'Vive la Canadienne'

'Vive la Canadienne'. National song most frequently sung in Quebec before 'O Canada' became popular. According to Ernest Gagnon (Chansons populaires du Canada, Quebec City 1865), this old French tune is a variant of 'Par derrièr' chez mon père.' Marius Barbeau suggested that it was derived from 'Vole mon coeur vole' which differs slightly from the former. F.-A.-H. LaRue, who examined the words of 'Par derrièr' chez mon père' in the first volume of Le Foyer canadien (Quebec City 1863), also discussed a variant, 'Les Trois Princesses.' According to Barbeau in Alouette (Montreal 1946), the words to 'Vive la Canadienne' probably were written by an oarsman; however he gives no further details. In August 1840 the melody, arranged for piano, appeared in Literary Garland as 'The Canadian/a French air.' The melody inspired Charles Grobe's Variations brillantes sur Vive la Canadienne, mélodie nationale canadienne, Opus 1130 (113?) for piano (Ditson 1859). La Canadienne, a fantasy for violin and piano by Jules Hone (3rd edn, Boucher, no date) is based on the song. Oscar Martel composed Variations sur 'Vive la Canadienne' for violin. The tune also appears in Antoine Dessane's piano suite Quadrille sur cinq airs canadiens (1854, Léger Brousseau, Crémazie 1855). Vive la Canadienne is also the title of an operetta in three acts written by Omer Létourneau in 1924. About 1939 Charles O'Neill's arrangement of the tune became the official march of the Royal 22nd Regiment. Éviola Gauthier, Édouard LeBel, and Joseph Saucier made 78-rpm recordings of the song, and several choirs, among them the Chorale de l'Université de Moncton (Col FL-234), included it on LPs.