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Lyr Add: Acadian Driftwood (Robbie Robertson)

DigiTrad:
BOLD GENERAL WOLFE (3)
BRAVE WOLFE (2)
BRAVE WOLFE or THE BATTLE OF QUEBEC


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Wolfe (Ashley Hutchings) (16)
Lyr Req: Plains of Abraham (20)
BRAVE WOLF (11)


michaelr 07 Feb 02 - 10:44 PM
Melani 08 Feb 02 - 12:28 AM
michaelr 08 Feb 02 - 12:53 AM
Hrothgar 08 Feb 02 - 03:06 AM
GUEST,gregstephens 08 Feb 02 - 09:35 AM
Susanne (skw) 08 Feb 02 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Jack The Sailor 08 Feb 02 - 03:23 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 08 Feb 02 - 04:40 PM
michaelr 08 Feb 02 - 07:02 PM
Brían 08 Feb 02 - 07:31 PM
michaelr 08 Feb 02 - 07:53 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 09 Feb 02 - 08:00 AM
masato sakurai 09 Feb 02 - 10:00 AM
Brían 09 Feb 02 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Malcolm 09 Feb 02 - 11:07 AM
gnu 09 Feb 02 - 02:18 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 09 Feb 02 - 04:52 PM
michaelr 09 Feb 02 - 05:39 PM
Beer 09 Feb 02 - 06:00 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 10 Feb 02 - 01:45 AM
Melani 10 Feb 02 - 01:59 AM
Willie-O 10 Feb 02 - 07:29 AM
Hrothgar 10 Feb 02 - 07:42 AM
Dave T 10 Feb 02 - 08:34 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 10 Feb 02 - 09:26 AM
Willie-O 10 Feb 02 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Michael K 21 Apr 12 - 12:15 PM
Jack the Sailor 21 Apr 12 - 02:00 PM
Dead Horse 21 Apr 12 - 04:00 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: ACADIAN DRIFTWOOD (Robbie Robertson)
From: michaelr
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 10:44 PM

I'm learning this wonderful Robbie Robertson song - really a folk song in rock'n'roll disguise, about French Canadian emigration to Louisiana. (Check out the rhyming scheme - brilliant!) I'd like to know: what, where and when was the Treaty signed; where are the Plains of Abraham and what went down there; and can someone provide a translation of the French lines at the end?


Acadian Driftwood (Robbie Robertson)

The war was over and the spirit was broken
The hills were smoking as the men withdrew
We stood on the cliffs and watched the ships
Slowly sinking to their rendez-vous
They signed a treaty and our homes were taken
Loved ones forsaken; they didn't give a damn
Try to raise a family, end up the enemy
Over what went down on the Plains of Abraham

/= Acadian driftwood, gypsy tailwind
They call my home the land of snow
Canadian cold front moving in
What a way to ride, oh what a way to go =/

Then some returned to the motherland
The High Command had them cast away
And some stayed on to finish what they started
They never parted, they're just built that way
We had kin living south of the border
They're a little older and they've been around
They wrote in a letter, Life is a whole lot better
So pull up your stakes, children, and come on down /=/

Fifteen under zero when the day became a threat
My clothes were wet and I was drenched to the bone
Been out ice fishing; too much repetition
Make a man want to leave the only home he's known
Sailed out of the Gulf heading for Saint Pierre
Nothing to declare, all we had was gone
Broke down along the coast, but what hurt the most
When the people there said, You'd better keep moving on /=/

Everlasting summer filled with ill content
This government had us walking in chains
This isn't my turf, this ain't my season
Can't think of one good reason to remain
We worked in the sugar fields up from New Orleans
It was ever green, up until the floods
You could call it an omen, points you where you're going
Set my compass north, I've got winter in my blood /=/

Sais tu, Acadie, j'ai la mal du pays
Ta neige, Acadie, fait des larmes au soleil
J'arrive, Acadie, teedle-um teedle-um teedle-oo
J'arrive, Acadie, teedle-um teedle-um teedle-oo


Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: Melani
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:28 AM

The Plains of Abraham are outside Quebec. There was a definitive battle there during the French and Indian War, a British victory, but General Wolf was killed. Most of what I know about it comes from the song "Brave Wolf", which I assume is in the DT--I haven't checked yet. I've always really loved "Acadian Driftwood."


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: michaelr
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:53 AM

Thank you Melani -- that's a promising start! I'll be sure to look for "Brave Wolf".
Now where's the Mudcat's Canadian contingent?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 03:06 AM

That's WolfE.

The opposing commander. Montcalm, was also killed.

Wolfe's is a very romantic story if you dig into it.

It's an interesting campaign to read about - there were characters like James Cook involved, and quite a few who figured in the American Revolution.


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: GUEST,gregstephens
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 09:35 AM

acadian driftwood: the watersons recorded a fantastic 'bold generalwolfe'. wolfe sang 'how stands the glass around' the night before the battle. wolfe also foughtat culloden. theres a few more snippets greg stephens


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:24 PM

See also Abraham.


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: GUEST,Jack The Sailor
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 03:23 PM

French & indian wars?

I don't know about that the Canadian history I learned told us that it was the deciding battle for what is now Canada. Wolfe led his forces up the steep St. Lawernce River embankment to the Plains of Abraham and defeated the forces defending the fortress town of Quebec, leaving the French unable to defend the mouth of the river and the route to the rich heartland of North America. Both Wolfe and the Defending General Montcalm succumbed to thir wounds after the battle. After the war which Canadian and probably English and French History, call "The Seven Years War" Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec) and Acadia (the present Maritime provinces) were ceded by France to the English. Who made consessions to the population of Quebec allowing French language and French Civil law (an unfortunate precident I believe) and deported most of the residents of Acadia to Louisianna. There are still quite a few Acadians remaining in northern New Brunswick. They have a vibrant and charming folk culture and a wonderful French musical heritage which is actually quite distinct from Quebec's.

One result of the Seven year's War was limiting France's posessions in North America to the wonderful Islands of St Pierre et Miquelon, off the south coast of Newfoundland. They remain a beautiful cultural and political outpost of France to this day.

Here is an interesting account of the battle for the plains of Abraham

http://www.militaryheritage.com/quebec1.htm


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 04:40 PM

Actually, that probably would be better if it were the French and Indian Wars. There were many of them, and as Jack said, it was the concluding battle in France's claims to North American territory.

However, St. Pierre and Miquelon are still part of France, though for the most part, they are North Americans in many ways. They trade with the Newfoundlanders, and Maritimers. Even met some of their musicians at Celtic Colours last year. Great musicians, and very similar to the Acadians.

The song, Acadian Driftwood, is a perennial favourite. Done with no groans like Barrett's Privateers for sure.

Unfortunately, I don't know enough of the French Language to piss into a thimble. HOWEVER, have you tried the translation service which is part of the Mudcat Message Forum?


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: michaelr
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 07:02 PM

Thank you all respondents. And Susanne, thanks for the link to the James Keelaghan song.

Michael


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: Brían
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 07:31 PM

As the bi-lingual tour guide on my 1st trip ro Québec,how steep the embankment Gen. Wolfe climbed depends on whose version of the story you are hearing. The legacy of the conflict still carrys on politically and socially. There are many Accadians ib Aroostook County in the good old state of Maine and many of them pop up out of the wood work where I live in the Portland area.

Don't bet the farm on it but I believe Jai la mal du pays means "I'm home sick". Sais tu is either "You know", or "Do you know"?

Brían


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: michaelr
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 07:53 PM

Tried the Translate link but it yielded gobbledygook. "Homesickness" makes sense for "la mal du pays" but what the heck is "ta neige... fait des larmes au soleil"?


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 08:00 AM

When I put it through the translation, I get:

You Know, Acadie, I badly have to it country
Your snow, Acadie, fact of the tears to the sun
I arrive, Acadie, <Vocables>
I arrive, Acadie, <Vocables>

 

I agree that "I badly have to it country", probably means "I am homesick". I am thinking that it might mean "Your tears, Acadia, are a result of the sun's tears

I think also the author is saying that the world is sad on behalf of the Acadians.


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 10:00 AM

Lyrics with chords & translation are HERE; detailed background info (Notes by Peter Viney) is also at the same site (CLICK HERE.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: Brían
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 10:33 AM

I asked our contractor who is Acadian to look at this.Ta neige, Acadie, fait des larmes au soleil is "Your tears, Acadie, made of the tears of the sun", J'arrive, Acadie, is "I'm coming, Acadie".


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: GUEST,Malcolm
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 11:07 AM

Excuse me if I'm stating the obvious, but the Acadians who were removed to Louisiana are the French-speakers we now know as Cajuns. For more on Robbie Robertson, The Band and Acadian driftwood, see Barney Hoskyns' excellent book "Across The Great Divide".


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: gnu
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 02:18 PM

Jack... "There are still quite a few Acadians remaining in northern New Brunswick. They have a vibrant and charming folk culture and a wonderful French musical heritage which is actually quite distinct from Quebec's."

There are still quite a few Acadians remaining in New Brunswick as a whole. Approx 30 % of NB's pop is of Acadian descent. They are "concentrated" on all shorelines (except the Bay of Fundy becasue it was just too rough) and major rivers as they were the original European settlers. The heart of Acadie is actually in the southeast. There is a large concentration in the northwest, the Republique de Madawaska, which has an interesting hisrory as well.

BTW, NB is the only officially bilingual province in Canada.


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 04:52 PM

One - The Expulsion of the Acadians, though touted as complete, forgets that there were many who DID swear the oath of allegiance to the British King. Also it conveniently ignores the numerous Acadians who escaped capture or custody of the British Army, prior to transport.

 

Two - Quite a number of the transplanted Acadians (later to become American Cajuns), returned, either on ships, or just simply walking across the countryside.

 

Three - Next YEAR is going to be a major celebration of family for Acadians. It marks the Expulsion, and the ties of family. The Acadians are trying to get the British Government to apologize (see WWII treatment of Nisei). So far, they are trying to claim that the Explusion was done by the British Colonial Government of the time, and/or the British Military in Nova Scotia.

They think people will ignore the fact that all the transports COST money. Do they think the Colonies had the funds to pay this fee? Or the British Military? Not likely. Anyway, good theories.

Fun discussion.


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: michaelr
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 05:39 PM

Wow - this is more than I'd hoped for. Thanks to all you Mudcat scholars, and especially Masato: the link to The Band site is great; and your posts in general are always erudite. Great work!

Michael


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: Beer
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 06:00 PM

Get all the historical facts straight and check out the following web site. www.cma2004.com


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:45 AM

Ah! 2004. Thanks, Beer. For those who want a "blicky"

http://www.cma2004.com


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: Melani
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:59 AM

The conflict in question is known to the British (and Canadians, I guess) as the Seven Years' War, and in the U.S. as the French and Indian War. Just as the Yankees and Confederates had different names for the same battles of the U.S. Civil War (which the Confederates called the War Between the States). But my favorite name of all time has to be the War of Jenkins' Ear.


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: Willie-O
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:29 AM

There are numerous Acadian settlements and areas in all three Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI). Rather universally they got the scrubby side of things, the rockpiles and scrubby land that the Anglos didn't want. Kind of like Indian reservations.

I always guessed the French at the end, by hearing rather than reading it, as "C'est toute Acadie"--"It's all Acadia"--a comment on the common roots of the present day Cajuns and the Maritime Acadiens.

But whatever, I love that song.

Regarding the curious history of General Wolfe--he was of course an officer in ther British forces at Culloden in 1746. Therefore it's a bit ironic that a decade and a half later, in the campaign to take Quebec, he was commanding some of the same Highlanders who he had fought against. It seems he never really trusted them, which is said to be why he assigned them the seemingly impossible task of scaling the cliffs by night to prepare for a sneak attack. The remark attributed to "Brave Wolfe" is that if the Highlanders succeeded, that would be fine, and if they were killed instead, well, "no great mischief". That latter phrase is the title of a great recent book about Cape Breton, by Alistair MacLeod.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:42 AM

Wasn't the War of Jenkins' Ear against the Spanish, from 1739?

The great feat in that war was George Anson's voyage around the glode.


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: Dave T
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:34 AM

The translations seem right except for "Ta neige, Acadie, fait des larmes au soleil." Neige means snow as in "Il neige"; literally "It snows". The phrase "des larmes" translates to "tears". "Fait" is the present tense of the verb "faire" which means "to make" but is used in many different contexts than we would use English (so literal translations are tricky). "au soleil" means "with the sun". So if we put all that together the phrase would translate literally, as "Your snow, Acadia, makes tears with the sun". However, because of the differences in nuances of language it might be better translated as "Your snow, Acadia, turns to tears with the sun".

. If you use the translate utility on the simpler phrase "Ta neige fait des larmes au soleil" you will get "Your snow makes tears with the sun" so it seems the "Acadie" thrown between the subject and predicate of the sentence confuse the translation tool.

BTW michaelr - If you don't already, try playing the song in drop D.

- Dave T


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 09:26 AM

Thinking about the Plains of Abraham again. Another example of the use of mercenaries is how both sides had Highland regiments. According to legend, it was the Gaelic speakers in the Highland regiments who helped to negotiate the surrender terms between the English and the French, who apparently could not understand the other's language. That, I suspect, is untrue. I personally think they wanted to negotiate in a neutral language, even though Scotland shared their monarch with England.

Interesting though.


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Subject: RE: Acadian Driftwood - Plains of Abraham?
From: Willie-O
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 09:58 AM

Also it is said that the Highlanders who scaled the cliffs jumped the sentries by first speaking to them in French, which many Scots knew due to the Auld Alliance.

Bilingualism will always further your career in Canada, you see.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Acadian Driftwood (Robbie Robertson)
From: GUEST,Michael K
Date: 21 Apr 12 - 12:15 PM

Lots of people talk about how muddled the history is in this song, but I don't care. As a Canadian who spent years in the US (as did Robbie Robertson), I totally understand both the pull of going there, and the strong desire to leave. As long as I lived in the US the line "Set my compass north, I got winter in my blood" brought tears to my eyes.

MK


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Acadian Driftwood (Robbie Robertson)
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Apr 12 - 02:00 PM

It doesn't do that for me. I'm happy on the Carolina coast not anticipating ever again having to shovel 18" drifts of heavy, moisture laden Newfoundland snow or having to plug my car in at night so that it would start in the morning as I did when I lived in Ottawa.

Mon pays c'est l'hiver is a great song but it never really spoke to me. Too much winter.

Un Canadien Errant tugs at my heartstrings.

But I think that Stan Rogers "Northwest Passage" is the most quintessential Canadian song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Acadian Driftwood (Robbie Robertson)
From: Dead Horse
Date: 21 Apr 12 - 04:00 PM

"C'est toute, Acadie" could also mean "That's all, Acadie" implying that it is over, finished or lost, rather than "it is all Acadie"
Rather than use French it would be better to translate using Cajun French.
It is conveniently forgotten by most that the plight of the Acadien refugees was greatly increased by the attitude of the American Colonies along the eastern seaboard, who would either not take them in, or who would only accept them as white slaves. Many found their way back to France (a place they had greatly desired never to see again) and it was these lucky ones who eventually found favour with the Spanish who were trying to find catholic settlers for their province in Louisiana to act as a buffer against the protestant americains.


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