Ah! Si mon moine voulait danser

"Ah! Si mon moine voulait danser." Folksong, believed to have been sung in France before the 17th century. The title is a play on words: "moine" means both a "spinning top" and a "monk.

"Ah! Si mon moine voulait danser"

"Ah! Si mon moine voulait danser." Folksong, believed to have been sung in France before the 17th century. The title is a play on words: "moine" means both a "spinning top" and a "monk." To encourage him to dance, the monk is offered - in fun - now a hood or cap, now a rosary: this is the version published in Ernest Gagnon'sChansons populaires du Canada (Quebec 1865). The text was published in La Lyre canadienne (Quebec 1886), a work compiled by W.H. Rowan. The French words and their English translation appear in various publications, including Chansons de Québec/Folk Songs of Quebec (Waterloo 1957) and Edith Fowke'sPenguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs (Harmondsworth, England, 1973). Marius Barbeau, in Alouette (Montreal 1946), claims to have collected another version, with similar music, in which the monk is bedecked with various inappropriate baubles, such as a necktie. However, he did not publish this variant. Popularized in 1927 by Charles Marchand and his Bytown Troubadours at the first of the CPR Festivals at the Château Frontenac in Quebec City, the song was recorded in 1928 by that ensemble for a Victor 78. Among the many other recordings are those on LPs by Louise Forestier (RCI/RCA CS 100-9) and by Alan Mills, accompanied by the fiddler Jean Carignan and the guitarist Gilbert "Buck" Lacombe (Folk FG 3532).

Choral arrangements of the song have been made by Leslie Bell and J.-F. Sénart.