V'là l'bon vent!

'V'là l'bon vent!' Folksong on the theme of the 'trois canards' or three ducks, of which there are some 100 variants.

'V'là l'bon vent!'

'V'là l'bon vent!' Folksong on the theme of the 'trois canards' or three ducks, of which there are some 100 variants. Among the most popular are 'En roulant ma boule' and 'V'là l'bon vent!' 'Lèv' ton pied,' 'C'est l'vent frivolant,' 'Suivons le vent,' and 'Descendez à l'ombre' are some of the other titles. The melody and the words of the chorus differ considerably from one version to another, but the story of the king's son who kills one of the three ducks is the same in most; the theme apparently arrived in Canada some time during the 17th century and was well known to the voyageurs. Ernest Gagnon, in Chansons populaires du Canada (Quebec City 1865), suggests that the words of the chorus as well as the tune of 'V'là l'bon vent!' are of Canadian origin. The song also appears in two versions in the Chansons canadiennes (Montreal 1907) harmonized by P.-É. Prévost. Hector Gratton wrote Fantasia sur V'là l'bon vent (1952) for orchestra, and Claude Champagne made an arrangement for four voices 'V'là l'bon vent'/'Fair Wind' (Waterloo 1960). The song may be heard on a 78 by Éviola Gauthier (Victor 69273), and it is included on LPs by Jacques Labrecque (9-RCI/RCA CS-100-7/5-ACM 39 CD), the Chorale de l'Université de Moncton (Col FL-234), André Bertrand, Les Cailloux, the Petit Ensemble vocal of the École normale de musique, and the Alouette Vocal Quartet. In 1958 Gilles Julien and François Provencher founded the Choeur V'là l'bon vent in Quebec City.


Further Reading

  • Brassard, François. 'Refrains canadiens de chansons de France,' Archives de folklore, vol 1 (Montreal 1946)

    Barbeau, Marius. 'Trois beaux canards (92 versions canadiennes),' ibid, vol 2 (Montreal 1947)

    d'Harcourt, Marguerite. 'Analyse des versions musicales canadiennes des ''Trois beaux canards'',' ibid, vol 4 (Montreal 1949)