'Pilou-Pilou', France's very own 'Haka'
The Mediterranean port city of Toulon, home to England international Jonny Wilkinson, is the only place in Europe where fans sing a special version of the "Haka", the battle cry of South Pacific rugby teams. Only here, it is called the "Pilou-pilou".
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Toulon has a long history of rugby culture and for years the fans have made "Pilou-Pilou" their own anthem. It was first sung by a local writer, Marcel Bodrero, in the 1940s. It was then adopted by the fans who added this haka twist to it. Though, it sounds and looks very much like a folkloristic copy of the noble Pacific Haka, when chanted in a packed stadium it still gives you goosebumps.
Here is the English translation of the 'Pilou-Pilou':
Ah! We, the terrible Pilou-Pilou warriors
Who come from the mountains and go out to sea
With our savage wives breastfeeding our children
In the shadow of massive white coconut trees
We, the terrible warriors cry out loud our terrible war song
I said: "OUR TERRIBLE WAR SONG"
RED AND BLACK!
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