Marius Barbeau A glimpse of Canadian Culture (1883-1969)
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Barbeau's Story

The Folklorist (2)

In Montréal I heard of Edouard-Z. Massicotte, the archivist, as a man interested in folksongs. He had collected songs, and had got discouraged and abandoned this work. I went to his place, and that was the beginning of a long collaboration of about ten years in which he collected two or three thousand songs himself which he would communicate one by one to me.

He was an old man and I wanted to know from him: "From whom do you get your songs?" He said: "Well there is here a night watchman, Vincent Ferrier de Repentigny, who is a fine singer and there is another one named Philéas Bédard, a farmer of the neighbourhood of Montréal, on the Richelieu River and there is Rousselle, a lumberjack, from Kamouraska County. They are all fine singers." I said: "Let us go and listen to them." We began to collect the songs.

They were fine singers who became important in our repertory and in our propaganda later in folk concerts. We realized then that these songs and the singers were not known and we gave an evening, in March 1919, I think it was; a program of folksongs.

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