Chansonnier (singer)

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A chansonnier (female: chansonnière)[1] was a poet songwriter, solitary singer, who sang his or her own songs (chansons) with a guitar, prominent in francophone countries during the 1960s and 1970s. Compared to the popular singer, the chansonnier needs no artifice to sing his/her soul poetry. They performed in «Les Boites à Chansons».[2][3][4] which were flourishing in those years. The themes of their songs varied but included nature, love, simplicity, and a social interest to improve their world.


In Canada, the chansonnier tradition played a prominent role in the development of Quebec's social and political awareness during the Quiet Revolution,[5] (La Révolution Tranquille) that led to the affirmation of Quebecers' National identity.[6] One prominent chansonnier, Robert Charlebois, transformed the province's musical culture when he shifted from traditional chansonnier pop to a more rock-oriented sound with his fourth album Lindberg in 1968.[7]

French-Canadian chansonniers[edit]

(listed alphabetically by surname)


  • The reference used here is an exhaustive work on women songwriters in Quebec, which cover the period of 1960 to 1976. The female names that are listed above are those found in the chapter 9 'Les chansonnières', page 95 to 119, which correspond to the period of the cultural phenomenon). «La chanson écrite au féminin». An extensive research in musicology written by Cécile Tremblay-Matte.«La chanson écrite au féminin de Madeleine de Verchères à Mitsou 1730-1990», Éditions Trois, 2033 avenue Jessop, Laval, Québec. Diffusion pour le Canada, DMR, 3700 A boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal, Québec, et pour l'Europe, Les Diffusions du Solstice, 363 B Chaussée de Waterloo, Bruxelles, Belgique. Données de catalogage avant publication (Canada) ISBN 2-920887-16-5 .«La chanson écrite au féminin», Collection Trois Guinées dirigée par Anne-Marie Alonso. Dépot légal- BNQ, BNC troisième trimestre 1990, contient 391 pages.


  1. ^ "Chansonnier definition as intended in Quebec",Chansonniers in The Canadian Encyclopedia
  2. ^ "Paragraph 6, "After 1960 the boites à chansons increased in number concurrently with Quebec's Quiet Revolution, a powerful movement of economic and cultural emancipation (...)",Chanson in Quebec in The Canadian Encyclopedia
  3. ^ "Thanks to Félix Leclerc', the new Québec song (chanson) would become the natural path for the collective identity of all Quebeckers and the first Ambassador of this Society in complete mutation...",Chanson in Quebec in The Canadian Encyclopedia
  4. ^ "Boites à chansons",Boîtes à chansons in The Canadian Encyclopedia
  5. ^ "Paragraph 8, "Chanson in Quebec in The Canadian Encyclopedia
  6. ^ "The chansonniers were making way for social and political awareness, the affirmation of Québec's growing national identity",
  7. ^ Bob Mersereau, The History of Canadian Rock 'n' Roll. Backbeat Books, 2015. ISBN 9781495028908.