The story of Métis music would be incomplete without taking
a moment to consider the songs of the voyageurs. The songs the men sang
as they paddled were an essential part of their lives. The songs
performed the function of setting the pace, at time as quick as two
strokes a second. The boats were in the water from before daybreak until
after dark. They stopped at regular intervals for a break, or a smoke.
In fact, the distances between breaks were known as "pipes". The one
break in the voyageurs' day came during the hourly "pipes," when they
stopped paddling just long enough for a quick smoke.
One tradition that seems to have carried over into Métis culture was
that of using music to maintain their spirits. The Métis also continued
the Canadien custom of writing songs to commemorate important historical
events. Pierre Falcon, friend of Cuthbert Grant, was known as the Métis
songwriter. The victory of Seven Oaks was celebrated in song by Pierre
Falcon, the irreverent nineteenth century Métis bard.
The Métis song
Fear and Encouragement - the Battle Song
Métis Fiddle Music