Chanson de la Grenouillere ("Song of Frog Plain," Falcon's Song)
DESCRIPTION: French: "Voulez-vous ecouter chanter Une chanson de verite?" Describes the Metis defense of their land against the English. Singer Pierre Falcon tells how the Metis defeated and pursued the English invaders
AUTHOR: Pierre Falcon
EARLIEST DATE: 1939
KEYWORDS: Canada battle foreignlanguage
June 19, 1816 - Battle of Seven Oaks. Some 70 Metis horsemen under Cuthbert Grant encounter 28 Hudson's Bay Company men under Governor Semple on Frog Plain. Only six of Semple's men survive
FOUND IN: Canada
REFERENCES (2 citations):
MacLeod, #1, pp. 1-9, "La Bataille des Sept Chenes" (1 Frennch text plus English translation "The Battle of Seven Oaks," 1 tune)
Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 121-123, "Falcon's Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "Riel's Song" and references there (subject)
NOTES: The Métis (French-Indian half-breeds; they called themselves Bois-Brules) had a difficult time in Canada, as neither English nor Indians, nor even the Voyageurs, had much use for them.
The Métis for a time gave as good as they got. When, in 1811, Lord Selkirk tried to establish a colony (mostly Scots who had lost their homes to sheep farms) on the Red River, the Métis constantly harassed the colony, and burned it more than once.
The Battle of Seven Oaks marked the climax of their efforts. Pierre Falcon (born 1793) was reported to be one of the Métis involved in the attack, and to have composed the song that very night. Whatever its origins, it became a Métis anthem, and was sung during Louis Riel's 1870 uprising (for which cf. "Riel's Song"). - RBW
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