Derrière l’quarant’tros : song-marche in the patois of Lille
Many popular celebrations mark the life of the inhabitants of the Flanders and each one of them is an opportunity to get together and sing, as tradition would have it.
It is children that one might occasionally hear singing in patois on Saint Catherine or Saint Nicholas’ day. The schools and even the streets resound with songs celebrating the saints and thanking them for their gifts for the children.
These popular songs, with an oral tradition, exist in different variations according to the town and the background. On one hand, miners adapt the same tune and similar lyrics for both saints, as well as for other ones. On the other hand, from one town to another, the same two songs can be different.
Popular traditions in the North of France : from All Saints’ Day celebrations to Candlemas. 9B5-22
In 1825, upon the coronation of Charles X, the municipality reinstates the celebration and Lille’s procession. Inaugurated in 1269 by Margaret II, Countess of Flanders, these festivities were not taking place anymore as a result of the political turmoil of the French Revolution. This new edition represented the perfect occasion for rekindling all the pomp and ceremony and for composing new songs.
Souvenirs from Lille: account of the festivals which were celebrated in Lille on June 12, 13, 14 and 15, 1825, on the occasion of the Coronation of H.M. King Charles X and the re-establishment of the festival and the procession of Lille. HR12 0296
Opening ceremonies and important projects serve once again as an occasion for organizing festivities and musical entertainment by inviting “Musique Municipale” or other orpheonist or choral societies.