I cannot remember a time when I did not sing this song.
My children now sing and dance to it, inventing their own (increasingly silly) jobs and gestures.
It was the one place that my older son had heard of in France (long before he became aware of the Eiffel Tower or even Disneyland Paris).
The one place he wanted to visit.
I promised him we would.
But, five years ago, we did not have the time to visit it.
A promise is a promise.
This summer, we finally made it over there.
We had been warned.
'It's just a remnant of a bridge. It's full of tourists.'
'You'll be disappointed.'
We managed to find a gap between the coach tours.
Take a picture of it without swarms of people.
I dared my children to dance and they did, right on the edge.
My heart leapt and invented silly gestures in my throat as I watched them.
We learnt about the original version of the song - which sounds almost funereal.
We learnt about smuggling on the Rhone River.
We discovered islands and pleasure-domes, bridge-building instructions and legends about St. Benoit.
The real name of the bridge.
Sometimes reality lives up to your dreams.
Or even surpasses them.