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

The Folklorist (3)

We invited Loreine Wyman to come with her accompanist too. This was the most popular: Les veillées du bon vieux temps (Evenings of Good Old Times).

By that time we had probably 2,000 songs which was considerable but not enough for my satisfaction. I was an inveterate collector and I was always grabbing. That was the case there. When I started in one direction collecting I would not leave it alone until it was complete. Practically every year, I was away four or five months collecting either East or West.

There are plenty of folk songs everywhere. We have only to turn, to go to a village, a concession somewhere and enquire, and we find that there are more folk songs, more folktale tellers all the time. It is surprising how they have been preserved in the memory of the old people. The younger generation now are interested in radio, television and such entertainments, and they give up. We think they have, but you only have to gather these people together and start them in a veillée du bon vieux temps and they give you a good evening of old folksongs. In my own collection, there are about 6,000 melodies or tunes, and about 13,000 texts now.

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