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Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)

DigiTrad:
THE FALSE KNIGHT AND THE WEE BOY
THE FALSE KNIGHT ON THE ROAD 2
THE FALSE KNIGHT UPON THE ROAD
THE FALSE KNIGHT UPON THE ROAD (4)
THE SMART SCHOOLBOY


Related threads:
ADD: False Knight upon the Road (Steeleye Span) (21)
Lyr Req: The False Fly (58)
Explain Riddles-False Knight On The Road (15)
Chord Req: False Knight On The Road (1)
Lyr Req: False Knight (#3, from Pete & Chris Coe) (13)
Lyr Req: Child on the Road (Archie Fisher/Child #3 (14)
Lyr Req: Child?ballad Little Boy Just ___ yrs (5)


Barry T 20 Aug 03 - 10:36 PM
GUEST,Q 20 Aug 03 - 11:19 PM
GUEST,Q 20 Aug 03 - 11:41 PM
GUEST 20 Aug 03 - 11:51 PM
GUEST,Guest 01 Jul 11 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Jul 11 - 01:13 PM
Artful Codger 02 Jul 11 - 02:20 PM
Bob the Postman 02 Jul 11 - 02:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jul 11 - 03:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jul 11 - 03:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jul 11 - 05:43 PM
Artful Codger 02 Jul 11 - 10:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jul 11 - 11:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jul 11 - 11:12 PM
IvanB 02 Jul 11 - 11:32 PM
IvanB 03 Jul 11 - 12:08 AM
GUEST,Grishka 03 Jul 11 - 04:59 AM
Artful Codger 03 Jul 11 - 07:42 AM
Monique 03 Jul 11 - 09:27 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jul 11 - 12:58 PM
Monique 03 Jul 11 - 01:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jul 11 - 01:40 PM
Monique 03 Jul 11 - 02:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jul 11 - 02:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jul 11 - 02:08 PM
Monique 03 Jul 11 - 02:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jul 11 - 02:20 PM
Artful Codger 03 Jul 11 - 06:10 PM
GUEST 03 Jul 11 - 09:43 PM
GUEST,Bob the Postman uncookied 03 Jul 11 - 10:45 PM
GUEST,Grishka 04 Jul 11 - 04:37 AM
Artful Codger 04 Jul 11 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,Grishka 04 Jul 11 - 09:58 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jul 11 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Grishka 04 Jul 11 - 02:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jul 11 - 06:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jul 11 - 10:12 PM
Bob the Postman 04 Jul 11 - 11:10 PM
Bob the Postman 04 Jul 11 - 11:18 PM
Artful Codger 05 Jul 11 - 01:19 AM
Monique 05 Jul 11 - 01:46 AM
GUEST,Grishka 05 Jul 11 - 05:43 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jul 11 - 01:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jul 11 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Grishka 05 Jul 11 - 04:30 PM
Monique 05 Jul 11 - 05:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jul 11 - 07:41 PM
Monique 06 Jul 11 - 02:18 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Jul 11 - 12:46 PM
Bob the Postman 06 Jul 11 - 06:51 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: OÙ VAS-TU, MON PETIT GARÇON? (Acadian)
From: Barry T
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 10:36 PM

This is a song collected by Dr. Marius Barbeau, one of Canada's notable folklorists. According to his research, it is a song that is unique to Canada. It may be an Acadian adaptation of the Old English Ballad 'The False Knight Upon The Road'.

The lyrics and midi are here... http://members.shaw.ca/tunebook/garcon.htm
The midi itself is here... http://members.shaw.ca/tunebook/garcon.mid

- - - - -

OÙ VAS-TU, MON PETIT GARÇON?

Où vas-tu, mon p'tit garçon?
Où vas-tu, mon p'tit garçon?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
Je m'en vais droit à l'écol'
Apprendr' la parol' de Dieu
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.

Qu'est-ce qu'est plus haut que les arbr's?
Qu'est-ce qu'est plus haut que les arbr's?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
Le ciel est plus haut que l'arbr',
Le soleil au firmament,
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.

Qu'est-ce qu'est plus creux que la mer?
Qu'est-ce qu'est plus cruex que la mer?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
L'enfer est cent fois plus creux,
L'enfer aux feux éternels,
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.

Qu'est-c' qui pousse sur nos terr's?
Qu'est-c' qui pousse sur nos terr's?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
Les avoines et les blés d'or,
Les châtaignes et les poiriers,
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.

Que f'ras-tu quand tu s'ras grand?
Que f'ras-tu quand tu s'ras grand?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
Je cultiverai les champs
Nourrirai femme et enfant,
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 11:19 PM

The song was issued in an LP set of 8 records issued in 1967 for the Canadian Centennial, "Canadian Folk Songs," RCA CS-100, stereo. Sung by Alan Mills and Helène Baillargeon.
The "False Knight," a version collected in Nova Scotia, is sung in the same collection by Charles Jordan and Joyce Sullivan.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 11:41 PM

English translation

Lyr. Add: WHERE ARE YOU GOING MY LITTLE BOY?

"Where are you going, my little boy?"
I'm going, you're going, we're passing.
"I'm going to school
To learn the word of God."
Thus said the child seven years old.

"What is higher than the trees?"
I'm going, you're going, we're passing.
"The sky is higher than the tree,
The sun in the firmament."
Thus said the child seven years old.

"What is deeper than the sea?"
"Hell is a hundred times deeper,
Hell with its eternal fires."

"What grows on our lands?
"Oats and golden wheat,
Chestnuts and pears.

"What will you do when you grow up?"
"I will till the fields
To feed my wife and child."

Seems to be close to the versions in Motherwell's Minstrelsy, in Child #3. Barbeau collected the song from Father P. Arsenault, curé of Mont-Carmel.
English translation and French in Edith Fowke, Folklore of Canada, 1976, pp. 72-73, with music.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 11:51 PM

Lyrics on your link are not visible to those using Netscape. The midi with the lyrics runs on and does not cut off when the thread is changed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 04:46 PM

I learned this song fifty year's ago in Mr. Green's grade 5 class in Belleville, Ontario. I remember him telling us at the time that he got it from the Red Cross magazine.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 01:13 PM

Thanks, Barry, for linking this delightful tune. It brightened my morning.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 02:20 PM

Will some MudElf please convert the accented characters in the thread title to Unicode?

To those who post French and other non-English lyrics: Please read this thread to see how to encode them properly:
Entering special characters

For those of you seeing garbage characters in the initial post, here are the lyrics properly encoded:


Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon?

Où vas-tu, mon p'tit garçon?
Où vas-tu, mon p'tit garçon?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
Je m'en vais droit à l'écol'
Apprendr' la parol' de Dieu
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.

Qu'est-ce qu'est plus haut que les arbr's?
Qu'est-ce qu'est plus haut que les arbr's?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
Le ciel est plus haut que l'arbr',
Le soleil au firmament,
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.

Qu'est-ce qu'est plus creux que la mer?
Qu'est-ce qu'est plus cruex que la mer?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
L'enfer est cent fois plus creux,
L'enfer aux feux éternels,
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.

Qu'est-c' qui pousse sur nos terr's?
Qu'est-c' qui pousse sur nos terr's?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
Les avoines et les blés d'or,
Les châtaignes et les poiriers,
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.

Que f'ras-tu quand tu s'ras grand?
Que f'ras-tu quand tu s'ras grand?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
Je cultiverai les champs
Nourrirai femme et enfant,
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 02:49 PM

How ir'onic.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 03:27 PM

What's with this p&apos:tit? Is that some kind of mammary gland?
Or adding to Bob, how inapposite.

Petit is represented correctly as pronounced in the old post of the Québec song by Barry T; p'tit. His links still work.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 03:54 PM

I's the B'y - some kind of flower? Always thought it was I's the B'y.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 05:43 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 10:03 PM

Wet blanket alert: pedant at large!
Commonly, when singing in French, one pronounces weak syllables that are normally silent (elided) in normal speech. Thus, jeune(s) is normally spoken as one syllable, but is most frequently sung as two: jeu-ne(s). (Sung Spanish has an opposite convention: one normally combines adjacent vowels--of whatever quality--into a single syllable, and singing them separately is contrary to normal expectations.) Conversely, weak syllables which in speech are pronounced--however fleetingly--may be completely elided when sung. If you see the word "matelot" (sailor) in a text, it might be sung as either three or two syllables; both are common.

What's more, technically French doesn't make marked differences in stress between syllables, so metric stress and length often fall on weaker syllables. In fact, you'll even find metric stress on words like "le" (the), "un/une" (a) and "de/des" (of), whose English counterparts are rarely stressed. Considering this great flexibility, it can be difficult to predict how a text as most commonly sung aligns with the music. So, as an aid to singers, many people explicitly indicate all or most elisions with apostrophes. You won't properly appreciate the utility of this until you compare your best guesses to recordings.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 11:03 PM

But what is this apos; that appears in place of the ' in your text?

The text of Barry T. is readable and understandable, irrespective of Acadian pronunciation of long ago. Yours with the apos; is not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 11:12 PM

Why does the list of thread titles still have those boxes in place of ù and ç ?
The title is OK once the thread is opened.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: O� vas-tu, mon petit gar�on? (Acadian)
From: IvanB
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 11:32 PM

Q, I don't know how your browser is set up, but on mine (Firefox 5.0), Barry's text is unreadable and AC's is perfectly readable. The "boxes" to which you refer (I assume the black diamonds with the white question mark in them) are what gets substituted by Mudcat when posters don't use proper HTML sequences for acutes, graves and the like in foreign words. For me, Barry's text is full of these "boxes" as are many other posts on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: O� vas-tu, mon petit gar�on? (Acadian)
From: IvanB
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 12:08 AM

Correction: In IE 9, I see blank boxes on the thread name page and everything within the thread is readable. However, though IE may correct this problem for me, there are a myriad of reasons for which I prefer not to use it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 04:59 AM

Here about apostles and apostates.

Actually, that apostrophe is an ordinary ASCII character ', which need (and should) not be escaped in Mudcat. Browsers are not obliged to support ' in ordinary HTML code.

There is another character called "typographic apostrophe": ’ (’ or ’ ["right single quote"!]) – read more at Wikipedia. The Unicode Consortium is often criticised for bungling the entire topic.

Je m’en fiche – I don’t care. Nice song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 07:42 AM

I'll remove the apos translation from my encoding script. Otherwise, everything I've said stands, and the display anomaly (UTF-8 on the list page, Win-1252 or Mac Roman or something else on this page) illustrates the importance of encoding for universal display.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Monique
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 09:27 AM

Artful, are you to post the lyrics again without the apostrophes? 3rd verse, 2nd line, there's a typo: it's "creux" not "cruex"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 12:58 PM

Don't use Firefox. I use Internet Explorer exclusively (and also the browser preferred by my cable company), and I get lots of apos' in Artful Codger's post. Firefox must be the culprit.

"creux" is used in the source from which Barry T. took his text, and correctly cited by him. Artful Codger does not cite his source.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Monique
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 01:19 PM

Barry T's and Artful Codger's versions look absolutely alike on my browser. On both versions there's the same typo, i.e. "creux" properly written on line one but with a typo ("e" and "u" swapped) on line two.
You can listen to Alan Mills and Helène Baillargeon's rendition here (with some others


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 01:40 PM

Missed that, Monique, just looked at the first one.

Your link to Mills-Baillargeon doesn't work for me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Monique
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 02:01 PM

I wonder why though I must confess that I didn't try the link before submitting. This one works for me. Does it for you?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 02:06 PM

Monique, that sent me looking through my old records and I found the Mills-Baillargeon recording in the 9-LP set of "Canadian Folk Songs, A Centennial Collection" released in 1967. Hadn't looked at it in years.

The Note says: "In this old Acadian riddle-song, a seven-year old boy on his way to school is met by a "stranger" (presumably Satan in disguise) who seeks to confound the lad with a series of riddles. But the boy successfully answers all the riddles put to him by the passing stranger, and thus succeeds in escaping the trap."
Side A, number one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 02:08 PM

Monique, the link is good.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Monique
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 02:17 PM

Good! It's LP1 of the set you were talking about. Only LP1 can be listened to.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 02:20 PM

Monique, thanks for the link. I was going to copy my LPs to save the originals, but the renditions at that site are excellent!

Jumping to other volumes, I see some lyrics are missing and the "Quicktime" player has a ?, so either I have to update quicktime, or copy my set.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OÙ VAS-TU, MON PETIT GARÇON? (Acadian)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 06:10 PM

My conversion utility (HtmlEsc) has been updated. Here is the text of the song reposted again without the non-standard "apos" escapes, and with Monique's correction.


Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon?

Où vas-tu, mon p'tit garçon?
Où vas-tu, mon p'tit garçon?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
Je m'en vais droit à l'écol'
Apprendr' la parol' de Dieu
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.

Qu'est-ce qu'est plus haut que les arbr's?
Qu'est-ce qu'est plus haut que les arbr's?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
Le ciel est plus haut que l'arbr',
Le soleil au firmament,
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.

Qu'est-ce qu'est plus creux que la mer?
Qu'est-ce qu'est plus creux que la mer?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
L'enfer est cent fois plus creux,
L'enfer aux feux éternels,
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.

Qu'est-c' qui pousse sur nos terr's?
Qu'est-c' qui pousse sur nos terr's?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
Les avoines et les blés d'or,
Les châtaignes et les poiriers,
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.

Que f'ras-tu quand tu s'ras grand?
Que f'ras-tu quand tu s'ras grand?
Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons.
Je cultiverai les champs
Nourrirai femme et enfant,
Disait ça un enfant de sept ans.


Q: That Firefox benignly handles common extensions to the standard, without impacting expected behavior for standard features, is a plus, not a minus. IE is notorious for being Microsoft-myopic and not supporting, or supporting in unexpected ways, features explicitly specified in the standards. There is nothing in the HTML standard that proscribes against the addition of new references like "apos", they simply won't be supported universally. I fell into the trap of including "apos" because it was included in the several books I have on writing HTML.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 09:43 PM

I'm not sure I understand why Q was seeing the "apos" anyway. In IE9, AC's original post looked exactly to me like Barry's post that started this thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST,Bob the Postman uncookied
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 10:45 PM

The French notes to "Canadian Folk Songs" are often quite different from the English notes. The entry for "Mon Petit Garcon" reads:

On sent dans cette chanson la morale naive des paysans acadiens qui l'ont conservee. Le respect de Dieu et la crainte du diable sont soulignes a la facon des gens simples et nous plongent dans l'atmosphere religieuse du moyen age. Tres peu de versions de cette chanson assez rare.

No boxes in anyone's browser with my French--just plenty of misspelling.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 04:37 AM

Joe Offer has a software tool with which he can easily convert a post such as Barry's, so that it looks the same on all systems and language settings ("codepages"). When we see such a post, it might be the best idea to simply write "Joe, please convert that." (Before he had that tool, he sometimes proclaimed "Now, if some good soul would like to post this song in ampersand codes so it displays for everybody." – now he can convert it by himself, much more quickly than it takes to write that sentence, and avoid the doubling.) (Of course, it is better still if the original contributor converts the lyrics before posting, as Artful indicated.) —

Bob, yes, that French note is quite strange indeed; the author seems to think that his readers have never heard about heaven and hell before. BTW: ciel = heaven (imagined "high", as in English and other languages).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 06:43 AM

Don't underestimate the effort it takes Joe to convert the text. It's at least as involved as what I have to do when reposting, certainly not "much more quickly than it takes to write that sentence"--if you want to do it right. So rather than piling extra work on Joe, I'm content to repost--and to flag the problem not only to the original poster but to others.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 09:58 AM

Certainly I don't want to pile anything. Joe asked me for the tool, so he got it and tested it to his satisfaction (see here - cost me quite a few hours, since I do not write such things every day). If he prefers us to repost, that's his decision, but I would not do it without being asked.

The problem is not only extra work, but less readable threads with doubles (which may or may not be equal except for those escapes) and technical remarks like this one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 01:09 PM

Grishka, as I understand it, the notes refer to this version which is pitched to children just entering schooling, which before the Acadian expulsion was exclusively in French Catholic schools and taught by members of the church. Very simple explanations are necessary for a small child, first attending school and getting his first Catholic instruction.
The French language explanation with reference to "chansons de geste du moyen âge" in a preceding note in the booklet with the songs is not, I think, wholly justified, but I don't have the book in which Marius Barbeau included the song and which should have his notes on collection.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 02:56 PM

Q, the song is certainly meant for persons of child-like mentality (like leeneia and myself). Those who firmly believe in the devil at large are less likely to enjoy it. The same applies to "enlighteners" such as our commentator, who obviously knows little about folklore, religion, poetry, child-like imagination, and the Middle Ages. The comment is clearly addressed at adults, or would any child understand "Très peu de versions de cette chanson assez rare."?

On their way to school, children may meet drug dealers, paedophiles, gangsters, ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 06:57 PM

The song was given to Marius Barbeau in 1924 by Father Pierre Arsenault, who got it from his mother. Other than that, its history is unknown. It looks like one of the rhyme-riddle songs once used in French-Catholic School systems in Canada.
*Fowke speculated that, because it had some similarity to Child 3, it was borrowed from Scots in the same area. The comparison with the words in Motherwell's Minstrelsy is a 'stretch', since the only similarity is mention of heaven and hell in the English language song, which was widespread in the U.S. and Canada. It may be closer to some of the U. S.-Canadian variants, of which many have been collected.
I don't know where the "rare Nova Scotian variant was collected; Fowke does not mention it.
*Edith Fowke, 1976, Folklore of Canada, p. 71, musical score and lyrics with translation, pp. 72-73.

Raoul Roy, the folk singer who prepared the French Notes in the 1967 Collection, Canadian Folk Songs, expands upon Fowke's comment, perhaps excessively.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 10:12 PM

In the Canadian Journal for Traditional Music, 1979, Edith Fowke comments on an article about a "French-Canadian ballad "Le garçon empoisonné" which is not known in France and is apparently an Acadian translation of a well-known Child ballad, "Lord Randall." It might be noted that a similar process probably produced another Acadian ballad, "Ou vas-tu, mon petit garçon? which Marius Barbeau published in Alouette (Montréal: Lumen, 1946, pp. 161-163). Again it is a song not known in France and parallels closely another Child ballad, "The False Knight Upon the Road.""
I have not seen the text of this ballad, so how close the 'paralelism' is, I don't know. Both are 20th C. collections; age and how similarity was arrived at is unknown.
"Le garçon empoisonné" has been recorded on the cd Traditional Music of France, Ireland & England, Green Linnet SLP 1011 by John Wright and Catherine Perrier.
http://cjtm.icaap.org/content/7/v7art1.html

These songs are being sung by several folk singers which is fine, but without knowing more about their origin, accepting them as old Acadian folk songs may be a bit like accepting "Ring around the Rosie" as a song from the time of the plague.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 11:10 PM

Subsequent to its appearance in 1946's "Alouette", Barbeau republished "Ou Vas-Tu, Mon Petit Garcon" in a book entitled "En Roulant Ma Boule", along with the following notes:

Destinee a la jeunesse, cette chanson d'ecole est unique. Seule de son espece en son pays, la Cadie, elle est tout bonnement mysterieuse comme la parole de Dieu qu'elle evoque, elevee comme 1'arbre dont elle percoit le profil centre le firmament, ondoyante comme les bles d'or qui chaque annee invitent la moisson, fataliste autant que 1'existence. Elle touche au probleme de la vie et; sans sembler 1'effleurer, offre sa solution simpliste : «Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons!» Cette solution, propice a 1'humble foule, se refugie inevitablement dans la foi; elle chante I'Ave Mans Stella, sur une rive sauvage et tourmentee.
Partout, cette chansonnette symbolise le peuple qui 1'a gardee en son sein, a la face blafarde de la dispersion et du malheur d'antan. En depit de tout, elle conserve un rayon de soleil, de confiance en 1'avenir, de permanence, puisqu'elle recommande de cultiver les champs et de nourrir femme et enfants.
C'est pourquoi tout enfant canadien devrait bien 1'accueillir, avec son air joli, sur les levres memes de sa mere, qui prevoit la ronde a 1'ecole. Oil vas-tu, mon petit gargoni comporte une lecon hereditaire, depuis que, il y a des siecles, cette chanson a quitte la mere patrie. Elle enchasse un souvenir delicieux: celui des chataignes et des poiriers, inconnus du terroir de la Cadie qui les nomme sans les posseder.
A qui, de plus, s'occupe de folklore, cette ronde didactique ou moralisante offre des vers de prosodie populaire de 7 pieds, a desinences masculines et cherchant a s'accoupler sans toujours y arriver — ce qui est probablement du a des accrocs dans la seule version retrouvee jusqu'a maintenant. Son refrain explicatif est bipartite : la premiere moitie est interieure et la seconde, finale. Sa melodie est en majeur, ce qui lui conserve un air serein, presque joyeux.
Nous la devons a 1'abbe Arsenault, cure de Mont-Carmel, qui la tenait de sa mere, et a 1'abbe Theodore Gallant, cure de Sturgeon, qui en nota la melodie. Ces deux pretres cadiens m'ont communique, en 1924, une pre-cieuse collection manuscrite de chansons cadiennes comprenant un repertoire d'environ 120 pieces traditionnelles.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 11:18 PM

And to continue the technical-confusion counter-theme of this thread, I see there's no lack of OCR errors in the text I just posted--oil gargoni, indeed. Why can't some people learn to preview what they post?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 01:19 AM

Haven't seen the Barbeau books, but the tune as notated in Le tour du monde en chansons, by Henriette Major and Patrice Dubuc, is more complex rhythmically than the tune rendered by Barry Taylor. Notably, it has a number of "Scottish snaps"; it sounds more characteristic of Scottish or Breton music than of other types of Acadian music. Sadly, the authors cited no source, but I assume it was copied from a collection like Barbeau's. Collectors and arrangers tend to simplify tunes for publication, particularly for kid's books, so this tune variant may be more reflective of actual oral practice (and probable origin) than the simpler version from Barry Taylor's uncited source.

One commenter (Barbeau?) observed that chestnut and pear trees were not native to Canada, so this song may have an old-world origin. Do chestnut and pear trees fare well in Canada? Is there an area of Canada--or France--where pears and chestnuts are primary crops? This could help narrow the path of transmission.

Even in English, there seems to be a rarity of theological riddle songs which cannot be traced to "False Knight". The closest French example that I've tripped across (a tale called "The little white angels and the little black devils") had the heaven-or-hell motif, but it involved serial questioners rather than serial riddles, and the children's fate was determined from their manner of reply, rather than by testing their theological knowledge or wit.

Of course, it's always possible that some Acadian cleric, familiar with the "False Knight" pattern, tossed together this ditty to inspire his young charges. In that case, would it be derivation, relation or separate origin?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Monique
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 01:46 AM

Here is the same text with the accents -if someone wants to put the text into a translator, the words had better have the accents, the results are usually weird enough when the words have them so imagine without... Now, if any of you native English speakers would like to translate it into English for the others to understand...

Destinée à la jeunesse, cette chanson d'école est unique. Seule de son espèce en son pays, la Cadie, elle est tout bonnement mystérieuse comme la parole de Dieu qu'elle évoque, élevée comme 1'arbre dont elle perçoit le profil centre le firmament, ondoyante comme les blés d'or qui chaque année invitent la moisson, fataliste autant que 1'existence. Elle touche au problème de la vie et, sans sembler 1'effleurer, offre sa solution simpliste : «Je m'en viens, tu t'en vas, nous passons!» Cette solution, propice à l'humble foule, se réfugie inévitablement dans la foi; elle chante l'Ave Maris Stella, sur une rive sauvage et tourmentée.
Partout, cette chansonnette symbolise le peuple qui 1'a gardée en son sein, a la face blafarde de la dispersion et du malheur d'antan. En dépit de tout, elle conserve un rayon de soleil, de confiance en 1'avenir, de permanence, puisqu'elle recommande de cultiver les champs et de nourrir femme et enfants.
C'est pourquoi tout enfant canadien devrait bien 1'accueillir, avec son air joli, sur les lèvres mêmes de sa mère, qui prévoit la ronde à 1'école. Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon comporte une leçon héréditaire, depuis que, il y a des siècles, cette chanson a quitté la mère patrie. Elle enchâsse un souvenir délicieux : celui des châtaignes et des poiriers, inconnus du terroir de la Cadie qui les nomme sans les posséder.
À qui, de plus, s'occupe de folklore, cette ronde didactique ou moralisante offre des vers de prosodie populaire de 7 pieds, à désinences masculines et cherchant à s'accoupler sans toujours y arriver — ce qui est probablement dû à des accrocs dans la seule version retrouvée jusqu'à maintenant. Son refrain explicatif est bipartite : la première moitié est intérieure et la seconde, finale. Sa mélodie est en majeur, ce qui lui conserve un air serein, presque joyeux.
Nous la devons à 1'abbé Arsenault, curé de Mont-Carmel, qui la tenait de sa mère, et à 1'abbé Theodore Gallant, curé de Sturgeon, qui en nota la mélodie. Ces deux prêtres cadiens m'ont communiqué, en 1924, une précieuse collection manuscrite de chansons cadiennes comprenant un répertoire d'environ 120 pièces traditionnelles.

To answer Artful's question about chestnuts and pears, I found a site about chestnut trees that states that you can find chestnut trees in Corsica, Cévennes, Southern Alps, Eastern Pyrenees, Limousin, Auvergne and Brittany and that its peak was in the 16th and 17th centuries. Peartrees: Normandy and Brittany.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 05:43 AM

So there must be a connection to France, either to Brittany or (more likely) to the whole nation. This of course does not mean that the song is from France or dates back "centuries". As we know, songs can easily be "tossed together" from known motifs. Judging from the style only, I'd be very surprised if it were any older than 19th century. (For example, the boy's age being considered important.)

I don't see the relation to "Ave Maris Stella" either, not even to typically Catholic ideas. Raising a family to defeat Satan sounds Calvinist to me, whereas the abbés, if they were the only authors, should mention celibacy as even more effective.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 01:48 PM

The American chestnut, a large tree, Castanea dentata, had a natural range from Alabama north to the New England states and southernmost maritime Canada. Sadly, it now is absent from most of its natural range due to the chestnut blight. The stately avenues of chestnuts in eastern American cities sadly died and had to be removed. To the average person, there is little to distinguish the American chestnut from the European or the Asian species.

Pears came to North America with the first colonists so would have been well-known. Excellent pears are grown in Nova Scotia, and other parts of Canada (except, perhaps, Alberta and Saskatchewan).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 02:20 PM

Historical aside-
The Acadians refused to take the oath of allegiance to the British crown in 1755, and, beginning with those in Nova Scotia, were ordered to be removed to other colonial areas.
The first wave was deported to little settled areas in what are now the northeastern States, but some to areas as far south as Georgia. Later, some were shipped to France and England, and some of these to Louisiana.
With the Indians, some continued raids on the English into the early 1760s.
Both religion and language prevented their cooperation with, or assimilation by, the English population.

Many went into hiding, some escaping to Quebec and to the States, but the deportees were shipped to France and England, and some of these were then shipped to Louisiana territories.

Some of those who went to Quebec or had gone into hiding in Indian or less populated areas returned, forming the nucleus of present-day Acadians. Also some of those shipped to France returned but most went to Louisiana, taking the oath of allegiance to the Spanish government.

Little known is that the colony of Virginia also deported a group to England.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 04:30 PM

Chestnuts and pears: I read the same in Wikipedia, but nevertheless I agree with Barbeau that that line strongly points to France. There is a tradition in (northern) French rhetorics to list items in pairs, representing typical attributes of northern and southern France and thus suggesting an equal share of both parts in the nation's identity - Monique can tell us more.

Our songwriter is not interested in national symbolism of Canada (probably on the contrary). I guess snippets from a French poem have been inserted without taking a closer look.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Monique
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 05:16 PM

I'm sorry Grishka but you credit me with much more knowledge than I actually have and I know nothing about this tradition. I'm a true Jack of all trades and master of none (should I say NONE?). When I first read the song, it reminded me of the questions in Tum Balalaika but it's as far as my knowledge goes!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 07:41 PM

Barry Taylor's excellent midi and lyrics here:

Oú vas-tu


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Monique
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 02:18 AM

I find a tiny difference at the very end between the midi Q linked to and Mills-Baillargeon's rendition. They sing "un enfant de sept ans" with a dotted 1/8 note on "de" then a 1/16 on "sept" while the midi can only be sung as "un enfant d' sept ans" making "d' sept" only one syllable on a 1/8 note. This is why I first wondered -I'd listened to the midi somewhere before I came across Mills-Baillargeon's rendition- why the lyrics went "un enfant de sept ans" while all the mute e's had been elided.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 12:46 PM

Moique, the midi by Barry Taylor is an 'earworm', and in the back of my mind, it seems familiar.
Comparisons, anyone.

Alan Mills sometimes changed lyrics slightly to suit his style. I haven't seen the tune as originally printed by Marius Barbeau.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 06:51 PM

The score presented in Barbeau's 1982 "Repertoire de la chanson folklorique francaise au Canada" reads as Monique describes what Mills and Baillargeon sing: 'a dotted 1/8 note on "de" then a 1/16 on "sept"'.


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