Following sudarmoricaine is a Breton song harlot in Brittany , on the traditional air Forgiveness Speied , the ”  forgiveness of Spézet ” popularized by Alan Stivell in the 1970s was in fact the first and only title in Breton n o 1 Hit parade of Europe 1 1 .



The song ribald tells the story of a young man who goes to the forgiveness of Spézet and meets a girl there. They go to a field and make love to it. The man catches the pox . When he was taken to the hospital, he lost his “big tail” ( lost arm in Breton) which was thrown out the window and ended up being eaten by a wandering wolf dog who died.

The song consists of a traditional Breton tune, a year-old Vannetais (South) that Alan Stivell had heard during a music course. The original lyrics, from an unknown author, date from the 1950s and 60s and tell a nostalgic love story disappointed as there are many. The bawdy lyrics were imagined by the singer’s friends during a meal, without anticipating that they would go beyond this framework. The music opens with an Irish flute and continues with the rhythm of percussion and arrangements “in tune with the times” 2 .


Her success began in 1972 with the album À l’Olympia following the concert broadcast on Europe 1. She stayed several weeks in the hit parade of Europe 1 3 and occupies the first place in the charts of RTL , in competition with the soundtrack of the film The Godfather , after they decide to pass it, whereas no songs of the artist were programmed on their waves 4 . This snub amuses Stivell and his musicians, who play the piece on the TV sets in Paris 2 . In 1994, she is back on the air with the success of the album Again , in a version where we can hear the hoarse voice of IrishShane MacGowan , punk band The Pogues .

It is also the eleventh single of the singer Nolwenn Leroy and the first extract of his fourth studio album Bretonne , released on November 22, 2010 on download platforms and December 6 on the album. Originally sung in the first person, she chose, with the help of her Breton teacher Serge Plénier, to use the “he”, more conducive to a girl to tell this sad story. It is this song that opens his concert on his big Breton tour between June 2011 and December 2012.


“In 1972, when the South Armorican Suite came out, Eugénie Goadec told me alluding to the words bawdy enough: You should be careful, there are young people who can hear! “

– Alan Stivell, The itinerary of a hero harper

“It was first of all a trick of spirit potache: that people imagine that I speak of korrigans on the moor … On the other hand, to short-circuit certain blockages, the inferiority complex which raged still, it was necessary to go through laughter, or even give the Bretons a sense of superiority. Something that succeeded … sometimes almost too much. “

– Alan Stivell, Bretons (magazine)

“The couplet is a dialogue between the two singers [Alan Stivell and Shane MacGowan ]. In the chorus, the dense orchestration is dominated by the saturated electric guitar and the violin, which doubles the two voices already in unison . Thus reinforced, this melody, which has a repetitive rhythmic writing and evolves by joint notes, is representative of the traditional Breton music of dance . The excerpt ends with a harp interlude that plays an ostinato- shaped arpeggiated pattern , with a sound and a treatment of time that are reminiscent of the kora , harp-lute harp from Africa. West, which confirms that the “world village” predicts byMarshall McLuhan includes a sound dimension where musical ideas circulate at leisure thanks to new communication channels. “

– Eugene Lledo, Universalis  [ archive ]

Interpretations [ change | change the code ]

  • The Suite Sudarmoricaine of Stivell appears first on a 45 round in 1971/72 with Tha mi sgìth on the other side, then the mythical album At Olympia recorded at the concert in February 1972.
  • In 1973 on the album Celtic Music of the group An Triskell under the name Suite Pourlette .
  • In 1992, in the album Again , Alan Stivell re-recorded his songs with well-known artists, including this one with Pogues singer Shane MacGowan . She is present on the album Bretagnes in Bercy recorded during the concert in Paris-Bercy in 1999.
  • In 1996, the band Kern takes again the lyrics of the song in a different way but this song is also called Pardon Speied .
  • In 2000, in his album Back to Breizh , Stivell took the piece a second time, renamed it Armoricaine (continued) and gave him new lyrics in French; words of protest against the condition of the Breton language, which France allows to die after having done everything to make it disappear (“more bitter than Quebeckers”), and for a freedom of development of the “Breton nation”, which will “surprise” if it is recognized as “civilization”, considering that “the world does not exist without [it]” 5 . The bass player from Rennes Frank Darcel, former Marquis de Sade , accompanies him on arrangements faithful to the original. He performs at the Vieilles Charrues festival6 .
  • In 2000, the Polish group Shannon also registers it.
  • The French-Slovak group Roc’hann recorded it on his album Skladby z nášho in 2008.
  • Singer Nolwenn Leroy recorded it in 2010 for her album Breton .
  • The four singers of the band Les Stentors sing Pardon Spezed of their opera voices on their album Voyage en France in 2012.
  • In 2012, guitarist Julien Jaffrès performs on his album Rock’n Celtic Guitar ( Coop Breizh ) and guitarist Pat O’May makes a guitar cover opening his medley dedicated to Alan Stivell on his album Celtic Wings ( Keltia Music ).

Notes and references

  1. ↑ “Following sudarmoricaine: The secret of the Breton” Britons , No. 80, October-November 2012
  2. ↑ a and b Gilles Le Morvan , ” Through songs: Suite Sudarmoricaine ”  [ archive ] , on France 3 Bretagne , (accessed July 28, 2015 )
  3. ↑ Yves Pouchard , ” Alan Stivell The emerald wedding ,” Le Parisien , ( read online  [ archive ] )
  4. ↑ ” Alan Stivell, 40 years of contemporary Breton music ” ArMen , o 87p.  38
  5. ↑ Yves Jaeglé, Alan Stivell always moves crowds – Tonight and tomorrow at La Cigale  [ archive ] , Le Parisien , January 25, 2001
  6. ↑ Video of the free French version of Alan Stivell from the album Back to Breizh [ archive ]