La complainte du phoque en Alaska

La Complaint du Phoque en Alaska was written by Michel Rivard (born September 27, 1951), a singer-songwriter and musician from Quebec.


La complainte du phoque en Alaska (WORD)
La complainte du phoque en Alaska (PDF)

Mark and I saw Michel Rivard perform this song at La fête de la musique de Tremblant - it was wonderful. Everyone was singing! It's got a lot of chords BUT most of them are easy. I've approximated a short instrumental that I think captures a bit of the weird "carnival" sound, and it's a GREAT way to practice your barre chords! I figured out the chords on my baritone uke with my capo on the 1st fret. To play in GCEA tuning, you'd have to put your capo on the 8th fret. I may add to the instrumental in time so we can have a melodica play like in the video!

Michel Rivard was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Michel began his career at an early age appearing in a Canadian television series (Rue des Pignons) and in TV commercials. Rivard's career as a writer and composer began in earnest when he became a member of the theatrical group Quenouille Bleue, established in 1970. Later, he became a member of Théâtre Sainfoin, when it was founded in 1973. Four years later, in 1974, Rivard and other members of Théâtre Sainfoin, formed the group Beau Dommage (an old Québécois expression meaning "certainly" or "damn right"). Rivard wrote and composed for Beau Dommage. Beau Dommage became a very popular group, and as a result of his songwriting ability Rivard's popularity increased as well. Perhaps his most popular song from this era is "La complainte du phoque en Alaska". Although Beau Dommage disbanded in 1978, there were reunion concerts in 1984 and 1994, both of which Rivard participated in. Rivard's concert career continues today and he also continues to perform in theatre. In 2002 his album Simple (a live concert album) came out, and in 2004 Bonsoir…mon nom est toujours Michel Rivard et voici mon album quadruple came out. On August 5, 2007 Rivard performed the last show at the Montreal Spectrum. He had been the only act to perform over one hundred concerts at the venue.

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