'D'où viens-tu bergère?'
'D'où viens-tu bergère?' Christmas carol in the form of a dialogue between a shepherdess who describes the scene of the Nativity (verse) and a throng which plies her with questions (chorus). Known in several European countries, it was brought to Canada in the 17th century and became a perennial favourite. William McLennan published an English version in Songs of Old Canada (Montreal 1886). François Brassard, in Les Archives du folklore, vol 3 (Montreal 1948), quotes four versions, all differing from the familiar one included by Ernest Gagnon in his Chansons populaires du Canada (Quebec City 1865). According to Gagnon the song was not sung in the church of his day.
Among the first recordings were those on Victor 78s by Éviola Gauthier and by Charles Marchand and his Bytown Troubadours. Many others have recorded it on LP, including Hélène Baillargeon with Alan Mills, the Montreal Bach Choir, the Festival Singers (Hallmark CHS-4), Jacques Labrecque, Monique Miville-Deschênes (Gamma GS-135), the Petits Chanteurs de Granby, and the Alouette Vocal Quartet. Émilien Allard recorded it on the carillon of Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal. Hector Gratton arranged it for voice and strings, and Le Passe-Temps (December 1945) published another arrangement (for voice and piano) by Alfred La Liberté. Sir Ernest MacMillan made an arrangement for piano duet.