A giant in Quebec’s chanson tradition, Félix Leclerc became a musical icon of modern Francophone culture in Canada from the 40s all the way to the 70s. His simple folk melodies, poetic with deep philosophical meaning, galvanized chansonniers and revitalized the chanson in France. His singular qualities were said to have provided a catalyst for the careers of Georges Brassens, Guy Béart, and Jacques Brel among others.

At 18,  Félix wrote his first song, “Notre Sentier,” which has, after all these years, remained a beloved classic. Other favourites include “Le P’tit Bonheur,” “Le Train du Nord,” and “Bozo.” He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1968, a Grand Officier of the Ordre national du Quebec in 1983, and a Chevalier of the Legion d’honneur in 1986.

Read more about Félix Leclerc at The Canadian Encyclopedia and enjoy Leclerc’s lovely and mournful, “Notre Sentier,” penned at the age of 18: