Monday, 31 March 2014

Gilles Legault (from Connivence) and his "Chansons Secretes"

An utterly unknown album that doesn't deserve perdition, especially considering Gilles was one of the principal songwriters for the famed Quebec group Connivence that put out three superb progressive folk rock albums from 1977 to 1984.  (And despite the late date, that last album does have some quite beautiful songs and is worth seeking out.)

This album features not only some stunning songwriting from Gilles' hand but also some really wonderful poetry, some of which is from him and some from other writers.  It puzzled me for many years that his output is limited to perhaps two dozen songs spread out over the 7 Connivence years and this album which was released in 1981 to apparently little notice.  To this day it is quite difficult to find as an LP for purchase, as you could see with a google search.  One would have imagined such a great artist had been more productive, perhaps he has many unreleased songs that would be worth hearing now.

I will suggest to you the incredibly otherworldly "Le passé de la vie" (both lyrics and music from Legault) and provide a quick translation:

"The past, of life,
wishes to come out again from far,
that can no longer sleep in sadness
now you want to know your fate
yes, that is good
yes, that is good

my photo of the sun
will remind you of the end
of the future and of uncertainty,
you will disguise yourself as a magician
not for nothing
not for nothing..."

Really gorgeous, as a result of the things unsaid, what is intimated between the lines as ideas or a setting, you can interpret it in many different ways.  

This is a true gem for the folk fan, for me made all the more special for the immense beauty of the poetry.  And as with the Connivence songs, a kind of nostalgic melancholy pervades his songwriting.

The other notable poem is the song about the Snail, which was written by one Jany Lavoie.  The snail writes on the ground in one line without artifice, the woman writes in a diary with penmanship and a great deal of flourish, but she also writes on the sidewalk of the city, and you must follow her feet to know what she is saying.  Then in the last stanza, this mysterious ending:

"So, angry she cannot write
with the whole pen of her body
she blackens the white flesh
of the cut tree, the fallen tree
under her hand"

As usual, what is invisible to the eyes is what is most beautiful-- as le petit prince once said.


  1. I keep getting errors when I try to download. Any chance you could reup please? Thanks!

  2. New upload to sendspace-- what's up with netkups?

  3. Hey, thanks a lot man!, I've been searching for this album quite a lot. I really love quebecois folk, its unique. I also ask, do you have anything from Connivence or from Les Karrik?

    Thanks in advence!

  4. Yes, I have all those albums I think

  5. Oh, great, if you could upload them and give me the links you will be my hero!