'Les Gens de mon pays'
'Les Gens de mon pays'. Song, written by Gilles Vigneault in 1965. Under a banner of friendship, fidelity, and a spirit of shared adventure, it portrays the honesty, wisdom, and humour of the Quebecois. The melody, almost a recitative, moves along swiftly and presents simple contours, building up gradually to the high point of the text, which sets off a rousing call to freedom: 'I hear you pass like the river at ice-break, I hear you speak of freedom for tomorrow'.
The song contributed to the emergence of a nationalist wave during the 1960s of which it also was a reflection. It has been recorded by its author (Gilles Vigneault à la Comédie-Canadienne, Récital à la Comédie-Canadienne, Musicorama, and Les Gens de mon pays), the Cabestans, the Choeur V'là l'bon vent, Renée Claude, Pauline Julien, Michel Louvain, Fabienne Thibeault and Louise Poulin. In France it has been performed by Catherine Sauvage, among others, and in Belgium by Jules Beaucarne who translated it into Flemish.
The text is printed in Lucien Rioux's Gilles Vigneault (Paris 1969) and Claude Pruhlière's Québec ou Presqu'-Amérique (Paris 1974). The song is published by the Éditions du Vent qui vire. It should not be confused with 'Gens du pays', also by Vigneault.
Les Gens de mon pays is also the title of a collection of Vigneault's poems, short stories, and songs published in Quebec in 1967.