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Page 72 - A Rare Acadian Religious Song

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1998/6/1 (159 reads)

A Rare Acadian Religious Song Our thanks to Fr. Daniel Boudreau for sharing and translating this song. All his life, Fr. Daniel has devoted himself to preserv? ing Acadian songs. With his cousin Fr. Anselme Chiasson, he published six books of traditional songs collected in Cheticamp, many of them songs their grandmother sang. Then Fr. Daniel went on to publish another five books. Recently, with the bless? ing of a computer, he has put together the equivalent of five more books of the English songs sung by the Acadians, and he has been using his computer to save the words and melodies of old religious songs sung in the homes. He carefully told me that these were not songs that would be sung in church, but it is clear that they have a unique place in Acadian traditional life. Most of them are not found in books, and in the shape of life to? day few people ever have a context for singing and sharing such songs. Consequently, without Fr. Daniel's efforts these songs undoubtedly would be lost. Fr. Daniel Boudreau told us: My hope, if I am able--we have old, old religious books, dating since two hundred years ago at least.... And I'm making the melody (entering the music into the com? puter) , because I know the melody from my mother, from my father, from my grandmoth? er, and all those people. They were all singing those songs. So, I wrote the mu? sic, because nobody knows that melody, ex? cept us who remember that song. But at that time, everybody knew that song. See, seventy-five years ago, hundred years ago, they all knew that song. A religious song, but dating at least two hundred years ago --at least. (Do you put them in the same class as the songs in your song books?) No, no. They would be separate, these. (Are they more like prayers?) Yes. (So you are remembering the old tune that went with the prayer? It's a kind of song, but it's a prayer, a religious song.) Yes.... "St. Euphrosine," a virgin. She went under pedar House Bakery and Restaurant mm 674-2929 Wmk OPEN DAIL Y FOR CB BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER bread • scones • oatcakes • cookies • pies TRANS-CANADA HWY NEAR SEAL ISLAND BRIDGE the habit of monk. She dressed like a monk and joined the monks. And the monks started worrying at such a beauti? ful monk. So the abbot, the super? ior, said, "It's too danger? ous ...." They never thought she was a girl. They put her in a spe? cial cell, and they were feeding her separately. But at the (same) time, her father had lost his daughter, and he was looking, crying, weeping about his daughter. And he was going to see the su? perior, to ask him for prayers to find his daughter. So, finally, after a few years, (the superior) said, "Maybe you better go and ask (Emerand)." She had taken a spe? cial name there, such a monk. "He's a real saint. You ask him to pray for you." And he went to see her, his own daughter. And his daughter knew him, of course, but she never mentioned about that. She said, "Yes, don't worry, don't worry, your daughter is in a good place and you'll be seeing her one day." After years and years, I don't know how many.... It's all about this song, and I found it also in big books.... It's a real thing. (Tell me how it ends.) So, after years she got sick, and she was going to die. So the father, when he heard the monk that was helping him was going to die, he went to see BETTENS CONSTRUCTION CO. LTD. [ General Contracting ) Residential & commercial FOUNDATIONS • FLOORS REINFORCED CONCRETE SLABS • RAISING OF BUILDINGS SEWER & WATER LINES • CONCRETE CRACK REPAIR • CONCRETE SAW CUTTING PHONE (902) 849-7639 • fax (902) 849-6566 OR 1-800-BETTENS (1-800-238-8367) 157 Main St. GLACE BAY, N.S. B1A4Z1 Serving Cape Breton Since 1929
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