Je sais bien quelque chose

from A Woman's Way by Crosscurrents Music

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about

Marguerite de la Rocque: A Story of Survival
Marooned on the Quebec North Shore (1536–1560)

As I walked out, I met my love Marguerite, weeping.
I know of what I would not say; that I will not say.

In 1542, when Marguerite refused to marry a rich captain and fell in love with one of his men, the powerful Sieur de Roberval marooned the lovers on the “Isle of Demons” off Quebec. Marguerite’s duenna, her lover, and their child all died, but Marguerite survived alone for two winters until rescued by Basque fishermen.

In the true story, it was Marguerite and her lover who went without bread or flour, while the old men sailed back to France five hundred leagues and more across the sea. Historian and sailor Elizabeth Boyer has meticulously reconstructed Marguerite's history in A Story of Survival and recreated a first-person account in A Colony of One (Veritie Press, 1974). Today, the Newfoundland fisherfolk who have settled Harrington Island still tell Marguerite's legend and take visitors to "Marguerite's Cave."

This is Jeter le Pont's arrangement of a traditional Québeçois chanson à répondre from the singing of Alan Mills in 1952 (Entrecroisé, Franglais Enterprises, 1992). My version features the late Vermont singer Martha Pellerin of Jeter le Pont, in one of her last recordings.

lyrics

(trad. coll. Martha Pellerin)

C'est en m'y promenant le longue de ces prairies
Dans mon chemin rencontrent Marguerite m'amie
Je sais bien quelque chose que je ne veux pas dire
Ah, que je ne dirais pas

Qu'a vous a soupirer, Marguerite m'amie
Ne sais-tu pas, galant, que mon père m'y marie
Je sais bien quelque chose que je ne veux pas dire...

Ne sais-tu pas, galant, que mon père m'y marie
A un vieillard bonhomme qui a la barbe grise
Je sais bien quelque chose que je ne veux pas dire...

Je voudrais que ces vieux soient dedans un navire
A cinque cents lieux au large sans pain et sans farine
Je sais bien quelque chose que je ne veux pas dire...

Pour leur montrer par là, les pucelles a poursuivre
Les vieux sont pour les vieilles, les garçons pour les filles
Je sais bien quelque chose que je ne veux pas dire...

credits

from A Woman's Way, released May 18, 2018
trad. Quebeçois. Martha Pellerin, vocals.

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all rights reserved

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about

Crosscurrents Music Boston, Massachusetts

Lynn Noel brings traditional song and heritage arts online to create digital community. Lynn has a voice of striking clarity and power, equally at home in rhythmic chanteys and flowing ballads.

Lynn is a respected song session leader on both sides of the Atlantic and the producer and host of the Mermaid's Tavern online folk club. She has earned awards from the IUCN, NRCA, and CDSS.
... more

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