Gens du Pays


The unofficial Quebec anthem, composed by poet and singer Gilles Vigneault, and first performed at the St Jean Baptiste celebrations in Montreal in 1975,1 with lyrics which clearly demarcated Quebec as a nation. With the separatist PQ’s victory in the following year’s provincial election, the song became firmly ingrained in the Quebec zeitgeist.

Its most tearful rendition was spontaneously sung by thousands of disappointed Separatists2 on the night they were defeated during the 1980 Quebec Referendum “a la prochaine”.

So ubiquitous is the song that it is also regularly sung at Quebec birthday parties, as a sort of home-grown version of “Happy Birthday to You”.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons


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