Montreal, April 2022 – Le monde a bien changé, an iconic song of the Acadian band 1755 with lyrics by Gérald Leblanc and music by Pierre Robichaud, will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame as part of ECMA (East Coast Music Awards) on Thursday, May 5, in a live ceremony to be broadcast from Fredericton, N.B.
Catch the new Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees on stage at the Ferdericton Playhouse on Friday, May 6, as part of the East Coast Music Awards: Festival & Conference. The special show will not only be a tribute historical band, but also a celebration of the East Coast’s Acadian culture with guests such as Lisa Leblanc and Emilie Landry. Tickets are $35 + fees, and are on sale here.
All songs tell a story, and Le monde a bien changé is no exception.
Le monde a bien changé is about a man who is learning to love and to live a better life thanks to a woman he had met. “Basically, what has changed is less the world around him than how he is now seeing it through the prism of love,” Pierre Robichaud explained. And because this is a love song more than anything else, the singer-songwriter found inspiration in several hit songs from the early 1960’s for the chord progression, including Wayne Cochran’s Last Kiss.
The great musical friendship between Gérald Leblanc, Roland Gauvin and Pierre Robichaud, 1755’s main song composers, began in the 1970’s at a party. Roland Gauvin and Pierre Robichaud ended up in a bathroom with a dozen other people. Gauvin started jamming with another musician; then, during a pause, Pierre grabbed his guitar and started playing a duet with Roland. “Sparks started flying when we started playing together at that bathroom party,” Robichaud recalled with emotion. “Our voices were in such harmony, and Roland is such a great singer. There was instant chemistry between us.”
One day, Robichaud and Gauvin asked the late great Acadian poet Gérald Leblanc, whose work they had discovered in college, to send them some of his poems so they could write music on them. He accepted the invitation, and submitted several poems. The rest is history: “I was sitting in my living room reading this poem called Le monde a bien changé. Instantly, I got the melodic line: Le monde a bien changé, changé, changé! Roland burst into laughter. It was a good sign!”
“That adventure took off so quickly! We went from being a pub band to a band filling New Brunswick’s largest arenas!” Pierre Robichaud went on. The creative complicity between Gérald Leblanc, Roland Gauvin and Pierre Robichaud ended up generating almost half of 1755’s repertoire, with many tunes being among the band’s most popular and memorable songs. Still today, 45 years after its creation, every time the band plays Le monde a bien changé on stage, fans spanning four generations sing the lyrics by heart. If withstanding the test of time is not a sign of a song’s greatness, what is?
With its frenzied songs (folk-, country- and rock-inspired) dealing with the daily realities of French-speaking New Brunswickers, 1755 helped people become aware of the Maritimes’ francophone identity. “1755 greatly contributed to the re-invention of the Acadian identity by building a narrative that reflected the contemporary reality of Acadians, and by re-negotiating what people considered to be Acadian’ music. So, Acadian consumers gave great ideological importance to that music which they perceived not as a typical commercial music, but rather as a symbol of their cultural emancipation,” Sylvie Leblanc claimed in her memoir Le monde qu’on connaît: The Music of 1755 and the Construction of Acadian Identity.”
Originally from Bouctouche, N.B., Gérald Leblanc, who died on May 30, 2005, at the age of 59, had a major influence on Acadian cultural life as a poet, an author and a prolific lyricist. Besides 1755, bands and artists such as Idée du Nord and Marie-Jo Thério have performed his songs. As a writer, he published some fifteen poetry collections while at the same time contributing to the writing of works for the theatre, translations, radio scripts and anthologies. His liberated poetic writings call for Acadie to claim its rightful place within the French-speaking world as a culture with a unique cosmopolitan character, an endeavour which, some might say, echoes that of the 1755 band with its fusions of modern 70’s rock and Acadian folk flavours.
Media contacts, requests for interviews: SIX media marketing Inc. (for CSHF)
Source: Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame
Text: François Couture
Info: Simon Fauteux