Album: Songs of Haiti (1893)

Songfacts®:

  • The poem Choucoune was written in 1883 by Oswald Durand (1840-1906), who in addition to his literary talents was a time-serving politician. Written originally in Creole, it was set to music by Michel Mauleart Monton.
  • According to the American-Haitian doctor, Louis J. Auguste in The story of Choucoune...: "Choucoune was a real person. Her real name was Marie Noel Belizaire. She was born in the Village of La-Plaine-du-Nord in the year 1853." After a failed relationship she moved to Cap-Haitien, the capital of the Northern Province of Haiti where she established a small restaurant "near the Chapel of St-Joseph".

    It was there she appears to have met Durand, who was some thirteen years her senior, and a bit of a womaniser. Having been thrown into gaol - an occupational hazard for political activists down through the ages - Durand was inspired to write the poem by a bird that alit on his window. Alas, while he went on to bigger and greater things, Choucoune went insane and died in 1924 a broken woman.
  • Although he was born in New Orleans, Michel Mauleart Monton was also of Haitian extraction. Ten years after the poem was written, he set it to music; "Choucoune" was first performed publicly in Port-au-Prince on May 14, 1893. And the rest, as they say, is history. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3

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