the tantalizing tune

I used to have a ringtone that, pardon the pun, rang a bell: I was sure it was from some modern string quartet, but couldn’t find it in my collection.

Years go by. Today I get in the car, turn on the radio and hear that musical phrase. I wait for the piece to end, but the title is not announced. Well, maybe the station webs its playlist. I get home, refer to the website and find, for the time in question, some song by Daniel Lanois (surrounded by other songs rather than string quartets). Argh.

An hour later I turn on the radio again and hear “Every Day Is a Winding Road”, which was on the list. So I scroll back an hour . . . .

It is in fact the second movement of Ravel’s string quartet in F.

I’m depraved on account of I’m deprived

Today’s Straight Dope responds to this inquiry:

Everyone is familiar with the song that goes, “There’s a place in France where the naked ladies dance.” What’s the origin of this mysterious song and its seemingly Egyptian melody?

So naturally I’m not familiar with those words; but they do scan to the tune quoted in Divers Ayres on Sundrie Notions: “Ask for P.D.Q., take a tablespoon or two.”