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Music Cape Breton's Diversity in Unity

Acadian Joséphine

Joséphine’s lover takes leave for a long sailing voyage and she doubts his fidelity. He swears it, but in a final verse (missing in this version) he begs off to carouse with his buddies.

The singer and fiddler is Joseph Larade.

Joséphine. Joseph A. Larade. T-1355. Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University.

Joseph Larade

Joseph A. Larade of Chéticamp made immeasurable contributions to the music and culture of Cape Breton during his life. He is considered to have been among the best fiddlers of his time.

Joseph Larade adopted a unique way of entertaining, playing the fiddle and singing old French songs at the same time. He was always generous with his talent, making his fiddle available for dances, weddings and whatever functions called for a soundtrack from his instrument.

He was influenced from an early age by the songs and music that surrounded him throughout his childhood; his love and passion for music started with the house parties in the community.

Father Anselme Chiasson, one of the foremost folklorists in Canada, recorded Joseph A. Larade’s music onto cassette in the early 1960s.


1. Je suis venu, ma charmante Joséphine;
Je suis venu pour te faire mes adieux.
Je vais partir pour un voyage;
C’est à savoir quand j’en reviendrai.

2. Quand tu seras éloigné sur la mer,
A Joséphine tu ne penseras plus,
Enverras-tu de tes nouvelles
A Joséphine que t’as longtemps aimé?

3. Il faudra que le papier soit bien rare,
L’encre et la plume, il faudra qu’y-en ait plus,
Pour pas qu’envoie de mes nouvelles
A Joséphine que j’ai longtemps aimé.

4. J’ai parcouru les vallons et les plaines,
J’ai entendu le rossignol chanter,
O’ il disait dans son language:
«Qu’les amoureux sont souvent malheureux.»