Mudcat Café message #3181493 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62269   Message #3181493
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
04-Jul-11 - 06:57 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon? (Acadian)
The song was given to Marius Barbeau in 1924 by Father Pierre Arsenault, who got it from his mother. Other than that, its history is unknown. It looks like one of the rhyme-riddle songs once used in French-Catholic School systems in Canada.
*Fowke speculated that, because it had some similarity to Child 3, it was borrowed from Scots in the same area. The comparison with the words in Motherwell's Minstrelsy is a 'stretch', since the only similarity is mention of heaven and hell in the English language song, which was widespread in the U.S. and Canada. It may be closer to some of the U. S.-Canadian variants, of which many have been collected.
I don't know where the "rare Nova Scotian variant was collected; Fowke does not mention it.
*Edith Fowke, 1976, Folklore of Canada, p. 71, musical score and lyrics with translation, pp. 72-73.

Raoul Roy, the folk singer who prepared the French Notes in the 1967 Collection, Canadian Folk Songs, expands upon Fowke's comment, perhaps excessively.