Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Great Quebecois Rock Group, Vilain Pingouin (Use this link if you have trouble with the above video

When visiting my daughter's school in Quebec province two years ago, I was consumed with curiosity about Quebec's popular music scene. I found people in music stores where I shopped to be most helpful, and came back with about a hundred songs and lots of group names.
When I was in Europe back in the seventies, I heard a lot of people express the opinion that American English was not "real" English and that the sixty million inhabitants of the U.K. speak an authoritative English. After watching an British movie with subtitled English, I learned to take this snobbery in stride.
The Quebecois have to endure a similar snobbery from French speakers residing in France. Despite the fact that there are dialects and languages spoken in France that differ markedly from standard French, the Quebecois dialect suffers a lack of respect.
The start of British rule in Quebec in1760 isolated the French of North America from speakers of European French. While some divergences are due to contacts with Indians and the British, in other cases older forms of spoken French have been preserved in Quebec usage.
English owes its current form to over two hundred years of French rule in England. English has common features with both Romance and Germanic languages. Its etymology has been determined to be more international than that of Esperanto.
Much as a devotee of Windows or Linux will sing the praises of their chosen operating system, I feel a sense of gratitude to the English language for facilitating a full range of thought and expression. Such gratitude extends to Latin, Germanic and French which have each made their contributions to a language which has spanned the globe and left its mark on world history.
It is in that spirit that I focus this posting on Vilain Pingouin, a group with which I became acquainted through You Tube. The group, though distinctly Gallic reminds me at times of Bruce Springsteen. Those of you who like me do not speak French are asked to focus on the beauty of the human voice as a musical instrument. I would welcome feedback from my readers about this and other music on the world scene with which they might be familiar. Sphere: Related Content

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