Chanson de la Semaine: “Mezanmi”

We studied this song in 8th grade French C and French C Honors this week as part of our unit on Civil Rights, Immigration, and Haïti.

Luck Mervil and Corneille: “Mezanmi”.

Chansons de la Semaine: Noël

Chanson de la semaine 9 — Victime de la Mode (MC Solaar)

Chanson de la semaine 8

Because we were talking about Martinique in Honors French, here is a song from Martinique…where a kind of music called ZOUK comes from. This term comes from the French verb secouer…to shake.

Chanson de la semaine 7

The World Cup Soccer Theme Song for 1998…featuring Axelle Red, from France and Youssou N’Dour, from Sénégal.

Chanson de la Semaine 6

This is the theme song of Star Académie 2012, a Canadian reality TV series, aimed mostly at the Quebec television audience. People compete for the title of best singer. This song is very catchy and was a hit in Québec. Here are two videos. One has the lyrics and the other is the offical video.

Chanson de la semaine 5

You may recognize this Sting tune, adapted here to fit an immigrant’s experience in Paris.

Chanson de la Semaine 4

Louisiana native, Zachary Richard and many friends (most from Québec) record a song to raise funds to help Louisiana after the oil spill in the gulf.

From Zachary Richard’s website:

“Grand Gosier can best be translated as : Big Gullet. This is the name given to the Brown Pelican in the Cajun French of the coastal parishes of Louisiana. This song was written and is interpreted by francophone authors whose communal origins are symbolic of the diversity of ethnic French experience in North America.

The music and the initial compostion are the creation of Rocky McKeon. Rocky is from Cocodrie, Louisiana where Bayou Petit Caillou enters the Gulf. This community is at ground-zero of Coastal Erosion and is also one of the areas most impacted by the oil spill of 2010.

The co-authors are Ricardo Lamour alias Emrical and Samian. Emrical is of the Haitian community of Montreal. Samian is Native-American of Algonguin heritage.

Of particular interest is the fact that Grand Gosier is not only the Lousiana French name of the Brown Pelican, but also the name of a village in the Southeastern Haiti. The lyrics in Créole (Kreyòl Ayisyen) make reference not only to the oil spill of but also to the earthquake of January 2010”

Le Grand Gosier

Le Grand Gosier est couvert d’huile
Le Grand Gosier après mourir
Le ciel est rouge.
La mer est noire.
Si je te dirais
Tu comprendrais pas.

Samian :
le désastre a eu lieu, quasiment irréparable
sans se soucier de mon existence, à moi et mes semblables.
incapable de m’envoler, j’ai les ailes collées au sol
pendant que vous perdez de l’argent, je suis imbibé de pétrole

pourquoi cette fois c’est sur moi que ça tombe.
mais je ne suis qu’un oiseau, y’aura rien sur ma tombe
on m’a sali la mémoire juste assez pour que je me souvienne
que la catastrophe est naturelle mais que l’erreur est humaine!

Emrical :
Kisa pou m fè la monchè ? sispann betize !
Ou pa wè dyab ki touye m nan, se li menm ki vle resisite m ?
Sila a menm ki di ke li la pou pèp sou latè beni.
Anba bonè, fè m goute madoulè ki anmè pase livè
Sèl bagay m vle, se pou youn ti posé sou ple
M’pa fouti mande ni krik ni krak sèlman yon ti dlo pou gozye m
Tout kòm fè m mal, m boukanen tankou kôbo
M ap redi tankou kadav nan tonbo.

Cher ami, que veux-tu que je fasse? Soyons sérieux!
Ne vois-tu pas que le démon qui me tue est le même qui cautionne mon retour à la vie?
Le même qui dit être là pour bénir les hommes avec du bonheur
M’a fait goûter une douleur pire que l’hiver.
La seule chose que je veux, c’est du repos. S’il te plaît…
Je ne demande rien de plus. Juste un peu d’eau.
Tout mon corps souffre, je suis plus noir que le corbeau.
Me battant comme un cadavre dans une tombe.

Rocky :
Le Grand Gosier (Big Gullet) is covered in oil
Le Grand Gosier is dying
The sky is red
The sea is black
If I told you,
You would not understand.

Samian :
The disaster has happened, with no return,
No concern for my well-being, nor that of my community.
Unable to fly, my wings stuck to the ground.
While you are losing money, I am soaked in oil.

Why is this happening to me this time?
But after all, I am nothing but a bird and I have no gravestone.
You have soiled my memory and so I will always remember
That this catastrophy is « natural » but that the error is « human ».

Emrical :

Dear friend, what do you want me to do ?
Don’t you see that the demon that is killing me is the same that provides my return to life ?
The same that pretends to be there to bless men with happiness
And that has made me know suffering more terrible than winter.
The only thing that I want is to rest. Please….
I ask for nothing more. Only a little water to drink.
My whole body suffers. I am as black as a crow.
Flailing like a corpse in a tomb.


Chanson de la semaine 3

Corneille is originally from Rwanda (Ruanda, en français). After surviving the Rwandan Genocide, he settled in Québec, Canada and is now a Canadian citizen. Here he sings about his experiences as an immigrant and refugee.

Chanson de la semaine 2

Aïcha, a song in French by the famous Algerian Raï singer, Khaled.