This selection features a La Chandeleur exit song. In the text, the people are thanked for having brought food for the party and for the poor – God will return the favour. The melody for En Vous R’Merciant is based on an Eastertide chant from the 13th century, words by Jean Tisserand (d. 1494).
This interview with Pat Aucoin was recorded in Chèticamp, August 1978. He was 83 years old at the time. Another version of this song, performed by Joe Delaney, is available. Both recordings were collected by Dr. Elizabeth Beaton in 1978.
Please refer to the commentary for the other Acadian Chandeleur song, L’Escaouette for which we also provide recorded two versions.
En Vous R’Merciant, 1978. Pat Aucoin. T-239. Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University.
Patrick (Pat) à Joseph à Dosite Aucoin was born February 18, 1894 and grew up in Saint-Joseph-du-Moine, Inverness County. On January 18, 1917, he married Marie-Belle (à Frédéric “Minou” Desveaux, better known as Minnie). They were married for sixty-eight years and had twelve children: Freddie, Élizabeth, Lucie Mae, Léo, Philias, Thérèse, Hermine, Célina, Stella, Catherine, Gérard and Thomas.
For many years, Pat Aucoin was the leader of La Chandeleur in Saint-Joseph-du-Moine. This Acadian celebration would take place on February 2nd in a particular house from each district. On the last day of January and the first day of February, the young men would gather with their sleds to haul food for La Chandeleur. They would go door-to-door to collect the food. Pat Aucoin, the leader, went in first holding the cane of La Chandeleur. Pat and the other men would sing and dance L’Escaouette.
Pat and Minnie thrived on family and friends. They were the nucleus of many get-togethers and reunions and were always proud of their Acadian ancestry.
LyricsEn Vous R’Merciant
En vous r’merciant,
Mes gens d’honneur,
Pour la Chand’leur.
Un jour viendra,
Dieu vous l’rendra,
Nous sommes les gens
De la Chandeleur;
Nous sommes venus
Pour d’là nourriture.
Si vous founissez,
Vous y viendrez;
Mais si vous fournissez pas,
Vous y viendrez pas.
Here’s Thanking You
Here’s thanking you,
My honoured people,
For having provided (i.e., given food)
For La Chandeleur.
A day will come
When God will return the favour.
We are people
Of The Chandeleur;
We have come
To ask you for food.
If you provide,
You will be welcome;
If you don’t provide,
You won’t be welcome.
- Cape Breton’s Magazine: Chandeleur, a Feast of the Candles
- Cape Breton’s Magazine: Leo Aucoin, Acadian Traditional Singer
- CBC: The Acadians
- La Centre de la Mi-Carême
- Canadian Encyclopedia: The Culture of Acadia
- NSARM: Acadians of Nova Scotia
- La Picasse Centre Communautaire Culturel
- La Société Saint-Pierre
- Le Trois Pignons Centre Culturel