The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame today announced the induction of J’ai la tête en jgigue written by Jim Corcoran and popularized by the Quebec folk duo Jim and Bertrand. The song’s induction is celebrated with poignant rendition by acclaimed singer-songwriter Ingrid St-Pierre as part of the Hall of Fame’s ongoing Covered Classics series.
Jim Corcoran wrote J’ai la tête en gigue in September of 1976 while driving through the Eastern Townships of Quebec. It was the beginning of colourful fall and the end of a love story gone wrong. The lyrics articulated themselves around the sentence “J’ai la tête en gigue et le cœur en septembre” (loosely translated, my head is in a whirl and my heart is in September). The melody came around the same time as the words; and then, as was often the case for Jim, he worked on the song for many months. The recording of J’ai la tête en gigue features outstanding vocal harmonies by his Jim and Bertrand bandmate, Bertrand Gosselin, and a string arrangement by Richard Grégoire, brilliantly played by three musicians from the Montréal Symphony Orchestra.
Anglophone by birth, Jim Corcoran became an aficionado of the French language, spending most of his musical career singing and writing in French. In 1972, he partnered with Bertrand Gosselin to form the popular folk duo Jim and Bertrand, who together, quickly became poster boys of Quebec’s New Folk Movement. In 1977, they gained popularity outside of Quebec and in francophone Europe with their third album “La tête en gigue”. The record won Best Folk Album at the Festival international de musique Montreux (Switzerland) in 1978, and was certified gold in 1982 by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (now Music Canada). In 2010, the song itself earned Corcoran a coveted SOCAN Classics Award for 25,000 radio plays.
“I could have never imagined that a song as simple as would become so important for my career” says Corcoran, nearly 40 years after the album’s release. “You never know what you can expect from a song and I’m rather proud of what has happened to it.”
In the video below watch ADISQ nominated and SOCAN member Ingrid St-Pierre pay tribute to Jim Corcoran with her unique rendition of J’ai la tête en gigue as part of the Hall of Fame’s Covered Classics series.
J’ai la tête en gigue
Written by Jim Corcoran
Performed by Ingrid St-Pierre
Ingrid St-Pierre is undoubtedly one of the most beloved singer-songwriters in Québec; her authenticity and exceptional writing leave no one indifferent. Following the success of her first two albums, Ingrid launched a third opus titled “Tokyo” in 2015, an album filled with melodic and poetic gems produced by the very talented Philippe Brault.