... even though Ranz des Vaches has been an earworm for this week.
|Bernard Romanens singing Ranz des Vaches.|
The official Fête page (in EN) quickly tells us that this is the Winegrowers Festival, held in the town of Vevey, located in the far southwestern corner of Switzerland, near the border with France. The festivals date from the 18th century; the last five were in 1927, 1955, 1977, 1999, and 2019. As it tells us:
"The Fête des Vignerons pays homage to viticultural traditions many centuries old of an entire region with a spectacular show and coronation of the vineyard hands."
The Reverend James Wood, writing in the Nuttall Encyclopaedia in 1907, said that such a tune "when played in foreign lands, produces on a Swiss an almost irrepressible yearning for home", repeating 18th century accounts the mal du Suisse or nostalgia diagnosed in Swiss mercenaries. Singing of Kuhreihen was forbidden to Swiss mercenaries because they led to nostalgia to the point of desertion, illness or death.
The 1767 Dictionnaire de Musique by Jean-Jacques Rousseau claims that Swiss mercenaries were threatened with severe punishment to prevent them from singing their Swiss songs. The Romantic connection of nostalgia, the Kuhreihen and the Swiss Alps was a significant factor in the enthusiasm for Switzerland, the development of early tourism in Switzerland and Alpinism that took hold of the European cultural elite in the 19th century.
Look those things up!