Galant, tu perds ton temps: Nous irons danser

August 21, 2017

Time Well Spent

Listening Post 112. Charmingly deceptive, Galant, tu perds ton temps literally means, “Young man, you’re wasting your time,” but in practice the name of the five-woman ensemble of traditional Québec music seems as much a term of endearment as a brushoff. Their playful songs are filled with courting, flirting, unfaithful suitors and ill-fitting marriages arranged by clueless fathers. On Nous irons danser (We Will Dance), the women—Evelyne Gélinas, Isabelle Payette, Jacinthe Dubé, Josianne Hébert and Mia Lacroix, accompanied by versatile percussionist Jean-François Berthiaume—stick with the trademark unison-to-harmony, a cappella folk style of their three previous albums, this time performing more contemporary works (teaser video 1). Je m’en vais rouler (So it Goes) is a roundelay about a young woman with a brutish husband: “If he hits me again I’ll run away,” she tells her father, “Into the woods I’ll go and play” (video 2). In L’oranger (The Orange Tree), father tells daughter she can pick the oranges “when your true love arrives,” but things don’t go according to plan (video 3). “Tique, tique, taque” is the sound of windmill sails turning in the breeze, and also the refrain of J’entends le moulin (I Hear the Windmill), the rare song in the collection ending on a (sort of) positive romantic note: The miller’s daughter offers one of her father’s carpenters a snack, but “Sitting they caused the earth to quake/They caused the sea and the fish to shake” (video 4). Other tales include Le p’tit mari (My Little Husband), who gets lost in his wife’s bed; and La poison, about a remedy for all marital woes. Funny and naughty, naïve and astute, traditional and feminist, the women of Galant may have characters who flounder or dissemble, but their stories always enchant. (Disques La Tribu)








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