Earlier in the summer, I found myself leaving my preoccupation with war and strife, angst, anxiety and general mayhem, and instead work on this piece, called "Voyageur". Because GPO4 came out while I was working on this, I switched all the players over to Aria, midstream.
I used melodic elements from the French Canadian traditional song, "Alouette", and when I had nearly finished it, I decided to Google "Alouette" to see what the background was. To my amazement, the song had a direct relationship with the Voyageurs, a hardy breed of early French Canadian settler who excelled at paddling a canoe and engaging in fur trading with the native Canadian First Nation's People. The fur trade was the third stage of the Conquest. Step one was the physical, step two the spiritual, and step three was economic conquest using the first valuable export and currency of exchange from French Canada, furs.
From Wikipedia on"Alouette";
"French colonists ate skylarks, which they considered a game bird. The song was first published in A Pocket Song Book for the Use of Students and Graduates of McGill College (Montreal, 1879). However, Canadian folklorist Marius Barbeau was of the opinion that the song's ultimate origin was France.
The songs of the French fur trade were adapted to accompany the motion of paddles dipped in unison. Singing helped to pass the time and made the work seem lighter. In fact, it is likely that the Montreal Agents and Wintering Partners sought out and preferred to hire Voyageurs who liked to sing and were good at it. They believed that singing helped the Voyageurs to paddle faster and longer. "Alouette" informs the lark that the singer will pluck its head, nose, eyes and wings and tail. En roulant ma boule sings of ponds, bonnie ducks and a prince on hunting bound. Many of the songs favored by the Voyageurs have been passed down to our own era.
Now the song is used to teach French children their body parts."
Now, isn't that better than hot lead and cold steel!!