside his jacket.

dunno

A darn good point mate :)

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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coolpinkone
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September 19, 2014 - 12:05 pm
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I loved hearing this bit of music history John. Very very cool. I would also be eager to see Napoleon's guitar. Thanks for posting.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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