Pour un instant

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"Pour un instant"
Single by Harmonium
from the album Harmonium
B-side "100,000 raisons"
Released April 1974
Format 7"
Genre Folk rock
Length 3:21
Label PolyGram
Writer(s) Serge Fiori
Michel Normandeau
Producer(s) Bob Morten
Harmonium singles chronology
"Pour un instant" / "100,000 raisons"
"En pleine face" / "Dixie"

"Pour un instant" (meaning "For a Second" or "For a Moment") is a song by the Quebec folk rock band Harmonium from their 1974 self-titled debut album. Written by band members Serge Fiori and Michel Normandeau, it was released on vinyl as a single in April of that year, along with the B-side "100,000 raisons" (meaning "100,000 Reasons").

Popularity and legacy[edit]

The song was extremely popular within Quebec and its success on the radio during the summer of 1974 helped drive sales of the album.[1][2] According to radio host Raymond Desmarteau, it was often among the first songs learned by new guitarists during the 1970s in Quebec.[3]

The song, like many by Harmonium, has a separatist political message, particularly the following lines: Des inconnus vivent en roi chez moi (Strangers live like kings in my home); Moi qui avait accepté leurs lois (I who had accepted their laws). The flipside, "100,000 raisons" (100,000 reasons), is even more explicitly separatist.

In January 2009, the song was included in a playlist of 49 Canadian songs selected by over 130,000 CBC Radio 2 listeners to help define Canada to the recently elected United States president Barack Obama.[4][5] In 2010, the song was also ranked at number 3 on a list of the top 100 French-Canadian singles and at number 67 on a list of the best Canadian singles in journalist Bob Mersereau's book The Top 100 Canadian Singles, as chosen by a country-wide poll of musicians, fans, and music industry professionals.[6][7]

Cover versions[edit]

A live cover version of "Pour un instant" was included on Lawrence Gowan's 1997 live album, Gowan au Québec (Gowan in Quebec).[8] In 2006, the song was also covered by singer Catherine Durand for the album Fiori, un musicien parmi tant d'autres ("Fiori: A Musician Among So Many"), a commemorative album of songs written by Fiori and interpreted by various Quebec musicians.[9]


  1. ^ "Harmonium". Big Bang : Magazine de musiques progressives (in French). Retrieved December 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Artist Profile: Harmonium". NewspaperTaxi.net. 2003. Archived from the original on May 5, 2005. Retrieved December 14, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Raymond's Music Pick: April 8, 2011". The Link. April 8, 2011. Radio Canada International. Retrieved December 14, 2011. “Back in the early 70s, when every kid in Quebec was learning to play the guitar, [they were] learning two songs, two things, either first and foremost ‘Forbidden Games’, ‘Les jeux interdits’, and that song, ‘Pour un instant’. 
  4. ^ Robbins, Li (January 20, 2009). "Obama's Playlist Revealed!". CBC.ca: Radio 2 Blog. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Obama playlist strikes chord for Canada". CBC News. January 20, 2009. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  6. ^ Mersereau, Bob (2010). The Top 100 Canadian Singles. Goose Lane Editions. ISBN 978-0-86492-537-4. 
  7. ^ "The Top 100 Canadian Singles". National Post. October 4, 2010. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Gowan au Quebec – Biography". www.gowan.org. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  9. ^ Blain, Francois (May 17, 2006). "Hommage à Fiori: Un musicien parmi tant d'autres". Radio-Canada.ca (in French). Retrieved December 14, 2011.