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 Joe Delaney was recorded in St. Joseph Du Moine in August, 1978. Another version of this song, performed by Pat Aucoin, is also available. Both recordings were collected by Dr. Elizabeth Beaton.
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. Joe Delaney. T-239. Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University.
Joe Delaney was born July 12, 1916, the son of Paulite à Siméon Delaney of Cap Le Moine. He spent part of his childhood years in Massachusetts. When Joe was 15, his family returned to Saint-Joseph-du-Moine. In 1940, Joe married Bella (à Pat à Elie) Gaudet.
In 1958, Joe was named the janitor at the Saint-Joseph-du-Moine School. He occupied that job for 27 years. During his life, Joe Delaney was involved in many local and regional organizations. He was always active on many committees. His name is closely associated with sports development in northern Inverness County. Joe made many special contributions to his community during his lifetime.
Upon his retirement in 1984, Joe planted a small garden on his land next to the main road. Being a huge fan of the Mi-Carême, Joe put up two scarecrows dressed in funny costumes and masks. The very next morning there were a few cars stopped on the roadside, where occupants were admiring the wooden life-like scarecrows. Visitors suggested to Joe to forget about his garden and to build more Mi-Carêmes. Joe and his son Chester began making more Mi-Carêmes and eventually had a field full of these characters, now well-known to all as Joe’s Scarecrows.
Joe Delaney passed away in February 1996. He is remembered for his sense of humour and his generosity to his community.
En 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: Joe Delaney and His Scarecrows
- 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