However, it is J.-B. Labelle's setting - more ballad than patriotic song - which has survived and which in fact may be the 'new air' published in 1850. What is certain is that Labelle's setting was sung in Montreal, in the presence of 4000 people including Cartier, who was by then minister of the militia, at the premiere of Labelle's Cantate: La Confédération 7 Jan 1868 at the City Hall. Gustave Comte is therefore in error when he writes that Labelle composed his setting in 1874 (Le Passe-Temps, 1 Oct 1898). It was composed prior to 1868 and was published in Montreal in the late 19th century by Yon, Bélair, and Boucher and, with English words by J.M. Gibbon and a harmonization by Achille Fortier, in New York by Leo Feist in 1928.
The song was recorded on 78 rpm discs by Victor Occellier, Rodolphe Plamondon, Joseph Saucier, and others (see listing in Roll Back the Years), and Roger Doucet included it in his LP Chants glorieux/Songs of Glory.
Author Stephen Willis
Boyd, John. Sir George Etienne Cartier, Bart (Toronto 1914)
Desparois, Lucille. 'Histoire d'une chanson,' P-T, 899, Jun 1946
Mailhot, Laurent. 'Ô Canada! mon pays! mes amours!,' Dictionnaire des oeuvres littéraires du Québec, vol 1, ed Maurice Lemire (Montreal 1978)
Carrier, Maurice, and Vachon, Monique. 'Ô Canada! mon pays! mes amours!' Chansons politiques du Québec, vol 2, (Montreal 1979)
Links to Other Sites
Sheet music from Canada's past
A very extensive collection of digitalized copies of sheet music published before Confederation and during the First World War. Includes patriotic and parlour songs, piano pieces, sacred music, novelty numbers, and more. Also, check out the sheet music covers that appear in the Gallery section. From Library and Archives Canada.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...