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