The history behind ‘Un Canadien Errant’

For those of you who took the time to watch One Week, you may remember Joshua Jacksons character singing at a campfire with his native american lady-friend. This song that they had him singing has been around for hundreds of years, and has a unique history behind it. Now before I get into the history behind it, you should hit play, listen to it while reading the rest of this post.

The song Un Canadien Errant (A Wandering Canadian) was written in 1842 by AntoineUn Canadien Errant Gérin-Lajoie after the Lower Canada Rebellion, which took place between 1837 and 1838. Many of the rebels were executed, others were exiled to the United States, forced to never see their homeland again. Antoine Gérin-Lajoie wrote the song after a friend told him stories about the rebellion and how much pain the exile caused him. The song has since become an anthem for Canadians who’ve experienced the pain of exile and the longing for a loved one. The song held great importance for the rebels of the Upper Canada Rebellion, and for the Acadians who suffered mass deportation from their land during the Great Upheaval which took place between 1755 and 1763.

Throughout history there have been several different versions recorded, including several English versions, however, I honestly feel the original French version portrays the meaning behind the song the best. Even if you can’t understand French you’ll see (or hear) what I mean.

The song I posted here was very hard to find, after much digging I was able to find it. However, this copy is extremely hard to come by. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

“Un Canadien Errant”
Performed by Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet
Published by Einstein Bros Music, Deloris Music, Ellchris Music, Melissa McClelland
Melissa McClelland appears courtesy of Nettwerk Management
Luke Doucet appears courtesy of Six Shooter Records
Arranged by Andrew Lockington
Produced by Andrew Lockington and Jody Colero
Recorded by Alex Bonenfant at the Orange Lounge

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