Acadian Tradition: L'Étoile Du Nord

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Running Time: 01:36

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About This Song

A young woman is worried that her lover, going off to sea, will be stolen from her by more glamorous women. He entreats her to be faithful, as he will return to make her happy.

L'Étoile Du Nord, 1996. Lucy Doucet. T-3257. Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University.

About The Artist

Lucy Jane Doucet was born on March 1, 1909 in Belle Côte, Inverness County. She was the fourth of nine children born to Marcellin and Flavie Chiasson. Lucy attended school in Belle Côte until grade four. Her parents then suggested that she leave her studies to work at the lobster canning factory in Margaree Harbour. She worked as a manual labourer at the factory each spring for three years.

She later moved to Halifax, where she found work as a cook, parlour maid, butler, valet and kitchen maid in various family homes and at the Queens Hotel. On November 25, 1935, she married her husband Henry. Six years later, Lucy and Henry left Halifax for Belle Côte with their two children, Florence and Daniel, where they would spend the rest of their lives together.

Lucy had a lifelong passion for music. While attending the Belle Côte school, she learned many traditional French, English and Irish songs from a teacher. In her later years, Lucy remembered many of these songs and willingly shared them with individuals interested in preserving this part of Cape Breton's music history. She passed away at the age of 96 on March 15, 2005.

These rare audio recordings of Lucy Doucet found on this website will help future generations understand and appreciate the rich history of Acadian music.

Lyrics

1. Parti sur un voyage,
Suivant l'étoile du nord
J'aurai mon équipage
Pour quand j'arrive au port
S'il faut riser les voiles.
Grand Dieu, quel triste sort!
Vous prierez Dieu, la belle,
Pour que j'arrive au port.

2. Quand tu seras dans ces îles,
Dans ces îles éloignées,
Il y aura des Italiennes
Qui sauront te charmer.
Et moi, la malheureuse,
Je serai bien délaissée,
Car l'amour est trompeuse
Quand on est éloigné!

3. Amie, ma douce amie,
Souviens toi ce que je t'ai promis
Avant de partir
Je vais te le redire
Sois moi fidèle et sage,
Conserve moi ton coeur.
Au retour du voyage,
Je ferai ton bonheur.

Translation:

The North Star

1. Setting out on trip and following the North Star,
I know my crew when I reach my port
We must hoist the flags. Good God, what a sad lot!
You will pray, my dear, that I will reach a good port.

2. When you are on these islands, on these far off islands,
You will be meeting Italian girls who will know how to charm you.
And I, the unhappy one, will be heart broken.
Oh, how deceiving love is when far from each other!

3. My friend, my gentle friend, oh let me speak.
For, before leaving, oh let me tell you this:
Be faithful and true to me, guard your heart to remain mine.
When I return from my trip, I shall be your joy.