What do I need to know about a French Canadian sailor's lament?
September 18, 2013 8:49 PM   Subscribe

What is the structure and rhyme scheme of a French Canadian sailor's lament? Anglophone sailors have the sea chanty, a song for work... but I understand francophone sailors in the Maritimes have both upbeat songs for work, and slow, sad songs for downtime, called laments. How are these structured musically and lyrically? Are there any translated examples?
posted by Slap*Happy to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I don't really know anything about them musically, but maybe I can help your Google-fu: These laments, so far as I know, are usually called "complaintes" in French. Here's one I've always liked called "La complainte du folkloriste", though I have no idea how authentically sailor-ish it is.
posted by vasi at 10:04 PM on September 18, 2013

That's a good one.
How about Un Acadien Errant?
posted by antiquated at 2:39 PM on September 19, 2013


Here's The Encyclopaedia of Music in Canada's article about French Canadian folkloric music. They have some references you could search for if you have access to an academic library. The CD "Chants et complaintes maritimes des Terres françaises d’Amérique" would seem to have exactly what you're looking for. Might be hard to find though. You might be able to find articles about this type of music and its characteristics by going bibliography-hopping, starting with the people mentioned in the encyclopaedia article and with Robert Bouthillier, who put the CD together.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 6:15 PM on September 19, 2013

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