Sheet music

CANADA QUÉBEC : Québec Provincial Song - NOT AVAILABLE
Provincial Song of Québec - NOT AVAILABLE

  • Author: Gilles Vigneault (b.1928)
  • Composer: Gilles Vigneault (b.1928), Gaston Rochon (1932-1999)
  • Adopted: 1975
  • National Day: July 01 1867 - Confederation Day
  • Further details: 'Gens du pays' is the unofficial national anthem of Québec. Written by poet, songwriter and avowed Québec nationalist GILLES VIGNEAULT (b.1928) (with music co-written by GASTON ROCHON (1932-1999)), it was first performed by Vigneault on June 24 1975 during a concert on Montreal's Mount Royal at that year's Fete nationale du Québec ceremony. It has been played frequently at Fete nationale ceremonies since then. The chorus, in triple time, is by far the most famous part of the song, which translated, says, "countrymen, it's your turn to let yourselves speak of love."

    The song is also associated with the Québec sovereignty movement and the sovereigntist Parti Québécois, which use it as a sort of anthem. A famous instance of this took place at René Lévesque's concession speech after the citizens of the province rejected independence in the 1980 Québec Referendum. At the end of Lévesque's speech, the crowd assembled to hear him speak stood up at the end of the speech and sang "Gens du pays", which Lévesque called "the most beautiful Québécois song in the minds of all Québecers."