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Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine

nscref@cncnet.com 24 Sep 99 - 02:52 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Sep 99 - 09:56 PM
Stewie 24 Sep 99 - 10:09 PM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Sep 99 - 01:47 PM
GUEST 11 Aug 10 - 09:17 AM
Mrrzy 04 Apr 16 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,DaveRo 04 Apr 16 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,# 04 Apr 16 - 08:10 PM
Mrrzy 04 Apr 16 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,DaveRo 05 Apr 16 - 03:34 AM
GUEST,Mrr 07 Apr 16 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,# 07 Apr 16 - 09:24 PM
GUEST,# 07 Apr 16 - 11:04 PM
Monique 07 Apr 16 - 11:30 PM
Monique 07 Apr 16 - 11:32 PM
GUEST,Mrr 08 Apr 16 - 09:24 PM
DaveRo 09 Apr 16 - 03:55 AM
Monique 09 Apr 16 - 05:23 AM
DaveRo 09 Apr 16 - 11:12 AM
Monique 09 Apr 16 - 11:53 AM
Mrrzy 09 Apr 16 - 01:15 PM
Monique 09 Apr 16 - 06:12 PM
Thompson 05 May 18 - 05:06 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jun 18 - 12:36 AM
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Subject: 'Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine'
From: nscref@cncnet.com
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 02:52 PM

I am a librarian who is looking for the words/music for the Anna McGarrigle/Phillipe Tatarcheff song, "Complainte pour Ste. Catherine." Can anyone help? Thank you in advance.

Terry Simas


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: 'Complainte Pour Ste. Catheri
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 09:56 PM

The best way is to buy the CD. "Kate & Anna McGarrigle": Warner Bros. 9362-45677-2. Easily available.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: 'Complainte Pour Ste. Catheri
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 10:09 PM

It is also on their 'French Record' now reissued on CD Hannibal/Carthage. CDNow have it.


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Subject: McGarrigle Lyrics Link
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Sep 99 - 01:47 PM

Or, alternatively (I've just remembered) lyrics for all their recordings may be had at their official Website. The bit you want is at: http://www.mcgarrigles.com/lyrics/lyr_kat.html

Malcolm


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Subject: Lyr Add: COMPLAINTE POUR STE-CATHERINE (McGarrigle
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 09:17 AM

Complainte pour Ste-Catherine


Moi j’me promène sous Ste-Catherine
J’profite de la chaleur du métro
Je n’me regarde pas dans les vitrines
Quand il fait trente en dessous d’zéro

Y’a longtemps qu’on fait d’la politique
Vingt ans de guerre contre les moustiques

Je ne me sens pas intrépide
Quand il fait fret j’fais pas du ski
J’ai pas d’motel aux Laurentides
Le samedi c’est l’soir du hockey

Y’a longtemps qu’on fait d’la politique
Vingt ans de guerre contre les moustiques

Faut pas croire que j’suis une imbécile
Parce que j’chauffe pas une convertible
La gloire c’est pas mal inutile
Au prix de gaz c’est trop pénible

Y’a longtemps qu’on fait d’la politique
Vingt ans de guerre contre les moustiques

On est tous frères pis ça s’adonne
Qu’on a toujours eu du bon temps
Parce qu’on reste sur la terre des hommes
Même les femmes et les enfants

Y’a longtemps qu’on fait d’la politique
Vingt ans de guerre contre les moustiques
Croyez pas qu’on n’est pas chrétien
Le dimanche on promène son chien


© 2009 Kate & Anna McGarrigle, All rights reserved.

Source: www.mcgarrigles.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 03:16 PM

OK, so, what is this song ABOUT? I mean, I speak French, but to whom are they complaining?


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: GUEST,DaveRo
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 04:48 PM

There are other French songs entitled 'complainte de ...' I think it refers to the rhyming structure of the verses:
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complainte
Rue St Catherine is in Montreal and seems to be above a subterranean shopping area. The singer is clearly there to keep warm. Maybe living on - or under - the streets?


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: GUEST,#
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 08:10 PM

Good 'study' of the song at this link.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 11:05 PM

Excellent, thanks, guest.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: GUEST,DaveRo
Date: 05 Apr 16 - 03:34 AM

From that site: "Ste Catherine is the patron saint of single girls" Ah. That explains a lot. Particularly in Canada apparantly. So that's who the 'brothers' are. A lament for unmarried girls - but a jokey one.

I wonder why Kirsty MacColl has changed the first line from
Moi, j'me promene sous Ste Catherine to ... sur Ste Catherine
(I'm walking under the street / ... on the street.)
I've always thought this is about staying below ground in Montreal in the winter, and that it was what the locals all did.

This page (in French) provides more illumination, in particular that it may also refer to Kate (Catherine) McGarrigle.

And I suspect that 'fait d'la politique' doesn't literally mean 'in politics'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 07 Apr 16 - 08:11 PM

Yeah, and are we sure that "on a toujours eu du bon temps" can't mean we had nice weather?


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: GUEST,#
Date: 07 Apr 16 - 09:24 PM

The person needed for this thread is Monique. I think perhaps someone who knows her could message and ask for her input. She has always been the go-to person for French songs (and other Romance languages too) and at this imo point her thoughts would be invaluable.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: GUEST,#
Date: 07 Apr 16 - 11:04 PM

at this imo point her thoughts would be

s/b

at this point imo her thoughts would be


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: Monique
Date: 07 Apr 16 - 11:30 PM

"bon temps" is about "good time". "Good weather" is ""beau temps" even though we say "Il fait bon" = The weather's mild.
"On est tous frères et çs s'adonne, on a toujours eu du bon temps" means "We're all brothers and we get along, we always had a good/great time/ we had fun".


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: Monique
Date: 07 Apr 16 - 11:32 PM

Yikes! "On est tous frères et ça s'adonne..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 08 Apr 16 - 09:24 PM

Just checking - merci Monique!


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: DaveRo
Date: 09 Apr 16 - 03:55 AM

I just found that my vinyl copy of French Record gives a partial translation:

Me, I walk under St Catherine
I take advantage if the subway's warmth
I don't have to see myself in shop windows
When it's thirty degrees below zero

Don't think that I'm an idiot
Because I don't drive a convertible
Glory is fairly useless
At the price if gas it's opressive

It's a long time that we've been politicos
Twenty years of war against mosquitoes

The sleeve also notes it was the first song co-written with Philippe Tatartcheff, a close friend since the sixties, a native of Timmins, a mining town in northern Ontario, formerly a student of French literature at La Sorbonne, now (in 1975?) a farmer and poet near Dunham Quebec.

I'd still like to know what 'been politicos' refers to. The 'events' in Paris in '68 perhaps. And north Ontario might explain the mosquitos - ISTR a song about those.

The French wiki piece notes 'there are no mosquitoes (under the street) even in summer'. So she's getting away from both cold and mosquitoes down there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: Monique
Date: 09 Apr 16 - 05:23 AM

It's strange that they translated "Je n' me regarde pas dans les vitrines..." by "I don't have to see myself in shop windows". It should be "I don't look at myself in the shop windows". The difference between "voir" and "regarder" is the same as between "to see" and "to look at" = a difference in the intention. The French "Je ne me regarde pas" doesn't include any "have to" shade.

Usually, "faire de la politique" means "to be in politics" which can be understood literally or more ironically = "to blow hot air"; the 20 years of war against the mosquitoes would rather point in the 2nd direction.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: DaveRo
Date: 09 Apr 16 - 11:12 AM

The French "Je ne me regarde pas" doesn't include any "have to" shade.
Which is odd given that this translation is 'official' - perhaps even by one of the authors. Maybe the inference is that, were she walking down this street above ground, she would always look at her relection in the shop windows. (She's an unmarried girl...) Here, down below, she doesn't have to, or can't.

I also think 'fait d'la politique' just means talking, arguing, chewing the fat. She's summarising her (their) life to date - maybe.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: Monique
Date: 09 Apr 16 - 11:53 AM

Well, they have a website with an email address. Maybe they'd answer if asked...


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Apr 16 - 01:15 PM

Il n'y en reste qu'une seule, non, malheureusement? And thanks for all the Quebecquois info... my Frenches are from France and West Africa, but not Canada, though I've been to both English- and French-speaking parts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: Monique
Date: 09 Apr 16 - 06:12 PM

Oui, Anna seulement. Québécois: just add "français québécois" with the word you're looking for; I don't know much Canadian French myself either.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: Thompson
Date: 05 May 18 - 05:06 PM

Are they making war against mosquitoes, or against people from Moustique, one of the islands of Barbados?

I thought Ste Catherine was the subway station where the good-time girls hung out, warming their busy thighs over the gratings between customers, but perhaps I'm wrong there?
'Complainte' in French means a lament. I had another question - about the meaning of 'moustiques' in the song - but I'll ask on the writers' website.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jun 18 - 12:36 AM

Thompson and I worked on this a bit, and I think we've agreed it's just tiny, nasty mosquitoes the McGarrigles are complaining about. Sure is a great song. Here's a 1976 performance by the McGarrigles: There's a younger duo named "First Aid Kit" with a live performance of the song: And here's Kirsty MacColl:


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