v’la l’bon vent ou trois beaux canards (satb)
The singer of the song relates how the king’s son, who is hunting in the countryside, aims badly and kills the singer’s precious white duck. The song fantasizes about the duck’s demise. It comes travellers.
The story of the trois beaux canards is a well-known tale in French-speaking areas of Canada, where close to a hundred variants of the song are known. It was often performed as a ‘canoe’ song, sung to keep the paddles moving in time as well as to pass the time of day with music. The song is generally accepted to have come from France, the earliest example of which is a 15th century jongleur song.
Though all variants have similar poetry, some have added refrains that deal with local events. The popular Québecois En roulant ma boule (On, my ball, my ball I roll on) is such a piece, and like many of the V’la L’Bon Vent variants, has a very different refrain and melody.