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Gens du pays

From Academic Kids

"Gens du pays" is the unofficial anthem of the Canadian province of Quebec. Written by poet, songwriter, and avowed Québec nationalist Gilles Vigneault (with music co-written by Gaston Rochon), it was first performed by Vigneault on June 24, 1975 during a concert on Montreal's Mount Royal at that year's Fête Nationale du Québec ceremony. It has been played frequently at Fête nationale ceremonies since then. The chorus is by far the most famous part of the song, which, translated, states "people of the country, it is your turn to let you speak of love."

Template:Wikisource The song is also associated with the Quebec sovereignty movement, and the sovereigntist Parti Québécois, which uses it as a sort of anthem. A famous instance of this took place at René Lévesque's concession speech after the citizens of the province of Quebec rejected independence in the 1980 Quebec referendum. At the end of Lévesque's speech, the crowd assembled to watch him speak stood up at the end of the speech and sung "Gens du pays," which Lévesque called "the most beautiful Québécoise song in the minds of all Quebecers."

Other usage

In Quebec, a modified version of the chorus is often sung to celebrate a person, for example on a birthday:

Mon cher ami (or Ma chère amie), c'est à ton tour
De te laisser parler d'amour.

("My dear friend, it's your turn/To let yourself talk of love.")

Alternatively, "ami(e)" is replaced with the name of the person being celebrated.

For instance, at René Lévesque's funeral, mourners outside the church broke out singing "Mon cher René, c'est à ton tour, de te laisser parler d'amour."fr:Gens du pays

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