'La Guignolée'

'La Guignolée'. 'A refrain, possibly the only vestige of the Druidic era,' wrote the French historian Jean-Jacques Ampère in describing this song in 1854.

'La Guignolée'

'La Guignolée'. 'A refrain, possibly the only vestige of the Druidic era,' wrote the French historian Jean-Jacques Ampère in describing this song in 1854. In fact, 'la guignolée,' (in France ignolée, guillonée, guillona, or aguilanleu, depending on the region) is a derivation of 'au gui l'an neuf,' (words said by the Druids at the mistletoe ('gui') harvest).

In Chansons populaires du Canada (Quebec City 1865), Ernest Gagnon gave three versions of the song found in the province of Quebec and described the different customs that surround it. At the beginning of each year, people go from door to door collecting clothing and food for the poor - a custom known as 'la guignolée'. The custom has survived especially in small towns and in the country.

Monique Miville-Deschênes recorded the song (Gamma GS-135), as did Hélène Baillargeon with the Bouttes en train (Folk FC-7229).


Further Reading

  • Ampère, Jean-Jacques. 'Poésies populaires de la France,' Journal de Québec, 10 Jan 1854