Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My View #97 - Coureurs de Bois (Runners of the Woods)

"Coureurs de bois" were "unlicensed, French or Indian fur trappers roving early frontiers of Canada" (from dictionary.) This is a song they sang as they rowed the rivers in Ontario and Quebec in the 1800s. (They were around much earlier, in the 17th and early 18th Centuries.) So interesting...

Row brothers row, the stream runs fast,
The rapids are near and the daylight's past.
Why should we yet, our sails unfurl,
There is not a breath, the blue wave to curl.
So row, brothers, row, the stream runs fast,
The rapids are near and the daylight's past,
So row brothers row, row, row.

We learned this song at school. More here about the contribution of the coureurs des bois to Canadian literature, art, and music.

Coureur des bois in winter
Mom
Oct 29, 2007

Every Canadian school child learns about the coureurs des bois, whose risky, adventurous lifestyle sounds romantic to us in the 21st Century. Read more about them here. They are not the same as the voyageurs of  a later time, but both groups opened up the Canadian wilderness to Europeans.