• France's news in English

French dad uses Mozart to fight drug dealers

Joshua Melvin · 20 May 2014, 09:57

Published: 20 May 2014 09:57 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Beethoven’s Ode to Joy has become the battle cry for one very annoyed resident of a suburban Paris apartment building.  

Every night for the past two years groups of young men have taken to drinking, smoking and drug dealing in front of the man's home in Montrouge. He tried calling the cops, but the spotters who work for the dealers give the order to scatter as soon as officers rolled up, French daily Le Parisien reported this week.

Then within minutes of the cops leaving the dope sales, boozing and smoking would resume unabated. Finally one night in April, when the base from the dealers’ music drowned out the angry resident's own voice as he sang lullabies to his young daughters he finally lost it.

“I don’t know what came over me. I opened the window and I started shouting the Little Green Mouse (Souris verte) or My Little Rabbit (Mon petit lapin),” he told Le Parisien.

He saw results immediately. His noisy, off-key singing drove some of the dealers away that night. Joel was overjoyed: “It was a peaceful solution to take back our property.”

But his repertoire of lullabies was pretty limited so he went with the next best thing, recordings of classic music. Every night at 8pm he began setting up a speaker on his balcony and letting rip The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart or Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.

The dealers hated it.

“They asked me why I was doing it,” Joel said. “I told them their noise bothered me.”

The nightly classical concert drove off some of the young men. But those that stayed responded with shouts or blaring rap music. They even hurled stones at his window.

Story continues below…

“I filed a complaint with the police. But I’m not going to stop,” he said. “Their behavior is unacceptable.”

Despite the dangers, he plans to keep up his classical battle with the dealers. But he feels the whole building has to get involved for it to work. Music pouring from one balcony does not have nearly the strength of music of Beethoven blaring from all of them.

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Kidnapped Riviera millioniare found tied up in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel found alive after by kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rent prices
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available