The devil. In a bar. In Quebec. With Jesus. Scandal.

It is nearly Bastille Day (France’s independence day)! So I’m honoring the French… kind of.

In my french class a couple years ago, this guy from Québec came in and talked to us about the differences between French Canada and France. Mostly, that means he philosophized about hockey for an hour. He also played us this song, by the group Mes Aieux (My Ancestors).

From what I remember, and from what I understood of his explanation of the song, the lyrics are extremely morally questionable. You see, Québecoise are, for the most part, very religious (Catholic). But when they swear, they use words that also are religious terms. For instance, one of their curse words actually translates to something like, “damned altar!”

This song, “le yâbe est dans la cabane,” is about a face-off between Jesus and the Devil in a bar. It’s très comédique, especially because it uses metaphors and symbolism in words that may correspond to either the religious term, or the swear word. That makes it both very morally questionable, and very difficult to translate. I haven’t found a good translation since the one our gust speaker brought, which I don’t seem to have anymore.

If I remember correctly, it was banned from a few radio stations (or maybe all of them). Cool, huh?

“Yâbe” is the Québecois word for “diable,” which is the French word for “devil.”
“Cabane” means some sort of hut in French, which means some sort of bar in Québecois.

The Devil is in the Bar.

The devil. In a bar. In Quebec. With Jesus. Scandal.

One thought on “The devil. In a bar. In Quebec. With Jesus. Scandal.

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