Three vendors of the street paper L’Itinéraire, sold in Montréal, Québec, spoke about songs that mean something to them.
Sylvain Pépin on John Lennon’s festive classic ‘Happy Christmas (War is Over)’: “ That’s the song I’ve been listening to every Christmas for many years now. I like the lyrics and the mood of the song. It really touches me. We listen to it at family reunions during the holidays and it makes us reflect on those family members who are no longer with us. It’s a song that brings us all together. It helps us forget the less happy times over the course of the year. Even if there are covers of this by other singers, I think the original version is the best.” Listen: Spotify / YouTube
Manon Fortier on Rosemary Clooney’s ‘Suzy Snowflake’: “I love to laugh, and I have a good sense of humour. This song represents my personality well. My mother listened to Rosemary Clooney a lot. My mom knew and frequented a lot of artists. If she were still alive today, I know that she would have initiated me to music when I was younger by giving me access to music lessons. I’ve always loved music and I would love to become a singer. I even had the chance to sing on stage and I particularly appreciate country and western music.” Listen: Spotify / YouTube
Christine Viens on composer Johann Pachelbel ‘Canon in D’: “I would offer this song as a gift at this time of year. When I was in my high school band, we performed this piece at a Christmas concert under the wonderful direction of our music teacher and conductor, Mr. Peter Wright. To Peter, Happy holidays and a Happy New Year to you. Thank you for everything you did for all of us, as well as for me, back then and always still. With this memory in my heart and in the spirit of the holiday season, I offer this song to all of my colleagues, friends and my family. Happy holidays to one and all. I hope that 2019 brings you health, happiness, good fortune, luck, love, peace and joy.” Listen: Spotify / YouTube
Another L’Itinéraire vendor, Siou, is offering up his own work as a gift this Christmas. The track, entitled ‘Les passants’, or ‘The passers by’, has lyrics written by Siou, which were then put to music by Montréal artist Paul Cargnello and interpreted by professional singer Karine Pion. The song is on an album compiling a dozen songs by Siou and Cargnello called Intense Cité. “When I take the time to create a gift that I will offer someone, it has a lot more importance and a greater value,” says Siou. “That’s why I offer to you this simple song that says a lot. When I finished writing the lyrics, I felt a great deal of pride. This song is part of a long process of personal growth. It started with my introspection as a vendor for L’Itinéraire which went on to enable me to touch a universal chord. In the song, you will find a critique of society. It’s my way of describing how I see and feel about marginalization in relation to society.” Listen: Spotify
Check out the full playlist here.
Editing by Tony Inglis