From Sheila Johnston, who runs www.marseille-provence.info "the Insider's Guide to the Most Beautiful Corner of France", a very well researched articles about cicadas in Provence :
"Highly complex creatures, both zoologically and mythically, cicadas have fascinated cultures through the millennia. Some liken them to uncouth wastrels who sing and idle the summer away. Others see them as exuberant beings who understand how to seize the moment and make the very most of life.
Certain religions have even likened the cicada's metamorphosis - from larva to short-lived insect - to the transmigration of the soul. Here are fifteen essential facts that you need to understand about this humble cicada before you come to Provence.
1) The cicada became the noisy spokesinsect of provençal culture thanks to the poet Frédéric Mistral, who in 1854 created the Félibrige, an association to promote the provençal language and traditions. He illustrated his bookplates with a cicada and the legend, "Lou souleu mi fa canta," provençal for "The sun makes me sing".