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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Bob Landry Canoeing and Kayaking songs (33) RE: Canoeing and Kayaking songs 26 Nov 11


My ancestry being Acadian and my first language being French, I have gravitated towards French-Canadian music when it comes to the canoeing theme. Here's my humble offering:

The voyageurs of Quebec and Montreal and later of the Northwest company based in Montreal regularly paddled their way to the rich fur grounds of western Canada usually (but not always) skirting the land controlled by the English via the Hudson's Bay Company. They sang some of their own songs and traditional French folk songs including:
- V'la bon vent
- En roulant ma boule (a variation of v'la bon vent)
- Vive la canadienne
- Les raftsmen
- A la claire fontaine
etc.

"The Irish poet Thomas Moore, who sailed from Kingston to Montreal in August 1804, marvelled at the sight of these men rowing together and singing in chorus against the magnificent panorama of the St Lawrence River. So enthralled was he that he memorized several of their songs in order to teach them to his sister. It was during this journey that he composed his 'Canadian Boat Song'." In http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=U1ARTU0001243 That article has a very detailed discussion on French-Canadian music

Carol and I had the pleasure, a few weeks ago of attending a conert by the Quebec folk group, Genticorum. They've done a fair amount of research into the lives and music of the voyageurs. Their recent CD, "Nagez rameurs" (swim, paddlers) contains some of their interpretations of the lives of the voyageurs in the sings:
- Tout le long du voyage
- Nagez rameurs
- Grand voyageur sur la drave
- Quand chus parti du Canada
- Les raftsmen


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