Folk Songs of French Canada
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 9 Apr 1925, p. 180-196


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Barbeau, Marcus, Speaker
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Text
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The speaker is accompanied by Phileas Bedard, who provides vocal illustrations. The spread of modern American culture. Our fundamental belief that we are the masterpiece of creation. Study and documentation that inspires doubts in our self-centered minds. A presentation of facts intended to show that our fairly remote ancestors were not uncouth barbarians after all, or a beggarly lot awaiting the advent of a redeemer. The folk traditions of the past which justify this contention, and hint at how a people may progress in more ways than one, not merely upwards, as in our age and country. The speaker and Mr. Bedard reproduce a few of the old songs that represent the art and mentality of medieval times. The disappearance of such songs and what that means. The French-Canadian oral tradition. A historical review of French-Canada and their culture, including folk songs. Songs of the "jongleurs," the poets in the thoroughfares. Several songs are presented of various types, and as preserved until recently in many parts of Quebec and Ontario. Commentary is offered between each presentation.
Date of Original:
9 Apr 1925
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English
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The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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FOLK SONGS OF FRENCH CANADA AN ADDRESS BY MARCUS BARBEAU WITH VOCAL ILLUSTRATIONS BY PHILEAS BEDARD. Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto, April 9, 1925.

PRESIDENT BURNS introduced the speaker and the singer.

MR. BARBEAU.

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen,-Our modern American culture is swiftly progressing towards what is to the man in the street an epoch of unsurpassed achievements, and it is spreading among the present generation to the four corners of the continent. The past, particularly the remote past, was an obscure age, in which people were uncivilized, sometimes cruel, and devoid of any of the finer qualities which we very generously ascribe to ourselves. We are the masterpiece of creation. This is our most fundamental belief. (Laughter)

A careful study of the people, however, those people who are now the representatives of the days that are past, and also of the documents in our archives, cannot fail to inspire serious doubts in our self-

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Mr. Barbeau was a Rhode Scholar at Oxford and a student at La Serbonne, Paris. He is deeply interested in anthropology. His studies of our Indians, as depicted in his exquisite book "Indian Days in the Canadian Rockies," is a fascinating contribution, interesting alike to the historian and the ethnologist and written with an artistry of style that makes the book real literature. Mr. Barbeau has devoted much time to direct study of folk songs and has a collection of over 5,000 numbers. He was accompanied by Mr. Bedard of Quebec, a remarkable folk singer, who appeared in old time costume, and with his fine voice illustrated the enthusiasms, hopes and fears, joys and sorrows of those earlier people.

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cetered minds. Our admiration for the unparalleled development of industry and machinery and for all things that are practical, has indeed tended to discredit the older culture of our forebares, the culture which was more of the mind and the heart. I am not trying to argue that we have grown less civilized in the last century; not many people would take such a statement seriously. But I would rather proceed to the presentation of facts intended to show that our fairly remote ancestors were not uncouth barbarians after all, or a beggarly lot awaiting the advent of a redeemer, who has at last come to us.

The folk traditions of the past, which we intend to give you, will I hope justify this contention and furnish a hint as to how a people may progress in more ways than one, not merely upwards, as in our age and country. Mr. Bedard and myself will reproduce a few of the old songs that represent the art and mentality of mediaeval times. Let me add, before we begin, that these songs, and the oral recollections in which they are embodied, once were innumerable throughout the land. They constituted a national tradition that came down in a bulk through the generations. Now they are disappearing; in their very disappearance at least we may diagnose a progress downwards rather than upwards, a change from mental wealth to mental poverty. Our faith is in steam and electricity, or love of wealth and all that is external has done many things, not all for the best. We may some day realize to our regret, that modern progress has, in spots, given us stones rather than bread. We are forsaking matters which are quite as important as material gain, that is, matters of the mind and the heart-the traditions and past ideals of our race. (Applause.

The French people, like most other nations in Europe, had in the old days abundant traditions, preserved orally, that is, transmitted from mouth to mouth, from generation to generation. With the growth of writing and printing, this old manner of recording and preserving recollections, formal or improvised, went out of fashion. The older school of minstrels, of traditionalists among the folk, who used to remember verses, songs, folk-tales and recited memories of the past, have now disappeared. But we still find in various parts of French Canada a few survivors that have preserved their share of what used to be a treasure dear to all the countryside. A few of our singers in Quebec could sing to us as many as 200 to 400 folk-songs, not counting folk-tales, rhymes and other narratives; and some songs have up to 200 and 250 lines-more than we ourselves could memorize. (Laughter) So you will agree that such people, even if unable to write or read, carried much in their heads, indeed more than most of us do, of poetry and melody and narration of the past. They were their own libraries. (Applause) The possessor of so much ancestral knowledge and wisdom knew how to support himself, whether in the forest, on the sea, or at home, for he had -much useful experience, and his manual arts were at his finger-tips. You cannot say that he was not cultured, even though his culture was not borrowed from our own Primary or Secondary Reader. (Laughter) If a practical test were made between him and his grandsons, educated in the primary schools, and both were left in the forest to rely upon their own resources, we might find that the grandsons would perish of fright and starvation, in spite of the superiority they have acquired from books, while the older men would have a fair chance of surviving.

The settlers who came to Canada 300 or 400 years ago were from various French districts in the central and north-western provinces, particularly Normandy and the Loire valley. They migrated across the sea at a time when the oral traditions were still thriving in France. They established their homes along the rivers and at the edge of the forests in the north-eastern parts of America, away from the turmoils and commotions of the old world. In their isolation, until railroads and new devices disturbed their quietude, they kept a tremendous hoard of songs and tales. A few years ago, this wealth of tradition forcibly came to our attention. We really discovered it. Some of the older writers had alluded to it, and given a few samples, but not extensively; and then everyone supposed that the old fairy tales and songs had forever vanished out of existence. We came upon sources that were at first unsuspected, and followed our opportunities in the course of several years of research. Our initiative, that is, our own and that of a few collaborators, was awarded by records in numbers that are almost bewildering-several hundred folk-tales, much knowledge of a miscellaneous nature, over 5,500 song texts taken down in writing, and about 4,000 melodies recorded on the phonograph, all preserved at the National Museum of Canada, at Ottawa. We may claim that we are rendering posterity a service in saving these tales and songs from the oblivion into which they fall every day, by the death of the old men who are the last to preserve them. Now they are in safekeeping at Ottawa for every one of us to consult and for those who follow us. (Applause)

The songs that you hear in the country places are not, as often supposed, improvized by rustic singers who happen to be inspired on the spot, in a crowd gathered for festivities. We have surmised from a perusal of our records, that easily nineteen out of twenty songs are traditional, ancient, and were composed centuries ago. They were undoubtedly the work of a single author at a definite date. After their birth on the lips of a minstrel, they became the property of the oral singers at large, and travelled everywhere, as far as time and language frontiers would permit, even beyond. We now find versions and variations of these songs scattered through the Montreal, Three Rivers and Quebec districts, which go back to a single original in the past. When we compare these documents not only together but with those that have been compiled by the folklorists of France, we come to the conclusion that three, four or five centuries ago, and even further back, there must have been a regular school of bards or poets, presumably in the north-western provinces of France--the France of oil. These bards or jongleurs, if never resorting to writing, were none the less trained poets, whose feeling and artistry were of a very high order, and whose prosodic technique went back directly to the bedrock of the romance language in France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. They existed alongside of the parchment writers of their day, those script-mongers to whose estate we have fallen heirs, in the higher culture which we ourselves represent. Scriptural tradition, as distinct from the oral, was preserved in mediaeval times by monks and tabellions who wrote Latin, an impoverished Latin; while French, Spanish and other dialects were their actual everyday language, good enough to understand and enjoy on the street and at home. But these good people refused to speak their own vernacular in the churches, in their learned assemblies. They persevered in the written Latin, which they could not always understand, until one day it dawned upon a preacher that his congregation could not grasp his meaning. To the dismay of all, he found out that the language of the street was apt to convey ideas even in a church or in an academy. Others were scandalized, and the controversy seems to have lasted over a century. But from his humble efforts were born French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, to the light of an independent existence in literature and art. These early utterances of the monks and the troubadours are not represented on our programme here. The few songs which we will give, rather in a hurry, belong to the older strata, that of the jongleurs, the poets in the thoroughfares who used no quill and no parchment. These songs have never been written, until folklorists recorded them in script or on the phonograph. There is no time for folk-tales today; we will illustrate only a few songs of various types as preserved until recently in many parts of Quebec and Ontario.

Mr. Bedard, who accompanies me here, in his homespun suit, is among the one or two hundred folk singers whom we have utilized for our records. He is typical of the singers of the Montreal group in the songs of his repertory. Like them-he is from St. Remi de Napierville, near Montreal-he does not know many songs of the ballad type (or come-all-ye's). which are more predominant in the eastern Quebec counties. He will serve as one of the best representatives of the folk singers as you may hear many of them, better or worse, in various parts of Quebec.

The first song on our programme is The King of Spain's Daughter. It is a paddling song. In the old days the "voyageurs" along the rivers in the wilds of America used to sing while they paddled. They invariably began to sing as soon as they picked up the paddle. This little song, I may say, is one of the few that have discovered America from the eastern to the western watersheds.

LA FILLE DU ROI D'ESPAGNE. 1. La fill' du roi d'Espagne Mon joli coeur de rose l veut apprendre un metier, Joli coeur de rosier! veut apprendre un metier, Joli coeur de rosier! 2. A battre la lessive, la battre et la couler. 3. Un battoir on lui donne, un beau bane a laver. 4. Au premier coup qu'ell' frappe, l'anneau d'or a tombe. 5: Elle s'est jetee a terre, ell' s'est mise A pleurer. 6. Mais par ici luy passe son gentil cavalier. 7. "Que donneriz-vous, belle si j'allais le chercher?" 8. "Undoux baiser, dit-elle, deux, trois, si vous voulez!" 9. Le galant s'y depouille, a la mer s'est jete. 10. Des la premiere plonge, la mer en brouille. 11. Des la seconde plonge, l'anneau d'or a sonne. 12. Dins la troisieme plonge, le galant s'est noye. 13. Sa mere a la fenetre, qui ne fait que pleurer: 14. "Faut-il pour une fille y voir mon fils noye. The second song will be given, in the original by Mr. 136dard. It describes the troubles of a little maid, the first morning after her wedding. As you will perceive from its lively rhythm, it was used as a work song, to accompany the motions of the foot or the hand in some laborious pursuit. The solo in each stanza is followed by a Tefrain, which appears as a chorus, in its original form. LE MARCHAND DE VELOURS. 1. Mon pere m'y marie a un marchand de velours. (Bis) Le premier soir des noces West arrive un vilian tour. (Refrain) Ah! gailonla, vive la roulette, Gai lonla, vive la roule! 2. Le premier soir des noces m'est arrive un vilain tour. Fus pas sitot couchee que l'allouette chanta le jour. (Refrain) 3. Ell' disait dans son langage: "Leve-toi, car il est jour!" 4. "Faut-il qu'un' mariee se leve avant le jour?" 5. "Ya du monde h la boutique pour mar chander le velours." 6. "Le diable emport' la boutique aussi le marchand de velours! 7. Les chevaux de non pere sont mieux soignes que moi; 8. Its ont le foin l'avoine, un coup d'etrille chaque tour. 9. Ee moi, jeun' mariee, faut me lever avant le jour."

Another type of song: the fuller's song, used in fulling the homespun in the old-fashioned style. Eight fullers, disposed around the long trough in which the wet, soaped cloth lay spread, would bring down their stampers in sets to the accompaniment of the staccato melody in the solo and the lengthy syllabic refrain.

A LA FONTAINE. 1. M'em vas a la fontaine ziguezon cotillon rigaudon tourloure pour remplir mon cruchon, la diguezon le cotillon rigaudon tourloure; foulez l'etoffe, gling, gling, gling, leve en-haut haut hart, i-yalaha ha, foulez L'etofe, gligne ziguezon tourloure gai, Bail 2. La fontaine est profonde, ne suis coulee-r a fond. 3. Par ici-t il lui passe trois cavaliers barons. 4. "Que donneriez-vous, belle, si j'vous tirais du fond?" 5. "Tirez, tirez!" dit-elle, "apres ca, nous verrons." 6. Quand la bell' fut A terre, se sauve A la maison; 7. S'assit sur la fenetre, compose une chanson. 8. "Ce n'est pas ca, la belle, que nous vous demandons: 9. C'est votre coeur en gage, savior si nous l'aurons." 10. "Mon petit coeur en gage n'est point pour un baron; 11. C'est pour mon ami Jacques qu'a d'la barbe au menton!"

The scales used in some of these old folk songs, particularly the lyric, do not as a rule conform to those of our classic music. The singers inherited their tunes from an epoch when the classic strains (the familiar major and minor), if not unknown, did not monopolize the field. And this is one of their chief claims to recognition nowadays. Major and minor are no longer enough for our modern musicians, who have grown wearied of the restrictions placed upon music by their elders of the former school. Let them be refreshed in the broader atmosphere of the dorian and myxolydian tunes which they will hear at every turn in the domain of the archaic songs of by-gone ages.

MON DOUR BERGER. (A Shepherd Song.) 1. "Mon doux berger, n'as-tu pas vu une fillet', la beaute meme? Si to Pas vue daps ces vallons, berger, faut que to me l'enseignes." 2. "Oui, je l'ai vue, lui ai parle aupres d'une claire fontaine; Dedans sa main tient un oiseau a qui ell' raconte ses peines." 3. "Faut il donc aupres d'un ruisseau patir de soif, n'y pouvant boire!" "West pas la soif, mon doux berger; car trop aimer cause mes paines." 4. "Faut-il aller pres d'un roiser pour cueillir la blanche rose?" "Cueillez, cueillez, mon cher amant; c'est pour vous seul qu'elle est eclose."

Mr. Bedard will now give you an instance of a love song in another vein, that of disappointment in love--and there are many of those in the repertory of each folk singer-the "maumaries" song. There are hundreds of love songs and a singer, who has sung to me nearly a hundred, answered to my question--I was at a loss how he remembered them all--that they all came in handy at times in the past. (Once he must have been a Don Juan. But now it did not matter, for as soon as the people get married the song changes. And he had long been married!) (Laughter) ("C'est un Petit Cordonnier" not reproduced here.)

Another love song, but not purely lyrical, as its refrain and melody clearly indicate. It was really intended for a work song.

NANETTE.

(Translation by Miss A. L. Hillman.)

Walking where the moonlight lay In patterns o'er the dewy grass I heard a footstep pass my way, A footstep that did lightly pass, And Nanette's was that footstep light, Gone to bathe by sweet moonlight. "Nanette, Nanette, take care," cried I, "The water's dark and cold!" But Nanette heeded not my cry, AM Nanette, Nanette bold! She put her little foot so white, (Like a petal pale it lay) On the shad'wy water, then from sight I saw her slip away! And underneath an apple tree Whose petals gleam like snow, I saw her body driftingly Lie by, as snowflakes go. Ah! palely shining apple tree With thy petals falling down, The lightest wind doth tear from thee The jewels of thy crown, And laughing youth, you fling your rose To any wandering wind that blows, To any wind that blows! The people in the old days were not always merrymaking; they were not always making love; neither were they always working away under the spell of their work songs. Moments came about in the winter, by the fireside, when they turned their thoughts to equally familiar topics, but of greater spiritual import. Older people would take their turn and teach the younger generation the lessons of old. They would address them on moral and religious subjects; would instill in their souls the fear or the love of God and the holy or evil spirits of the world beyond. Let me quote just one instance out of a large number of didactic and religious songs. This is the complaint of the Passion of Our Lord. It is one of the oldest songs in French; and its troubadour equivalent stands among the oldest records of the French language ever written on parchment, dating back as it does to the tenth or eleventh century. Originally independent of the written poem of La Passion, our carol is likely to be connected with it in some ways that are now obscure. I heard the following melody in Gaspe Country, the eastermost part of Quebec. There are about twenty lines in this song, which briefly recounts the various events in the Passion of our Lord.
LA PASSION DE JESUS-CHRIST. 1. Ecoutez tous, petits et grands, s'il vows plait de l'entendre, La passion de Jesus-Christ; elle est triste et dolente (bis). 2. Il a ate sept ans nu-pieds, sept ans nu-pieds, nu-jambes; (biz) 3. II a jeune quarante jours, sans prendre soutenance. 4. Mais au bout de quarante fours, il a pris soutenance. 5. La soutenance qu'il a pris', c'est une pomme blanche. 6. En donne A Pierre, en donne A Jean, en donne a Michel ange. 7. Il dit & Pierre, il dit A Jean, il dit a Michel ange: 8. "Avant qu'il soit vendredi nuit, to verras chose' etranges. 9. Tu verras mes deux pieds cloues et mes deux bras s'etendre; 10. Tu verras mon cote perch par le fer dune lance; 11. Tu verras mon sang decouler tout le long de mes membres; 12. Tu verras mon sang ramasse par quatre de mes anges; 13. Tu verras ma mere A mes pieds qui s'ra triste et dolente; 14. Tu verras la mer surmonter, et les rochers se fendre; 15. Tu verras la lune et l'soleil qui se combatt' ensemble; 16. Tu verras les oiseaux du ciel qui en crieront vengeance; 17. Tu me verras monte aux cieux par quatre de mes anges 18. Aupres de mon pere celest' on chant'ra les louanges." TRANSLATION. (By Dr. E. Sapin.) 1. Harken all, both young and old, If you please to hear it sung, To the Passion of Jesus Christ, our Lord; It is sad and harrowing. 2. Barefoot he was for seven years, Barefoot and bare of limb. 3. Fasting he was for forty days, He took no food to him. 4. But at the end of forty days Took food for sustenance. 5. He took an apple white to him, It was for sustenance. 6. Gives some to Peter, some to John, And gives to Michael the Angel, 7. He says to Peter, says to John, And says to Michael the Angel, 8. "Before the coming of Friday night, Thou shalt see things that are strange, 9. Thou shalt see my two feet nailed to a cross, And my two arms shall be strained. 10. Thou shalt see the side of my body pierced By the iron of a lance, 11. Thou shalt see my blood is trickling down, Down my limb it runs, 12. Thou shalt see four angels of my blood All-a-gathering, 13. Thou shalt see my mother at my feet, Sad and sorrowing, 14. Thou shalt see the mounting of the waves, And the rocks shall burst asunder, 15. Thou shalt see the waning of moon and sun For a sign and for a wonder, 16. Thou shalt see the birds of the heaven fly And crying out for vengeance, 17. Thou shalt see me rising into heaven In the midst of four of my angels, 18. And by the side of my Father in Heaven Will be singing of Evangels."

In songs and ballads of this kind, as you may see, there was much poetry and fine feeling, which we generally do not associate in our minds with the art of obscure mediaeval jongleurs, and still less, with peasants who are uneducated in the remote country by-ways. Yet, in spite of our deep-rooted prejudice, the songs as a whole tell a surprising tale. We find that the instinct for fine arts, for real artistic expression, exists even at the present day among these old folk singers, very keen and very marked indeed. And talent and grace are far more in evidence there than among the average educated people whom we are used to meet in town or in the railway coaches. (Applause)

Balladry is a type of art which you know well; it has long been familiar in England, Scotland and Ireland. The broadsides and come-all-ye's are still sung in some of the most conservative British settlements in eastern Canada. They are also numerous and delightfully colourful in eastern Canada, among the settlers who came from northern France. Balladry as a whole was typical of northern Europe, Scandinavia, Scotland, and all the lands of the North; while lyric songs were prevalent, to the exclusion of the other type, around the Mediterranean sea. And there is an explanation for it. There has remained from the past much poetry, and an endless trail of philosophic thinking all through that area, among the nations who now live on the ruins of civilizations thousands of years old. In the North, the people were largely outside of that sphere. The Nordic and Celtic bards and poets were not addicted to philosophy or abstraction. To them narration rather than the lyric poem served as a vehicle of art. Even to this day, among the folk of Denmark, you hardly find a lyric song; balladry occupies the whole range. So, to a lesser extent, in Scotland. In northern France balladry is well represented. Eastern Quebec, being largely Norman in extraction, is also the home of ballads; while we fail to detect more than a small number in the Montreal districts, where the settlers were more predominantly from the Loire River to the south. Mr. Bedard knows rather few ballads and he is from the neighbourhood of Montreal, in Laprairie County; but, on the other hand, he is well at home in the rhythmic songs which he has given, and could sing by the score.

The ballad of Prince Eugene, which I will now give you, is one of the few political songs that have come down from the motherland. For these songs had little chance to thrive in old monarchical France. Their epigrams were often aimed at the mighty that ruled over the land, but not with impunity. As early as 1395 the satirists of the day were silenced by an edict of the court, under penalty of "two month confinement with rations of bread and water." There is evidence, however, that not a few songs had run the gauntlet at various times and become firmly embodied in the lore of the country. Prince Eugene is one of these, and not the least interesting. Eugene was a prince of the French court, under a fictitious name-no other than King Francis the First. Clever allusiveness was therefore imperative, if the penalties of the decrees were to be avoided. Chivalrous and bold, the prince nevertheless goes down to defeat the very moment when he is wooing his damsel. It was not worthy of a proud nobleman, moreover, to appeal for help in the heat of battle to his "handsome page," a mere boy, whose rebuke sounds pointedly humourous. Indeed it was composed as a travesty of the King's misadventures, about the time of his defeat at Pavia, in 1525, of his capture by Charles V, and imprisonment in Madrid. This song seems to have fallen into oblivion in the French provinces, where it must for a time have been a favourite; for it has not yet been recorded by old country folklorists. But it is still remembered in many parts of Quebec.

LE PRINCE EUGENE. 1. Un jour, le prince Eugene, etant dedans Paris, S'en fut conduir trois dames Vive l'amour! tout droit d leur logis Vive la fleur de lisl 2. S'en fut conduir' trois dames tout droit A leur logis. Quand il fut a leur porte: "Coucherez-vous ici?" 3. "Nenni, non non, mesdames, je vais a mon logis." 4. Quand il fut sur ces cotes, regarda derrier' lui. 5. 11 vit venir vingt hommes, ses plus grands ennemis. 6. "T'en souviens-tu Eugene, un jour, dedans Paris, 7. Devant le roi, la reine, mon fils Vas dementi? 8. Arrete ici, Eugene, il faut payer ceci." 9. Tira son epee d'or, bravement se battit. 10. Il en tua quatorze, sans pouvoir s'y lasser. 11. Quand ca vint au quinzieme, son epee d'or rompit. 12. "Beau page, mon beau page, viens done me secourir!" 13. "Nenni, non non, mon prince, j'ai trop peur de mourir." 14. "Va-t'en dire a ma mere qu'elle a perdu son fils; 15. Va-t'en dire a ma femme qu'elle n'a plus de mari; 16. "Mais va tout droit lui dire qu'elle prenn' soin du petit. 17. "Quand il sera en age, il vengera ceci."

We must soon conclude, and I regret not to be able to give more illustrations of the balladry of French Canada-a most fascinating field in ancient lore. Mr. Bedard will now recite a short narrative, a prayer. It is a parody. We usually think that the people in mediaeval times were much given to superstition and religious bigotry, that an ecclesiastical caste overan the country and held it under a yoke of lead. But the scholars and students of art in the Middle Ages find that it was often the other way, and to a bewildering extent. The singers in the street would jest at the priests and at various religious institutions and beliefs of their day. They indulged in a great deal of freedom, much to our surprise. I could quote songs making fun of a monk or a parish priest and their little love adventures. These were sung everywhere in France and Canada, in towns and in the country-places, even in the nurseries, and maybe, by the priests themselves at times. It was all innocent and did not afect morality, even in their own eyes. In the prayer which Mr. Bedard is to recite with quaint humour, a good fellow prays to the Lord; he boasts that he is a splendid young man; he owns all sorts of animals in his barnyard; he has everything he wishes and desires to thank the Lord. But there is still one thing lacking and it makes him sigh. His eyes are fixed in one direction, away over the forest to the spot where there is a young lady whom he admires very greatly. If the Lord will now listen kindly, this is the moment when he could accomplish the finest deed of all. (Laughter) (M. Bedard then piously recited the young man's prayer, his eyes closed and his hands clasped together amid laughter.)

The conclusion of our short program will keep our folk singer, M. 136dard, quite busy, for I will ask of him two of his songs that are the hardest to produce and require the longest breath; but I am sure he can stand it. Folk singers have powerful lungs and not a little vocal dexterity. The first song is a rigmarole of the kind of Fiddlers Three, where the lines increase in length at every stanza, and the singer must refrain within the stanza from taking his breath. It is called Si J'avais les Souliers que ma Mignon m'a Donnes. The last number, The Ransomed Petticoat, is a rousing dance song with jiglike rhythm, of the type that was often used to accompany the folk dances in the country. A solo alternated with the chorus, but M. Bedard will take the whole burden upon himself.

THE RANSOMED PETTICOAT. 1. Ce sont les fill's d'un cantinier, Talalillilai lilalalalai Ce sont les fill's d'un cantinier; ah! qu'ell's sont jollies! ah! qu'ell's sont joliesl O! gai, ah ah! Oh, qu'ell's sont joliesl 2. Mais ell's s'en vont au cabaret, boire chopine. 3. Ell's ont bien bu qurtre-vingt pots, cinq, six chopines. 4. Ell's ont mange quatre-vingt pains, cinq ou six miches. 5. Ell's ont mange quatre-vingt veaux, cinq, six genisses. 6. Mais quand le temps vint de payer, bien triste mine! 7. "Otez-lui donc son cotillon, et sa coiffure." 8. Mais son amant, pessant par IA, tir' cinq cent livres. 9. "Remettez-lui con cotillon, et sa coiffure." 10. "Nous n'irons plus au cabaret, boire chopine." TRANSLATION. (By Dr. E. Sapir.) 1. A sutler's maids are fair and slim, Talalidlilai lilalalalai, A sutler's maids are fair and slim, Ah, pretty girls and trim! Ah, pretty girls and trim! ah ah! Ah, pretty girls and trim! 2. Sweet daughters to the tavern go To drink a pint or so. 3. Eighty wine tankards daughters drink, Five or six pints to a wink. 4. Eighty round bread-loaves help along, And five or six pints to a song. b. Eighty cows will do for a meal, Five or six calves make veal. 6. But, oh, when he said, "There's this to pay," Her face went sad with "Nay!" 7. "Oh then we must have her petticoat And necklase under her throat. E. 'Tis well her lover came that way, Five hundred pounds to pay. 9. "Give back this maid her petticoat And necklace under her throat." 10. "We'll nevermore to the tavern go To drink a pint or so."

PROFESSOR SQUAIR expressed in French the thanks of the Club to the speaker and singer.

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Folk Songs of French Canada


The speaker is accompanied by Phileas Bedard, who provides vocal illustrations. The spread of modern American culture. Our fundamental belief that we are the masterpiece of creation. Study and documentation that inspires doubts in our self-centered minds. A presentation of facts intended to show that our fairly remote ancestors were not uncouth barbarians after all, or a beggarly lot awaiting the advent of a redeemer. The folk traditions of the past which justify this contention, and hint at how a people may progress in more ways than one, not merely upwards, as in our age and country. The speaker and Mr. Bedard reproduce a few of the old songs that represent the art and mentality of medieval times. The disappearance of such songs and what that means. The French-Canadian oral tradition. A historical review of French-Canada and their culture, including folk songs. Songs of the "jongleurs," the poets in the thoroughfares. Several songs are presented of various types, and as preserved until recently in many parts of Quebec and Ontario. Commentary is offered between each presentation.