Era Inducted To: Modern Era
Lyricist(s):Robert Charlebois & Pierre Nadeau
In 1969, Claudine Monfette, a.k.a. Mouffe, wrote this song for Robert Charlebois, her romantic partner at the time. And who better to write a song about Charlebois than the woman who knew him best? In just a few words, Mouffe was able to perfectly describe the essence of Charlebois’ spirit and the pressure that was afflicting the artist, this only 2 years after his spectacular flight to stardom in the Francophone artistic community. The song, with music composed by Pierre Nadeau of the Quatuor de Jazz Libre du Québec, won first prize at the Sopot Festival, in Poland in 1970.
When Pierre Nadeau’s nickname Gros Pierre became legendary after Mouffe named him as such in the song’s lyrics, the musician was already a well-known regular in Montreal jazz clubs. He not only helped Charlebois create his Osstid’show, along with Louise Forestier, Yvon Deschamps and Mouffe, but also left his musical trademark in Charlebois’ career by taking on the artistic direction for his album « Quebec Love » and by composing music to the song Ordinaire.
Ordinaire was written at the peak of Charlebois’ popularity, after the Osstid’show, which made him a star and a household name in Quebec. Charlebois later embarked on tours after tours, in Quebec, Canada and all over the world. Tired and exhausted, the lyrics to Ordinaire seemed to unmask the false and almost mythical imagery that people and critics in Quebec had quickly made not only of him, but of the Mouffe/Charlebois couple. Almost an instant classic and now a staple of Quebec music, Ordinaire remains a very accurate depiction of today’s obsession with celebrity and of the negative effect such pressure can have on an artist. Charlebois is still to this day affectionately nicknamed the “ordinary guy” and this song remains, for the Quebec public, one of his greatest.
Cover artists include: Gregory Charles, Éric Lapointe, Bob Walsh, Mario Pelchat and Les Divans.