Today, I’m Calling It Franadica

When Sweet Mother first announced that she was putting Canadica together, I tried to convince her to call it “Franadica” (France-Canada-America) so that I could be a part of the project. I wasn’t able to convince her to change the name, but she still let me join in on the fun as a contributor despite the fact I’m not as funny as all the rest of you (and that’s not for lack of effort).

So here it goes…

I love Canada. I’ve been lucky enough to go there a few times on tour and I’m always looking for reasons to go back. I know I’m not the first to write about my admiration of Canada here at Canadica, but my reason is a bit different. I’m in love with Canada because life is lived out in the two languages I speak – French and English. I mean, the last time I was there my freaking Subway sandwich wrapper said “Mange frais” and I wasn’t even in French-speaking Canada. Plus, you can legally drink beer at 18, and yes, Canada is where I had my first beer.

Plus, based on genetics, I’m as close to Canadian as one can get without actually having been born there, living there, or having relatives from there. This is because my dad practices the national religion. Hockey. Because, as we all know, being half Canadian in sprit and/or fully Canadian linguistically qualifies you for Canadian citizenship.

Random, out of place fun fact: Did you know that the original version of the Canadian National Anthem was in French and that it was later translated into English?

Then, of course, I also love Canada because I’m an avid fan of French music. And guess where some of the best French singers are said to be from? Wait for it…

If you haven’t guessed the answer by now, then maybe you should read the first few paragraphs again. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you.

To prove that I know what I’m talking about, I’m not going to reference the research I did as a grad student on popular French music as part of my dissertation. That’s boring. Instead, I’ll tell you about a game my husband and I play.

My husband is a French producer (French French not Canadian French) and his favorite game to play when we listen to French music is to guess where the music is from, France or Canada (because those are obviously the only options). He claims that if it has American-sounding production and French lyrics it’s Canadian but if it has poor production and French lyrics, it’s French.

The game, of course, is completely ridiculous, but we can’t help ourselves. And for the record, there is plenty of well-produced music that comes out of France. As part of this game, we are often wrong as often as we are right when guessing. And by ‘we’ I mean ‘he’.

PS. the only reason I can tell you that is because he doesn’t read my blog and won’t know that I did.

Without further ado, the music of several talented Canadian artists:

1. Damien Robitaille – Robitaille is a French comedian/singer. He’s basically the French-Canadian equivalent of Flight of the Conchords without the television show (as far as I know). If he has a television show, someone please tell me!

2. Natasha St. Pier (pop)

3. Gage (soul/rnb)

4. Audrey Gagnon (pop)

5. Coeur de Pirate (pop)

6. Marie-Luce Béland (pop)

7. Le Vent du Nord (folk) – because I’m Breton and Irish. If you love trad music…

8. Laurence Helie (singer/songwriter/folk)

9. Ariane Moffat (pop)

10. Andrée Watters – Bet you didn’t know there was French country music… I sure didn’t until I was looking for French-Canadian artists…

Not french or french canadian but catchy


This post was written by eurolinguiste who has more recently decided to be sksaxgirl.

22 thoughts on “Today, I’m Calling It Franadica

  1. I’m kind of in your position—I’m from India, but living in America and going to write about Canada for next week’s edition of Canadica! Except unlike you, je ne parle pas beaucoup français!
    French songs and movies are too fast for me to understand without subtitles.
    Nice post.

  2. You were plenty funny :-). I am in Quebec but unfortunately rarely listen to local artists (and my mother tongue is English so local French artists have never really been of interest to me except for maybe La Chicane or Harmonium. 🙂

    • I know what you mean not wanting to listen to music you don’t understand. It can be hard to connect with if you don’t know what the lyrics are saying.

      As far as the artists you mentioned… I’ll have to check them out! Thanks for the recommendations!

    • Mika, if I remember correctly, is French French. I found the music when I was searching for French Canadian videos. The two music industries are pretty closely tied because of the language. Much like Britain and the US, I suppose. In fact, I already had the music of a few of the artists above and had no idea they were Canadian. Robitaille was the only one that was super obvious to me because of his accent. Glad you liked some of the songs!

  3. Very nice post! The folk song was pretty- reminded me of Malicorne! Oh, now I have to go dig out my old Malicorne CDs.

  4. you do realize this is frickin’ awesome, right? sorry it’s taken me so long to get here, but i’ve felt a touch swamped. anyhoo, i’m going to plug you silly on sweet mother today. xoxox, beck

    • Aww, Mama. Do you realize just how freaking awesome you are? I am so blessed, honoured, complimented and thankful that you read what I write (and that I get to “know” you in general). XOXOX back. Or in French, Bisous.

      • Oh, well if I were going to play tricks on you I think I could come up with a much better word than bison. 🙂 But no, bisous means what I said it means! It’s basically “xoxo” but literally translates as “kisses”.

  5. Could anyone help me to find the lyrics to Laurence Helie’s Kerosene, Les Portes Fermes, and Ici? I’ve spent hours looking. Thanks!

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