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Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)

GUEST,Lin in Kansas, Cookieless 03 Dec 05 - 06:16 AM
Sorcha 03 Dec 05 - 04:05 PM
JohnInKansas 03 Dec 05 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Lin in Kansas 03 Dec 05 - 09:09 PM
Sorcha 03 Dec 05 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,Lin in Kansas 04 Dec 05 - 12:23 AM
GUEST,Lin in Kansas 04 Dec 05 - 10:06 PM
mg 04 Dec 05 - 10:52 PM
GUEST 05 Dec 05 - 12:36 AM
JohnInKansas 05 Dec 05 - 04:29 AM
Sorcha 05 Dec 05 - 10:14 AM
Sorcha 05 Dec 05 - 10:39 AM
Big Mick 05 Dec 05 - 11:09 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Dec 05 - 04:36 PM
JohnInKansas 05 Dec 05 - 07:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Dec 05 - 09:33 PM
mg 06 Dec 05 - 12:49 AM
mg 06 Dec 05 - 12:54 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Dec 05 - 02:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Dec 05 - 02:30 PM
Lin in Kansas 06 Dec 05 - 10:58 PM
mg 07 Dec 05 - 03:32 PM
Lin in Kansas 16 Jun 06 - 01:48 AM
GUEST,Dee Snider 07 Mar 17 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,Aileen 12 Sep 17 - 09:51 AM
Stewart 12 Sep 17 - 03:30 PM
meself 12 Sep 17 - 10:27 PM
mg 12 Sep 17 - 10:48 PM
meself 13 Sep 17 - 01:30 AM
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Subject: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: GUEST,Lin in Kansas, Cookieless
Date: 03 Dec 05 - 06:16 AM

Midchuck, you are a terrible influence! I'm now a confirmed fan of Peter Bowen's Montanta mysteries, and this is driving me nuts! I've found reference to this tune in two different books, as a song that his fiddling character Du Pre plays and sings. Since Bowen's obviously done his research on the Red River Metis and their music, I am convinced this is a real song. However, I've not been able to find any info about it by Googling.

Can anyone help? I'd really like to see if I could learn this one.

Thanks a bunch!

Lin


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: Sorcha
Date: 03 Dec 05 - 04:05 PM

I'm pretty sure you are correct too, but I couldn't find it.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Dec 05 - 08:39 PM


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: GUEST,Lin in Kansas
Date: 03 Dec 05 - 09:09 PM

Thanks, Sorcha, for trying. I'm at a loss as to where else to look--maybe the Smithsonian? I'll try their site anyway as it seems a logical place.

Hoping somebody has more info on this!

Lin


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: Sorcha
Date: 03 Dec 05 - 09:10 PM

Find the author's website...e mail him??? I KNOW that the other tunes in the books are real. I'd like to at least see it.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: GUEST,Lin in Kansas
Date: 04 Dec 05 - 12:23 AM

Rats! No luck on the Smithsonian site for this song, although they DO have a Metis CD ("Music from the Turtle Mountain Reservation").

Apparently Peter Bowen doesn't have a web site. The first hit Google came up with sounded promising, but all I get is a blank page!

Frustration is growing...

Lin


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: GUEST,Lin in Kansas
Date: 04 Dec 05 - 10:06 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: mg
Date: 04 Dec 05 - 10:52 PM

if it is the song I am thinking of it is so beautiful...supposedly written by himself as he was about to be executed...he takes mon knife because he has no pen and writes in his blood...I think to his sister...well, some people say he did not write it, but I happen to think he did. I had it on an old record of Pat Bezzio's of a French Canadian couple singing..he with a great deep voice...it is like a waltz...somewhat similar to un canidien errant 9 (sp) ...it was also published maybe in the late 1980s in one of the cCanadian folk journals....it is one of the most beautiful songs ever. mg


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 12:36 AM

Wow--French Canadian and waltz-like sure sounds like the right song!

Many thanks, mg! Here I go Googling once again...

Lin


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 04:29 AM

Gosh, I knew Lin got all giggly (hysterical actually) when I pointed out the "Why are Brits so Sexy" thread, but I didn't know she swallowed her cookie.

Does anyone perhaps have a clue as to which "Baptiste" would be the likely subject here. I've found "more than one" that could possibly be an inspiration; but I don't know enough Canuck history to try to chase my way in through historical lines.

I'm not sure that "French-Scots tradition" is a correct description for the "Metis" tag in current folkishness, although a couple of Canadian "cultural preservation" sites defined it that way. The author being claimed as the source referant here seems to say that it's more(?) a native tradition than an immigrant one, or at least implies a native adopting/adapting of French-Scot imported style(?). Is a native influence really essential to calling something "Metis?" Perhaps someone would like to offer a working definition? Clarification? Wild-assed guess - or just any opinion?

Obviously I'm finding more questions than answers.

John


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 10:14 AM

Idea.....should be a publisher's website on the book. Contact them?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 10:39 AM

St. Martins Press, NY.
He lives in Livingston MT (public knowledge from a web review)


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 11:09 AM

First off, the Metis were much more than "Scots Indians". The origins of the nation were that they mixed with many of European blood. For a brief primer on these folks, go HERE. Also, a google search using "Metis Nation" will turn up many links to organizations that likely can help you, including the Canadian National organization as well as Provincial organizations. My guess is that by using these sites as a stepping off point for inquiries, you will find your answers very quickly.

As an aside, Jeri turned me on to a singer by the name of Bill Gallaher who did a splendid song about the Metis called "The Last Battle". It has become one that I am often asked to sing.

Good luck and all the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 04:36 PM

Baptiste (Jean-Baptiste) is a very common name among the Métis; and I doubt that the 'lament' in Bowen' novels was pointing at any specific person. I have heard Métis fiddlers play a tune called a lamentation, but can't recall any specific names.

The late history of the group is quite different in the U. S. and Canada.
In Canada, Métis had some success in obtaining reserves in Alberta, on the order of the Indian reserves, and some actions are still being pursued. Some live on Indian reserves in the north of Alberta and Saskatchewan. In some ways this has reinforced poverty, as there is little beyond marginal farming, hunting and fishing and timber cutting on these lands, and education remains at a low level.
In the Red River group, the upper class *"has virtually melted into the ranks of white society," and are successful in the administrative, business, farming and professional fields. Those who maintained Indian ways and failed to adapt to the modern economy, still have a marginal existence, finding employment as laborers and workers in the bush.

A Canadian native television network, APTN, carries some Métis material, including musical groups.
In Canada, those of combined Scots-English and Indian roots often refer to themselves as "Country," insisting that only the French-Indian mixture should be called Métis. In general, this group mostly has been absorbed into white society.

*The best survey of the Métis is the two volume "The Métis in the Canadian West," Marcel Giraud (trans. George Woodcock), 1986, The University of Alberta. Originally pub. in France as "Le Métis Canadien," Institut d'Ethnologie.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 07:29 PM

I was barely able to get into the 'cat this morning, but I got the link given by Big Mick and went through most of it's linked info. It gives a pretty good outline; and although I'm still a little uncertain how much of the history I understand it should be sufficient to help with some additional searching.

My original search for "Baptiste" with a search within those results for "Metis" got a couple of "ethnic preservation" symposia that described "Metis" as the descendants of French and Scots immigrants, but made no mention of native persons. Perhaps they just assumed everyone knew .... With the information Lin provided from the book, it just really confused things.

I'm a bit surprised that I hadn't heard of the Metis from our good Native friend in the northwest US, but not at all surprised that the term apparently isn't talked about down here in the more central US "res country," especially after going through the site BM provided.

As Q comments, I did find "Jean-Baptiste" as a common enough name, but haven't yet found sufficient reference to confirm (or exclude) the usage as a sort of a "John Doe" of the Metis. It does make sense either way.

The description of "Metis music" is fascinating, but I believe the book implies that the "lament" is atypical - not in the style described. Just another random uncertainty ....

Thanks for the inputs. They'll let me narrow the search down possibly to less than a few million hits per query - a really great improvement over my first few digs. (And that's a serious thank you, not a joke.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 09:33 PM

More digression-
Until fairly recently, the usual name applied to Metis by white Canadians was half-breed; white would-be militia men in Alberta still celebrate the victory over the Metis at Batoche and the Metis failure in the "Insurrection of 1885." (The Gatling gun was first used against them, according to history.
Metis in Montana (and a fairly large number in Minnesota) are two of the disintegrate remnants. Those in Montana had moved there with Dumont. Many who traded with Red River carts operated out of Minnesota.

The following website is maintained by the Metis National Council. It defines the Metis as a "distinct aboriginal people," something that Metis who are absorbed or in the process of absorbing into mainstream Canadian life, are trying to leave behind. If you read the material here, they estimate some 350,000-400,000 Metis in Canada.
www.metisnation.ca
Metis

The Scots-English-Indian mixture are mostly absorbed and steer clear of French-Indian Metis politics.

Unless you contact Bowen and find out that he had some specific tune in mind, I doubt that you will be able to find a "Baptiste's Lament."
I think it existed only in the mind of Bowen and his characters.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: mg
Date: 06 Dec 05 - 12:49 AM

well actually I was thinking of Louis Reil...chanson de Louis Reil mg


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: mg
Date: 06 Dec 05 - 12:54 AM

and it is not written in Pierre Trudeau type french..I believe it is in a Metis dialect of French....it is an awesome song...one of my top ten..i can't get anyone to learn it..i play it on the accordian..would not do it justice at all singing it but someone could. mg


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Dec 05 - 02:25 PM

mg, if you haven't seen it, this article gives the original collected version of this song. Versions in Fowke, etc., are slightly changed.
The French of Joseph Gaspard Jeannotte, from whom the song was collected, probably was Métis French of the district, but printed versions may have revised it somewhat to suit francophone Canadians. The article also shows the difficulty of reaching agreement on interpreation of regional speech.

Other versions, collected from other informants, differ slightly from M. Jeannotte's, according to the article by Thomas.

Note that the 'translation' by Ms. Cass-Beggs does not follow the French.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Dec 05 - 02:30 PM

Forgot the link-
http://cjtm.icaap.org/content/21/v21art3.html
Louis Riel Song


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 06 Dec 05 - 10:58 PM

Thanks to all of you for your help and interest, especially to Mick for the link to Metis culture, to mg and Q for links and info on the "Louis Riel song," and to John for all his research. Fascinating stuff.

I think I will try sending a letter for Mr. Bowen to St. Martin's Minotaur press and see if I can at least find out if "Baptiste's Lament" is a real song or a figment of Mr. Bowen's imagination--also to thank him for enriching my knowledge about a little-known people.

Again, Mudcatters, many thanks for your help!

Lin


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: mg
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 03:32 PM

if you have a chance go to winnepeg canada..i was there many years ago and found a. a number of unfortunate Metis in dire circumstances and b. quite a lot of historical resources including, i think, a museum. mg


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 01:48 AM

Thanks for the info, mg. I'll keep that in mind if we ever make it up to Winnipeg.

I sent a letter to Mr. Bowen on May 28th, c/o St. Martin's Press. Waiting hopefully for an answer. Will let everyone know if/when he replies.

Lin


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: GUEST,Dee Snider
Date: 07 Mar 17 - 04:23 PM

Lin, like you I have become a fan of Peter Bowen's books and am fascinated by the music he describes. Have had no luck finding anything about Baptiste Lament. Did you get a response from Bowen? Did you find any Metis music?
Thank you, Dee Snider


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: GUEST,Aileen
Date: 12 Sep 17 - 09:51 AM

I found "Warrior's Lament" on you tube by Sierra Noble. It was great, gave me goose bumps and made me tear up....but then, I am such a girl LOL Still looking for Baptiste's Lament but I imagine it would be similar to this one.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: Stewart
Date: 12 Sep 17 - 03:30 PM

Warrior's Lament was originally written by fiddle player Sierra Noble in memory of her great grandmother as a waltz under the title "Grandma Blanche." Later she played it for the "Aboriginal Spiritual Journey - Calling Home Ceremony" in Belgium and France organized by Canadian Aboriginal veterans, elders and spiritual leaders. A group of Métis veterans asked her to also name it "The Métis Prayer", which she did. In the Spring of 2007 she went back again to France for the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and Rededication Ceremony at the Canadian Memorial, where she played the tune (recorded here), now titled "The Warrior's Lament, in honor of all of the soldiers. Sierra recounts this in THE CREATION AND LIFE OF "THE WARRIORS LAMENT." It is indeed a very powerful and moving tune.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: meself
Date: 12 Sep 17 - 10:27 PM

Interesting thread. Be aware that some of the remarks Q made would probably not be universally accepted (e.g., "The Scots-English-Indian mixture are mostly absorbed and steer clear of French-Indian Metis politics.")


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: mg
Date: 12 Sep 17 - 10:48 PM

I have never heard of scots included jn the description but we ned to hear from metis themselves. I have also heard that at least in olden days it was french and specific first nation people and i want to say cree....but they have some incredible fiddlers. Many metis were on the lewis and clark expedition..i want to say most of the crew but maybe not. They included fiddlers. Check out fort vancouver righ near portland oregon if you can. Was the husband of sacajawea one?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Baptiste's Lament (Metis music)
From: meself
Date: 13 Sep 17 - 01:30 AM

Well, there's a bit of confusion over the term Metis. To my understanding, in Riel's day, it applied - at least, as used by English-speakers - only to the French/First-Nation mixed-bloods. The Scottish/First-Nation mixed-bloods were known as Halfbreeds. This was in the context of the Red River community, in which, by Riel's time, a distinct mixed-blood society had developed, with its own culture, politics, customs, economics, etc. The semantic problem that emerged during our lifetimes is that the term 'Half-breed' came to be recognized as pejorative, so to avoid its usage, the term Metis was expanded to include Scottish Halfbreeds - and soon, anyone of mixed European/First-Nation blood anywhere in Canada (and sometimes beyond). However - here's the particular confusion - it is also still used at times to mean, specifically, mixed-blood people with roots in the Red River community. So, if you can, you have to figure out from the context in what sense the term 'Metis' is being used.

The 'First-Nation' in question, in the Red River context, is often Cree, but not necessarily so.

Historically, many Metis men in the West were involved in transportation, as an industry - whether by canoe, York boat, ox-cart, horse & wagon, truck, or whatever. It would make sense that any big expedition in the West would have Metis workers.


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