Once we used to have boring schoolwork, interlaced with frequent musical interludes. Robert Dessaix describes this very well.
The traditional songs, that we sang lustily, were often incomprehensible - but that didn't matter: I believe that the emotion that the songs conveyed said all.
'Vair me O, O ro van o. Vair me o oh ro van ee ; - sad I am, without thee,'
Sad am I without thee. We understood that bit.