Metamorphoses, Les (Metamorphoses)
DESCRIPTION: French. The male magician is trying to seduce the female. She will be game in a pond and he will hunt her.... She will die and go to heaven and he will be St Peter to open the door. She says, Since you are inevitable, you may as well have me as another.
EARLIEST DATE: 1946 (BerryVin)
KEYWORDS: foreignlanguage rape seduction shape-changing magic
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf,West) US(MW)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Peacock, pp. 788-789, "Je me mettrai gibier dans un etang" (1 text, 1 tune)
BerryVin, p. 42, "La Chanson des Metamorphoses (The Song of Transformation)" (1 text + translation, 1 tune); also p. 64, "J'ai fait une maitresse (I've Found a Maiden)" (1 text + translation, 1 tune)
Mme. Josephine Costard, "Je me mettrai gibier dans un etang" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
cf. "The Twa Magicians" [Child 44] (theme) and references there
cf. "Un Canadien Errant" (tune of "La Chanson des Metamorphoses" in BerryVin)
Si tu reviens Dimanche
NOTES [294 words]: Child, in his notes to The Twa Magicians [Child 44] gives an extensive description of this ballad [in] the French form. He cites 14 sources, often with names that translate along the lines of "Transformations," "The Mistress Won," and "The Pursuit of Love." Incidentally, he notes that the "French ballad generally begins with a young man's announcing that he has won a mistress, and he intends to pay her a visit on Sunday...."
In that connection, the Brandon [Manitoba] University site for the journal Ecclectica inludes two verses of the ballad, collected in Manitoba, under the title "Si tu reviens dimanche" (If you return Sunday), "The Songs of Their Fathers" by Lynn Whidden, Ecclectica, August 2003
Peacock's version is not as complete as Child's summary. The male verses end "par amitie" (by friendship) while the female verses end "Tout ce que t'auras de moi aucun agrement" (what you have of me is without my agreement). She will be game in a pond and he will hunt her. She will be a rose and he will be a fireman to warm her. She will be the moon and he will be a cloud to cover her. She will become sick and he will be a doctor to cure her. She will die and go to heaven and he will be St Peter to open the door.
Peacock ends here but, according to Child, "she says, Since you are inevitable, you may as well have me as another; or more complaisantly, Je me donnerai a toi, puisque tu m'aimes tant." - BS
BerryVin suggests the theme is found "in the folk-lore of France, Canada, and southwestern Louisiana." No documentation other than the songs in that book, though. The two songs listed there share several verses but have quite different tunes, though both are in 3/8; "La Chanson des Metamorphoses" uses the tune of "Un Canadien Errant". - PJS
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