, ,

Les Voix du Vent perform C’est dans Paris

I have been looking for French Canadian folklore and traditional music. These sites do not appear immediately. In 1960, the French-language CBC, Radio-Canada or Ici Radio Canada, had yet to reach the West coast. Moreover, I was far from Quebec for forty years and had been trained to be a concert pianist, meaning I was learning Bach’s Preludes and Fugues. There was very little time left to learn folklore, and I wasn’t hearing any music from Quebec on the radio.

Les Voix du Vent are also known as Le Vent du Nord. Le Vent du Nord plays Celtic music. However, I am featuring a French song that tells a story.

The Story

The story is about a servant girl who wanted to be as beautiful as her mistress (as in master). She went to the pharmacist, l’apothicaire, to purchase makeup, du fard. He prepared a powder and told her not to look at herself in a mirror after applying the fard. The next day, le lendemain, she met her cavalier, a boyfriend, or a man she wished to attract. He told her that her face was black, black as a chimney. She was barbouillée (smeared). She returned to the apothecary, who explained that he had sold her coal. Servants should not try to look like their mistresses.


Tom Thomson's Pine Island
Tom Thomson, Pine Island (National Art Gallery of Canada)

© Micheline Walker
14 February 2021