Vermont Folklife Center - Digital Archive

Desrosiers/Joyal Family Collection (VFC2011-0009)

Dublin Core


Desrosiers/Joyal Family Collection (VFC2011-0009)


The Desrosiers/Joyal Family Collection consists of French and English language songs drawn from two sources: 177 manuscript pages of song lyrics that date to the mid-twentieth century and a 11 audio recordings that date from the late 1950s and early 1960s. The collection was donated to the Vermont Folklife Center Archive by Robert Desrosiers.

The Desrosiers family lived in the Lakeside neighborhood of Burlington, VT, which is situated in the southwest corner of the city. The Joyal family lived in Brockton, MA. Clotilde “Clarie” Desrosiers was the sister of Armand Joyal. The families visited one another in MA and VT during holidays such as Christmas, New Years, Easter and Independence Day, as well as at other times of the year.

The song MSS are largely the production of members of the Desrosiers family, including Andronique (Duhaime) Desrosiers and Rose (Desroisers) Bourgeois-- respectively the mother and sister of Aime Desrosier. One MSS was produced by Armand Joyal.

The audio recordings consist of home recordings of family singing events and parties with friends and relatives. Additionally one tape includes a complete 1962 Christmas Eve mass at Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Burlington, VT.

In the mid-20th century Lakeside was home to many families of Franco-American and Quebecois extraction for whom communal singing formed an important part of cultural identity. The songs in the Desrosiers/Joyal Collection, like many bodies of mid-20th century Franco-American song, include traditional materials from the Quebecois and French repertoires, as well as 19th and 20th century Canadian, American and French popular songs. Taken as a unit the Desrosiers/Joyal Collection is document of the lyrical song repertoire of a period that spans several generations of immigrants. It is representative of the continuing interaction of Vermont Franco-Americans with their families and friends across the border in Quebec and across New England, and the cultural exchange such interaction engendered. It serves as further evidence of the proliferation and vitality of Franco-American music in northern New England.

The audio recordings in the collection feature many family members, friends and neighbors of the Desrosiers. A complete listing of participants can be found below.

Caroline Grego and Kimberly Hunt transcribed the song texts. Kimberly Hunt excerpted audio recordings and conducted the majority of the data entry. Robert Desrosiers provided extensive cataloging assistance. Additional processing, cataloging and arrangement work was conducted by Vermont Folklife Center Archivist, Andy Kolovos who coordinated and oversaw the project. Digital imaging of the song books was undertaken by Northeast Document Conservation Center and digitization of the audio recordings was done by Vignettes Media. Financial support for arrangement, cataloging and digitization was provided by the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the GRAMMY Foundation.


Julia Beaudoin
Louis Beaudoin
Wilfred Beaudoin
Lillian Beaudoin
Rose Bourgeois
Armand Brouillard
Alice Danis
Arthur Danis
Beatrice Danis
Dona Danis
Raoul Danis
Aime Desrosier
Clotilde “Clarie” Desrosiers
Filbert Desrosiers
Wilfred Desrosiers
Etienne Duquette
Grace Duquette
Armand Joyal
Alice Muenier
Louis Muenier
Emile Richer


Desrosiers, Robert