24 June 2010


Une deuxième chanson pour la fête de la St-Jean. Composed by George-Étienne Cartier, "Avant tout je suis canadien" follows his better-known "Ô Canada! mon pays! mes amours!". It was first sung 175 years ago today at a banquet of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, and was later adopted by les Fils de la Liberté. A president of the former and a member of the latter, Cartier seems a problematic figure for the Société and its allies. I've twice seen "Avant tout je suis canadien" attributed incorrectly to "les Patriotes". Manfred Overmann makes this mistake, and includes this song by a leading Father of Confederation in his Anthologie de la poésie indépendantiste et souverainiste.

This version is taken from the third volume of Benjamin Sulte's Mélanges historiques (Montreal: Ducharme, 1919).

Related post: A Song for la Fête de la St-Jean

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