Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Les Cowboys Fringants- Quebec Sovereignists' Only Cool Band.

"Les Cowboys Fringants" (Dashing cowboys), is a talented Quebec band that promotes a sovereignist message, but unlike most everybody else in the movement, the group is funny, light-hearted and decidedly upbeat. I bet 90% of Quebec Anglophones have never heard of them, but those who do, probably enjoy their special genre, which I can only describe as 'Sovereignist Barenaked Ladies.'

In Quebec, we anglophones live many paradoxes and enjoying the music of Les Cowboys Fringant is one of them. They are fun to listen to, despite the fact that most of us disagree with most everything they sing about..

The premise of this first song is that English words have become too common in everyday French. Who'd a thunk!

The first line of the song says;
'I'm a pure bred Quebecker. Don't touch Bill 101'
(The law making French the only official language in Quebec and by the way, the line rhymes quite nicely in French)
'It's not that I don't know how to speak well, it's that I'm colonized by the English.
(This becomes the chorus)
The rest of the song is a humorous lampoon of some of the English words and phrases have become part of popular Quebecois lexicon.

Listen and see how many English terms you can pick out.

Here's a bittersweet ode to René Levesque, the beloved father of the sovereignty movement. (Subtitled)

Video credit to angloquebecer

It's an over exaggeration to pigeonhole these guys as only offering separatists fare. This last clip is a tongue in check send up of a student demonstration. If you don't have superior French you won't be able to follow, but don't let it stop you from watching or listening, the subtitles are pretty good, and you can follow easily.

The self-deprecating description of the protest demonstration is a jewel.
What's funny, is that it could could have taken place in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, as well Montreal. So much for language...

Don't tell me you didn't enjoy the energy on stage and in the audience.
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